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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Waco, Texas, USA
    Posts
    6,153
    I am constantly seeing posts regarding what type of education are employers looking for.....two yr. degree, cert only, field experience....etc etc...

    First of all our field is so vast that we, and I mean everybody, are always in a continuing education mode every single day.

    Every savy business owner knows that someone fresh out of hvac school is not anywhere near ready to sent out by themselves.

    Personally the way I see it if my employee needs any technical advice I can either walk them through the problem or call tech support. But if they offend the customer my ship is sunk. So the deciding factor to send out a rookie for the first time really depends on how well they come across to the people.

    Now how much focus is on this in hvac school? Maybe one communications class if you are lucky. Taught by who? A burned out ex tech? Come on man. If you guys really want our trade lifted up then lets get some real social skills curriculum in hvac. And not a bunch of this cheap self reported profile worthless crap like the MBTI.

    Don't get me wrong, technical ability is important too. The more comfortable the tech is in solving the mechanical problem the more he can focus on the social side of the service call. There is nothing more frustrating than being stumped in the diagnosis process while trying to gain the customer's social endorsement. Brains can't do two things at once.

    My point is we are so eat up with this technical education stuff that we are missing a huge piece of the puzzle...social skills.

    [Edited by Steve Wiggins on 09-06-2004 at 12:10 PM]
    "And remember my sentimental friend......that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others" - Wizard of Oz.

  2. #2
    Vast......I like that word, we need to use it more often.
    Hey cockroach, don't bug me! ©

    www.AskTheDiceman.com

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    Bring Em Home....

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Lenexa, KS
    Posts
    435
    Mr. Wiggins... if I may pick your brain.

    First, what is MBTI?

    Second, how would you teach "Social Skills?" As a student, I take English classes, public speaking classes, technical writing classes, group decision making classes... all things related to communicating with people. However, I don't think any of these classes would fit your criteria, because none of them really deal with the customer. IMHO, you would need a customer service class... basic ettiquette when dealing with customers and clients. Does that sound more like what you are talking about, or am I mis-interpreting what you mean by "Social Skills?"
    "We are what we repeatedly do.
    Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."
    -Aristotle

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    East Stroudsburg, PA
    Posts
    13,215
    VAST. Hmm. Like:

    "Your problem, Madam, is that you are attempting to cool a vast area with a halfvast system!"

    BTW, Steve, for once, is correct about customer service and interaction being an important part of a technical education. I bet Norm gets pissed about being called a "A burned out ex tech?", though.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    South Dakota
    Posts
    6,579
    Originally posted by condenseddave
    VAST. Hmm. Like:

    "Your problem, Madam, is that you are attempting to cool a vast area with a halfvast system!"

    BTW, Steve, for once, is correct about customer service and interaction being an important part of a technical education. I bet Norm gets pissed about being called a "A burned out ex tech?", though.
    Dave, this is the first I have heard of it.

    Norm

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    East Stroudsburg, PA
    Posts
    13,215
    Maybe from Steve, it's a compliment???

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Dallas TX
    Posts
    2,216
    I prefer an education and some times recruit students from my class but if they have no formal education you never know what you are going to get. Some times this is true with the vocational schools as well. Some of them just flat out suck. Just gotta remember where the good ones came from.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    South Dakota
    Posts
    6,579
    Originally posted by condenseddave
    Maybe from Steve, it's a compliment???
    Dave, there is nothing in Steve's post regarding me.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    East Stroudsburg, PA
    Posts
    13,215
    Just a general shot regarding instructors everywhere.


    Now how much focus is on this in hvac school? Maybe one communications class if you are lucky. Taught by who? A burned out ex tech? Come on man. If you guys really want our trade lifted up then lets get some real social skills curriculum in hvac. And not a bunch of this cheap self reported profile worthless crap like the MBTI.


    He wasn't swinging directly at you, but all instructors.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Bennettsville, SC
    Posts
    248
    me personally...ihave no technical schooling on hvac...everything i know is from learning on my own and from listening hard to people like Normchris(by the way norm i have read all ur articles on bacharach website and have learned lots from them)...people skills/customer service to me is not something that can be taught in a classroom...i average 1 to 2 calls a week from customers complimenting me to my boss about how well mannered i was and that i explained the problem to them in a manner they could understand(this may be because i myself do not know the technical terminology in the field;therefore i have to explain it in lamans terms)but nonetheless i am able to do this by being kind, very willing to answer all the customers questions, and being full or respect to even the most irratible customer( i mean come on, they are the ones putting food on my table)anyways just wanted to put my 2 cents in

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    South Dakota
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    6,579


    Actually, I am highly critical of the state of education in the United States. HVAC techncial education is no exception. For the most part the HVAC programs at community colleges, trade schools and vocational schools are failing to provide a quality HVAC education.

    I fault the instructors many of whom are unqualified by my standards. I also fault the school administrators who fail to take action when they realize that the program is not up to the normal standards of quality.

    With 20 years of full-time classroom experience teaching HVAC I have seen it first hand. I have served on several accreditation committees and have reviewed a number of programs at other schools and what I found was deplorable. I have met dozens and dozens of other HVAC instructors at conventions, association meetings and educational events and learned first hand what the state of their instructional programs was. I have stepped in to substitute for instructors who were ill and learned first hand what was and was not being taught as well as the myth students were being fed. I learned that many instructors were wasting time telling "war" stories instead of teaching. I have reviewed other instructors so called tests and could immediately see that many of them can't even compose a proper exam.

    Most instructors don't even have a course outline, instructional objectives or lesson plan. Is it any wonder that HVAC graduates ask questions about things as basic as superheat, subcooling and how to charge a system?

    The overall state of HVAC education is in poor shape. Yes, there are exceptions. But, I can count on one hand the number of HVAC instructors that I respect.

    Norm

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    South Dakota
    Posts
    6,579
    Originally posted by serviceguy
    me personally...ihave no technical schooling on hvac...everything i know is from learning on my own and from listening hard to people like Normchris(by the way norm i have read all ur articles on bacharach website and have learned lots from them)...people skills/customer service to me is not something that can be taught in a classroom...i average 1 to 2 calls a week from customers complimenting me to my boss about how well mannered i was and that i explained the problem to them in a manner they could understand(this may be because i myself do not know the technical terminology in the field;therefore i have to explain it in lamans terms)but nonetheless i am able to do this by being kind, very willing to answer all the customers questions, and being full or respect to even the most irratible customer( i mean come on, they are the ones putting food on my table)anyways just wanted to put my 2 cents in
    Serviceguy, you sound like the type of guy I would like to have as a student. Actually, the students are not the ones at fault. The instructor sets the stage and atmosphere for quality instruction and the students generally follow. But, the student will have a difficult time learning if the instructor's quality is lacking.

    Norm

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Earth
    Posts
    4,879
    Some of these kids coming out of school are a little timid at first. Then they replace a contactor in a condensing unit, and think they have performed a miracle. After all it was their mechanical genius that allowed the resurrection of this Air Conditioner. Customers should now pale in the shadow of their greatness.

    Others coming out of these same schools replace their first contactor and then realize they don’t know squat about anything. These are the ones who will bust their butts to learn.

    No matter what trade or business you are in, those who communicate well, rise to the top. Customer Service classes would be wasted on the miracle worker, but would give the kid with a lust for knowledge a real boost on his way. He would see the Customer is the reason for his job, not an obstruction to it.

    It’s a good idea, but don’t expect miracles. Only management, who refuse to accept poor Customer Service, will have mechanics that give good Customer Service.

    A Diamond is just a piece of coal, that made good under pressure!

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