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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    1,666
    Posting this a day late, but thought I'd bring out some of my "personal" memories LOL

    On October 11, 1996, I ofically left home to go to UTI in Phoenix, AZ to learn HVAC.

    I had just graduated High School that May, and turned 18 that July. I was the last of 3 children to leave the nest.

    I remember just like it was yesterday. I was just filled with exitement.

    I was glad to finally be out on my own, and was exited to see Phoenix.

    I was glad that I would finally get to learn about A/C and heating systems, something I had been interested in from a very young age. (I remember way back when I was 6 years old when I would go to people's houses and look to see what kind of condenser they had, and look at the furnace, or being in a public building trying to get into mechanical rooms to see the equipment. Used to drive my parents and sisters NUTS!)

    I could not wait to get done with UTI and move up here to Connecticut where my sisters both lived.

    What an exiting time that was. I spent an entire week cleaning and packing up my room. I threw away bags and bags of stuff. Stupidly enough , I THREW AWAY a whole bunch of 33 and 45 records! Even threw away 4 years of stuff I had "Stashed" that I didn't want my parents to know about like love notes and failing school papers LOL

    I even took each and every one of my CD's (like 35 or 40 at the time) and copied them all to tapes bacause I didn't want to take my CD's since I was afraid they would get stolen. To this day I will never regret that I did that.

    After packing up the rest of my car, me and my Dad headed out, after giving my mother a hug and hoping she would not go to tears. (She wanted to go so bad, but her job would not let her take the time off.)

    We took the 3 hour drive to Liberal, Kansas where we met with the rep from UTI and all of the other UTI students from Kansas that were going. There were quite a few others going, about 60 if I remember correctly.

    We spent that night getting to know our "roommates" (there were 4 of us in each motel room, and we had the same roommates each night of the trip.)

    The next morning, we all caravaned out toward Phoenix. We drove the 9 hours to Gallup, new mexico, where we had planned to stay that night.

    Getting into the mountains of New Mexico, it was just too much for my 4-cylinder 1986 Oldsmobile Firenza and it overheated badly. Me and my Dad pulled over, luckilly there was a rest stop close by. We ate lunch and rested for about an hour, and luckily my car was just "tired", and it had cooled off. We drove the rest of the way to Gallup, at a pretty nice motel. Went swimming at their indoor pool, and really enjoyed the night.

    After getting to Gallup, I decided to look under the hood of my car. Dam good thing I did. One of my hoses had started to tear open, and it was RIGHT on the edge of bursting. Found an auto parts store and they had a hose for it, me and my dad changed it out and the car was good to go. (man I was lucky on that one!)

    The next morning, we drove the rest of the way to Phoenix, about 6 hours.

    Once we got there, we drove over to the hotel, and on the way we drove down Weldon ave and there were the UTI buildings. At Last!

    The next day we spent looking for an apartment and getting enrolled in School. We found an apartment, and co-incedentally, all 3 of my roomates were from Kansas who had came down on the trip.

    School started on the 21st, so I spent that week trying to find a job, and acclimating to a whole new city. I was still filled with exitement, and could not wait to start (and finish) school.

    If only I knew what lie ahead.

    As time went on, I was very dissapointed in my other fellow students. I never was one to party and drink a lot, but the majority of these students were just out of control. Think of the movies where you see parents of a teenger going away for a weekend and the kids partying and trashing the house when they were gone. This was pretty much the scene at UTI. Teenagers without parents.

    I was lucky my roommates were not any more wild than they were. They partied, but noting compared to stories I heard other people telling me about their home lives. I could not believe the stuff I was hearing these other people talk about. The drugs, the non-stop partying, and hearing of how their houses were just trashed with bottle caps in the ceiling and garbage all over the floor.

    I had pictured it being totally different - I thought most of the people attending would already be profesionally-oriented people..........BOY WAS I WRONG!

    I did manage to meet quite a few people who I liked however, including 2 brothers that were pretty much the same type as me. We ended up all moving into our own apartment after my lease was up with my existing place.

    Overall, I was very happy with the training I got at UTI. I had a lot of really neat instructors (along with some I didn't really care for), but I really liked the program.

    On September 26th, 1997, I graduated UTI.

    I was not financially able to move to Connecticut though, so much to my dissapointment, I went back to Kansas.


