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  1. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    2,666
    Same pay whether working or sitting on my hands.
    If I am asked if I would like to go home early I say no I haven't got my 8 hours in yet.
    BUT I hate not keeping busy so I always look for something that needs doing.
    I have yet to not find something that needs to be done.
    Things get neglected by the end of our busy season.
    If I can't get 40 hours here I might be tempted to do sidework.
    I got to pay my bills like everyone else.

  2. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    12,077
    This is another excellent topic.

    When I got my first job in this trade, I humped all summer, then it got slow. I expected to be with less hours because I was explained that it would happen, and I was. But even the seasoned guys were not getting the hours. Even though I was told it might happen, I just felt like, collectively we don't count when the chips are down. However, in the middle of 95 to 100 degree weather and 80 hours a week, I could come in, sick and contribute to the mission. Loyalty and obligation should be a respectful two way street. In my opinion.

    That first winter I resented that employer for that. I quickly moved on. It became a priority for me to find a job that could provide the opportunity to work atleast 40 hours year round. It seemed to not be very popular to find an employer committed to the employees like that. Being green at the time, I had to apply at what I call bottom of the barrel contractors, because the really good contractors were asking for more experience. I knew this was how the industry worked. I figured I would have to play the game and further my aptitude before I landed a decent job, so I had to take jobs when they were offered.

    Almost all of those contractors I worked for in my early beginnings were really less than great contractors and or people, and the reason why I moved from one to the next. I was always searching for a better place to work. For the lot of those people, for many reasons they simply got slow and then they got tight. At smaller shops, they seem to do this more than at larger shops, atleast thats my experience. No commitment to the employee was the norm and I was beginning to wonder if this trade was for me. Yet they needed you at their request. That has always bothered me. Immensely

    I think it is one reason our trade is less than stellar on looking at the service technician as a bonified proffesional. I've been around the river long enough to have worked in both kinds of environments. The one where the hours get short and the respect of the service tech is lacking. On the other hand, other shops were very committed to the service technician. When it got slow, there was always something the service technician could do to contribute to the mission other than running calls in his van. He might get utilized to do something at the office, make sales calls, he might be scheduled for some training. He might be asked to go in an organize his van or the shops shelves. There was always something to do if service was slow.

    I think where I stand on this issue is. If I hire you, and your a service mechanic, absolutely that is your primary duty in life, but I always explain to anyone I have interveiwed that, I can give you forty hours no matter what, but, I might ask you to do something other than service work, if we find we get slow. You hire an employee, and that should mean, he or she can contribute to more than just for what there hired for.

    On a job site for example. It begins to rain. HVAC and Reefer guys are on a project generally after the roof is on the structure. So it starts to rain and no work can get done on the exterior of the building. If things are tightened up inside, why not have the crew leader, take that oppurtunity and around some lunchboxes do some training. Maybe a reveiw of whats next on the job, maybe a chance for your leader on the job to explain whats coming up for projects. Have the leader find out if there are any administrative issues that the office should be made aware of. I mean all kinds of things can get done. And still, even though on paper on that bid, it seems like losing coin, it's really not.. Think. Execute. Loyalty. Respect.



  3. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    2,652
    Dow's right.

    I've done that too. A rainy day is a great time to go over things with techs. You can discuss things they are doing good and things that need some attention. There is always cleaning to be done as well. We had nearly one straight week of rain, that gave ma and the guys a chance to fix 2 of our recovery machines that weren't working, rebuilt a compressor in one, it was a good learning experience even for me.
    You can plan stuff ahead. I've had guys ask me how the hell a scroll compressor works so next rainy day.....I'm firin' up the angle grinder and I am going to cut a cross-section of one so they can see the innerds of it. See there is a reason to keep around a few failed parts .
    I also plan to spend some time with my installer to explain how duct systems work. He has the right idea about things but he just follows my plans. I want him to really understand CFM x delta x 1.08=btu/h, stuff like that.
    We can never know too much, and the more we know the more confident we feel, and confident techs are more productive. These rainy day training sessions help everyone and teaching your guys how to be better instead of sending them home is worth every penny in the long run.
    There are 3 ways to do anything in life; Good, Fast, Slow: You can pick any 2.

  4. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    erie pa
    Posts
    55
    Rain days or slack time is an exellent time for a training session. Once had a new apprentice with me, and he aked what had happened to the semi hermetic we had just changed. Our suppliers dont care what we do to a core compressor as long as we dont lose the parts. I told him to get the wrenches out and pull off one of the heads. With the the heads off and valve plate removed I could see the vapor compression cycle making much more sense to him. I knew it alll made sense when he said "so this is why flood-back is so bad." Those little valves were all busted up.

