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  1. #1

    Questions about industry

    Afternoon all. Been lurking for a while and really enjoy this forum.
    I have been doing refrigeration maintenance for roughly a year. Came from over a decade of spinning a wrench on cars. Before the transition the wife and I talked for hours on whether or not it was a wise choice. Anyway enough rambling


    After a year, its time to make some decisions on whether or not I am willing to stay in this business.
    It really stinks that im not on the repair side yet, but, Its been kinda culture shock working 50-70 hours a week. Still working on dealing with making decisions with minimum sleep. Sleep deprivation is interesting to say the least.

    Being way backed up on pm's does not leave much time to really learn the systems im working with. So at this point, I can not logically put entire blame on my employer for not advancing yet. Although my employer did change the "rules" for advancment, but, at this point that is a non-issue.


    I can honestly tell ya, I am smelling stuff that is so fould I am quite amazed that the human body can even process it. Sorry, but I have seriously contemplated Never cutting my nose hairs again. I need some filtration..

    Anyway, im gonna go on forever on this and need to get to the reason for post.


    I need to know if a few of the things I am really having issues overcoming are an industry issue, or just a bi-product of my employer.

    First,, Times to be on site in mornings, or dispatch times. Mine vary from 4 am dispatch to 7 am. Consistantly. Not just on weeks im on call. Working late does not bother me a whole lot, But im having difficulty dealing with start times. Would be nice with little more consistancy.

    Second,,,, Schedules. I know end of day schedules are impossible. but, what im talking about is on call, weekend schedules. I just found out yesterday at 5pm that I am on call this week. The only time we received a decent schedule was middle of April we got the May Schedule. All other times its a last minute thing. Needless to say I have been burned a few times by this. Is this common for other employers also? Or do you know your schedule earlier so you can make plans?

    I have more but dont need to kill all the server on this one post, sorry for the length....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    Western PA
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    Sounds like employer issues.

    The new guy always catches the crap work, that is pretty universal.

    My start time is constant unless I am called out. On-call is a rotation. We all take a turn and spread the misery that way. I can predict months in advance if I will be on or not.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Indiana
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    Agree..sounds like an employer issue. Start time should be a set time, unless something is scheduled in advanced. My office had the same issues with on-call scheduling...until i pretty much demanded that we have a constant schedule. I would not suggest demanding..but rather talk to the person who makes those decisions on what u think. Some things i have brought to the attention of my boss he had no clue was going on.....because no one told him or communicated what was going on. Small or large companies, those in the office can lose touch unless you communicate what is going on..or ways u seen that improvements can be made.

  4. #4
    Thanks for the replies. Without a doubt you have helped me as far as whether or not to "jump ship". Pretty much everything else I can deal with. But, now that I know this is pretty much an isolated case chances are ill stick with it longer. Figure I will try to stay put till get more experience.

    One of the co-owners make the schedule. I is "interesting" talking to him about anything. I am going to have to talk to him about the scheduling. Add that on top of the hours and it seems as though the company IS my life. That I do have an issue with.

    Like I said. Thanks for the help. Im sure ill be posting a lot more in the future with questions. Unfortunately though, I wont really be much help to anyone for a while.

  5. #5

    I need advice

    i am 23 years old, i have No experience with this field. i live in the southcoast of mass, i'd like to go to trade school, am i better off learning this trade or plumbing, or electricity????

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    lombard,il
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    36
    with this economy you should be lucky you get 50-70 hours i cant find a job

  7. #7

    so what should i do ?

    i've read that the hvac field is unfilled right now, i'm also leaning towards plumbing or electricity, i need advice,

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    235
    Quote Originally Posted by jpsmith1cm View Post
    Sounds like employer issues.

    The new guy always catches the crap work, that is pretty universal.

    My start time is constant unless I am called out. On-call is a rotation. We all take a turn and spread the misery that way. I can predict months in advance if I will be on or not.
    "Spread the misery" LOL!!! Gotta love refrigeration

    You say prediction huh?......Nothing like forcasting in business .

    Sounds to me like if you know who fixed it last then you know when it will be your turn to fix it again or should I say fix it right and be done with it.

    It really gets interesting when your buddy tells you "hey, you might get called to this because I______". Fill in the blank as needed.

    Oh well, the one who takes the shortcut will soon enough be back to face the customer

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    Western PA
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    Quote Originally Posted by igrant32 View Post
    i've read that the hvac field is unfilled right now, i'm also leaning towards plumbing or electricity, i need advice,
    This is one man's opinion.

    Air conditioning, especially residential, is largely a luxury item. As the economy continues to recede and energy prices continue to rise, more and more people will turn the AC off or choose not to fix it when it breaks. This is less applicable to commercial equipment, but some of my accounts are turning the stats up higher and higher, too.

    Refrigeration, on the other hand, is a necessity. It is a basic requirement for the lives we live today.

    There will ALWAYS be a need for qualified and dedicated technicians to repair these systems.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Winter Haven, FL
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    3,633
    Quote Originally Posted by igrant32 View Post
    i've read that the hvac field is unfilled right now, i'm also leaning towards plumbing or electricity, i need advice,
    An HVAC/R technician is a plumber, electrican, and carpenter all at once.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Florida
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    540
    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Harper View Post
    An HVAC/R technician is a plumber, electrican, and carpenter all at once.
    Yep...and none of them can do our job. Therefore the layoff heirarchy is carpenter, electrician, plumber, and finally HVAC.

    Like jpsmith said, anything that's considered more of a luxury is more prone to economic fluctuations. Therefore learn a specialty that will make you more valuable like refrigeration, controls, or chillers. I hate to say it, but residential guys are a dime a dozen when the economy takes a turn for the worst.
    Low Pressure Forever!

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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Southeastern Pa
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    While residential AC is sometimes a luxury, commercial AC is often as much of a necessity as refrigeration. People won't shop in a hot store, and employees get cranky, and sales suffer.

    Plus, when you move out of a retail space, it's in your lease to leave with everything working. I had my best winter ever this past season.
    [Avatar photo from a Florida training accident. Everyone walked away.]
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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Indiana
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    Quote Originally Posted by timebuilder View Post
    Plus, when you move out of a retail space, it's in your lease to leave with everything working.
    that all depends on your lease. this winter was good...but was checking on at least one empty space a week to ensure heat worked properly. Guess another plus to commercial HVAC, even when no tenant the building must be kept "alive"

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