    In 1999, I was finally able to move to Connecticut. I knew within the first month after moving here though, that living here was not going to give me the life I had hoped for and dreamed about for years.

    It didn;t take long to discover that my sisters were going to treat me like an outsider, which they still do to this day, and probably always will.

    I look back on myself 10 years ago, and I remember thinking of meeting the right person and getting married, buying a house and having kids. So far none of the above have happened.

    When I moved out here and started working, I found that the HVAC trade is so much different and more complicated than it was back home. There is so much more to doing installs, and during the summer, there is not nearly as much A/C work to do. And here it doesn't matter if it is 3 in the morning and there is 10 feet of snow on the ground, if someone calls and has no heat, you have to go out in that sh*t and hope you don't kill yourself in an accident.

    I rmember looking forward to being close to both of my brothers in law and doing stuff like going fishing or getting together for football games. Both of them turned out to be real jerks, and my sisters are now both divorced.

    I remember looking forward to being with my sisters and eventually bonding with them enough to where they would come to me if they had a problem or a bad day, or them taking interest in some of the things the I do.

    I looked forward to having a cirlce of friends to hang out with and do things with such as fishing or just going out for a night. 6 years later, no real friends besides aquaintances at work.

    When I think back on the days of turning 18 and being so exited to go to college and graduate and go to work, it is depressing to think how if I had know how things for me were going to be today, I could have done so much different.

    I would definatly go to UTI again. I was very happy with UTI and their training. (Although I am dissapointed now that they do not teach HVAC anymore.)

    However, thinking back, I wish I would have just gone to a place where I liked it and was happy, rather than trying to waste my time on my family, which I now realize is a piece of sh*t.

    I would have stayed in kansas where at least I had a few social friends and would now probably have a nice house, a good job, and a better social life.

    It is really sad when I look back on myself just 9 years ago when I was so exited and looking forward to life, and now being in a situation where I did everything I wanted to after college but did not end up with what I thought I would end up with.

    I decided this year, that I am going to make some changes for the better.

    Next year, I plan on moving back to Kansas. I am going to just leave my family and forget about them. (They don't treat me like family, so it won't phase them if I don't talk to them anyway.)

    I am going to find a good job with a company I like (That will be the hardest thing about leaving connecticut, I really enjoy the company I currently work for and have an exellent boss.)

    Once I make my move I plan to get into better shape and lose the weight that I have gained in the last 10 years that is all from eating garbage.

    I will live in a place where I actually enjoy working in the trade, so I will feel more motivated to do good work.

    I will probably have a better social life, as people back in the mid west are much easier to make friends with.

    All in all, I will have a better life and be a much happier person, hopefully just as happy as I was the day I packed up my car to leave home.

    So many changes that I should have made years ago, but have just sat and dwelled on it instead of doing something about it.

    I am going to save up money over the winter, and when the time is right, either next spring or fall, I'm going to make it all happen.

    Next year by this time, you will all get to see, the "New ct_hvac_tech"

    Sorry for such a long post, but if you read this far, you now know "a little more about me :-) )





  2. #2
    Go towards your dreams, I hope things start going in your direction.

    Times can be trying, but like they say... only the strong survive.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Howell, Michigan
    Posts
    16,184
    Interesting story, good luck man!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    East Stroudsburg, PA
    Posts
    13,215
    Maybe just leave your sisters' and stay in conn at that job.

    I mean, the constant ringing tone is your sisters...

    Move to the other side of town. I find it hard to believe that you'd have a better social life in East Bumblefart, Kansas, than you would in Connecticut.

    Maybe get out once in awhile. Meet people.





















    If I offended anyone from Kansas during this posting, well, move to a real state, Toto.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    1,196
    Where in CT are you? I'm looking for a good tech in ffd cnty.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
    Posts
    11,376
    I was glad that I would finally get to learn about A/C and heating systems, something I had been interested in from a very young age. (I remember way back when I was 6 years old when I would go to people's houses and look to see what kind of condenser they had, and look at the furnace, or being in a public building trying to get into mechanical rooms to see the equipment. Used to drive my parents and sisters NUTS!)
    And I thought I was the only guy (goofball? ) as a kid that did this. Maybe not at six years old, more like ten or so. Our junior high school had chillers and boilers and I'd often peek in through the windows of the central plant, wondering how all that stuff worked. The cooling towers out back by the football field were way cool. Big, tall Marleys that sounded like a jet when running.
    Local apartment complexes had chillers and creaky old Baltimore Aircoil cooling towers that often squealed after a heavy rain got to neglected blower shaft bearings. Filled the entire neighborhood with that sound. I'd ride my bike to all those complexes and stop and listen to all that machinery hum, thinking it would be cool to work on that stuff.
    And yes, I also was curious what brand of equipment people had when I went to their houses.