  5. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    45
    well the company i currently work for ( I'm subcontracting under) we dont get paid due to we get paid by the job

  6. #19
    It's hard to teach an old dog new tricks.

    If your present employer isnt living up to your expectations .... do you really think that your gonna be the first man to come along and invite him to do the right thing?

    I dont think so!

    He is not an island in the business world. He gets around. He listens to what the competition is doing and what they are offering their people.
    he not only knows what everyone else in the area is paying ... he also knows what the competition is making for profit and what they can afford to pay their people.

    Perhaps your present employer has other benefits which you just have not tapped into yet.

    Over in another thread, there was a golden opportunity for y'all to speak your mind about what a perfect job opportunity would be like.
    Not many took the time to even invest a "micro-Dow" in sharing your views.

    The thread is called; What Do You Want?
    It is located in the job section. The employer is legitimate and sincere. He simply asked what we would want for a perfect job.
    One guy answered; "world peace".

    Me ... I leveled both barrels on him and poured out years of pent up wrath ..... I let em' have it!


    Bottom line is this; your boss is a lot smarter than anyone gives him credit for. And you, my friend, can NOT take his place. You can NOT do his job. And you can not replace him in his own business!


    I listen to this crap all the time here from certain individuals who assume since they are performing certain specific tasks ... that one day they will easily walz in and assume their employer's position ... with ease!

    Horse Crap!!!


    Unless your boss is like me or Dow or one of the other guys who listens and has been around awhile ... they are looking at you with only one question; serviceability!

    Are you serviceable or not?

    Will you be there for their customers needs .... or will you flee?

    Will you be a jerk and do things your way? Or will you be like steel; moldable, forgeable, bendable, flexible, sharpenable, etc., etc.?

    Or will you be like iron; rigid, brittle, hard-assed, un-yielding, un-bendable, in-flex-able, and even once sharpened .... you lose your edge quickly.


    All the employers I ever took and wasted my time talking to about little things like what you've broght up here and posted .... every single time has been an exercise in futility!

    I was fired!
    I was humiliated!
    I was laughed at!

    And the list goes on.


    I pray I will be of the deeper and stronger Christlike character someday to just simply look past all this rubble and get the job done without focusing on what is NOT right with my present employer.


    I came here to vent cause venting to my service manager is like telling the party line. Word travels fast.
    And so I just keep my mouth shut, (yes Dice ... you read corectly), and do the job set before me.
    I may utter a word or two about how this is not the best use of our resources, but I never argue.

    If the boss says do it this way and I know a different way to do it ... I do it his way.
    Why?

    BECAUSE HE IS IN CHARGE!!!

    And besides, he is the boss!
    I didnt hire him,,,, HE HIRED ME!!!
    That makes me subserviant to his wishes and wymms and methods!

    And when you go visit your state's website about employment regulations and learn he cant do what ever it is he is currently doing ... fine!
    It will be expediant for him to lose you and find another man who will do their job without barking back.



    You can NOT mold your employer to live up to your expectations!
    You can NOT hold your employer to the expectations of the state laws either.

    Not and keep your job!

    Not and keep your job!

    Not and keep your job!



    You come online here and listen to the likes of Dave, Lmtd, Icemeister, DiceMan and others ... and can get the false impression that this industry rocks with boss's who are trying to live up to the rules these people spout daily about!
    Well ... your employer doenst come here!
    Your employer doenst "live here" virtually ... like we do,(well ... like some of us here do ...).
    And your employer doenst know who Ice or DIce or Dave are! (is?)
    And .... AND ....your employer doesnt give a rip what we say, what we talk about online here nor what we think in our own minds and hearts!

    They have their hands full!
    Some are better than others!
    Some are lessor than most. And some are lower than pond scum.


    In another thread, I made mention that I am switching employers.
    I have spoken with one of their techs, (Fitter33), and he has given me the inside scoop on the company. His wife works int he office in fact.
    But in meeting with this new employer, I have discovered that he is not offering all the comforts I have grown used to in an employer. He doesnt do this and he doenst do that.

    Am I moving up or moving down by joining up with this new employer?
    UP!

    Will it all be rosey and silk when I assume the new yoke? No ... it will NOT!
    Will I have it better overall and better bennies, better pay, better training, more support? etc., etc.???

    YES ... emphatically YES!!!


    Is this new employer all that I would ever, could ever ...want in a boss? Heck no!
    Do I have ideas for improvement and change for them?
    So what if I did? I'll just keep my big mouth shut,(save for here with y'all ), and wait til someone asks for my advice.

    I may choose to feel out the waters ..so to speak, by making an ocassional sugestion or two.
    But I've been burned so many times already I am gunshy!

    If someone dont realize I have ideas, then they are not the one's my ideas are meant for! Period! End of report!!!

  7. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Hampton Roads, Virginia
    Posts
    1,594
    I too want a job that gives me at least 40 year round, but think of the number of times employers have paid guys 40 per week thru' the slow season, only to have them leave in the spring to take a job that pays $0.25/hr more.
    "Profit is not the legitimate purpose of business. The legitimate purpose of business is to provide a product or service that people need and do it so well that it's profitable."

    James Rouse

  8. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Posts
    9,871

    R-12

    You will notice my post to this thread is not negative!! Point being, I know what I can bring to the table and I will not accept less nor will I give less than promised!! Even though I spent some time off this year, the 2 most recent jobs have been one of senior lead tech status and pay!! In fact, my employer now is the one I left foolishly 9 months ago to seek greener pastures. He called me to run a manufacturing plant project. Life is good in this trade when you dedicate yourself to it and it becomes a driving passion!!

  9. #22
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    12,077

    Re: R-12

    Originally posted by rob10
    You will notice my post to this thread is not negative!! Point being, I know what I can bring to the table and I will not accept less nor will I give less than promised!! Even though I spent some time off this year, the 2 most recent jobs have been one of senior lead tech status and pay!! In fact, my employer now is the one I left foolishly 9 months ago to seek greener pastures. He called me to run a manufacturing plant project. Life is good in this trade when you dedicate yourself to it and it becomes a driving passion!!
    I addressed that in my post. I explained that respect and lotalty is a two way street.

    I worked very hard at getting good at all factes of being a good service tech. I wish to all ehll I was a lot better, but there is always tommorow to look forward to, isn't there? I did a lot of things to improve myself on my own. Training myself. Being willing to take on the hard project that no one wanted to deal with. I'll dig a good ditch, and also rebuild a pump for a hockey rink. I had no fear. I wanted to get slammed. I grew up in this, and I witnessed those top guys, guys who made the dough were always the first ones across the river into battle, so I tryed my damndest to emulate those types when I started in this trade.

    And it really honestly took awhile for an employer to truly see that in myself. Once I finally got the position I wanted at a certain company, I was allowed to grow. I was allowed a lot of things. Respect. And I did grow. Still growing. Still learning. Still trying to get better.

    But they seen my shortfalls, but had respect for me the individual. I really did well in that environment. They gave me a chance to realize what this great trade is about, the good and bad.

    I am gratefull for that. Humbled by it. But what really sucks is, that there are so few classy people like that in this business.

    I figure I say these things here as my way of trying to improve things in this trade. We could really elevate ourselves. I want people to see as as more proffesional than an electrician or plumber. I want people to understand what it takes to know what to know. With that comes respect and higher money for all in the trade. It's got to start with the contractor. Doesn't it?


  10. #23
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Slacking off right now
    Posts
    7,546
    Hmm r12 had a longer post than Dow hmmmm

    Dow posted: (think where I stand on this issue is. If I hire you, and your a service mechanic, absolutely that is your primary duty in life, but I always explain to anyone I have interveiwed that, I can give you forty hours no matter what, but, I might ask you to do something other than service work, if we find we get slow. You hire an employee, and that should mean, he or she can contribute to more than just for what there hired for.) this is what my first boss was like.

    we have no non billable time if we are short then we go home with a smaller paycheque. All employeers in and around Vancouver are the same and as R12 said they all know what each other is up too so they can get away with it. If and when the tech shortage occurs then when the employeers realise they just can't get techs any old time THEN AND ONLY THEN wil they change their methods to attract employees. its just business baby get used to it

    good post Dow AND R12 rules

    [Edited by The Penguin on 06-22-2004 at 09:52 PM]
    www.vetopropac.com - The best tool bags on the market - The offical tool bag of choice by techs everywhere

    Arguing with some people is like wrestling a pig - eventually you realise the pig actually enjoys it

    Gonads serve a useful purpose but are no substitute for brains

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