    And here I am all these years later; I've done the residential and light commercial route, and now I have my first central plant gig. I've had to revise my dreams and expectations many times, but the main lesson learned is that you don't stop moving forward.

    Reading your post, that's what I see. Your dreams and expectations were genuine and heartfelt, but untempered by reality. Nobody should give you grief for this; it's just the process of coming of age. The trick is to not let one's disappointments and disillusions make one sour on life. Just adjust and move on. You'll be fine.

    Practically speaking, condenseddave may have a point. You might try flying solo in CT for a time before deciding to make the jump back to KS. Relocating is NOT easy...I'm still in the process of moving from one city to another that are only 50 miles apart. I've done the multi-state relocation where you have to make new friends, find a new job, establish new routines and the whole bit. Not a walk in the park.
    Lastly, you may find yourself looking at KS differently now than when younger. Where I grew up is nothing like it is now, and I wouldn't want to live there. It's not a bad area of town, it's just not like it was when I was a kid. Most everyone I knew there is gone.
    • Electricity makes refrigeration happen.
    • Refrigeration makes the HVAC psychrometric process happen.
    • HVAC pyschrometrics is what makes indoor human comfort happen...IF the ducts AND the building envelope cooperate.


    A building is NOT beautiful unless it is also comfortable.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    So. California
    Posts
    303
    Hey ct I graduated from uti April 1984. funny nothing change at that school. You had the party animals and then you had us.
    Stay in Conn. maybe try different field in hvac. I have done residential 5 years, commercial industrial 5 years, computer room a/c 5 years, 6 months of supermarkets, and know central power plant. It was always a challenge to go to something different, but it always worked out.
    You did get what you wanted from UTI or else you wouldn't be in th field anymore. You still have alot to live man. A lot of stuff to see and do. I think you are headed in the right direction by realizing you have to make changes.
    Only you have control of your future no else. Good luck


    [Edited by bigbaldito on 10-13-2005 at 01:37 PM]

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    1,666
    Originally posted by condenseddave, and suggested by others:
    Maybe just leave your sisters' and stay in conn at that job.

    I have thought about this before, but it's not going to do me any good to stay here.

    I could get my own place here in CT, but what's the use? Even if I do stay in good standing with my family members, they will want nothing to do with me. I had my own place at one time here before I moved in with my sister, but as time went on, I discovered that they were just living their life as if I weren't even here.

    I lived 3 miles from the older sister, and very seldom heard from her, but she would invite the other sister, who lived 20 miles away out to the kids' ball games, or other outings, and I never even heard about it unless they were talking about it at a later date. I once even heard of the 2 of them getting all of the kids together and taking them all out to the 4th of july fireworks and having a nice night out, and I never even heard about this until a year later. And I was living in my sister's house!

    If I can move back to KS and be back near the people that were once a part of my every day life, I would be doing something besides sitting at home.

    I have thought long and hard about staying here, moving somewhere else, or going back home, and decided that going home would be the best option.

    As you can see, this is something I have been thinking about for months:

    http://hvac-talk.com/vbb/showthread.php?threadid=67422

    http://hvac-talk.com/vbb/showthread.php?threadid=71344


    I have pretty much decided on going back to KS because I know what the culture is like there, and I'm sure if I go anywhere else, even if I do go somewhere that has at least SOME of the things that I miss about home, it just will not be the same.

    As you can see, I have thought about Vegas. have also thought about going back to Phoenix. (look and any of PaysonHVAC's posts on the wall of shame and then figure out what made me decide against going back there.)

    Have thought about Florida or somewhere down south, but hearing of all the hurricanes the past few years I decided against that. (even though the tornados in kansas can be just as destructive LOL)

    I have thought long and hard on this subject for well over a year, and pretty much decided home was the best option.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    1,666
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by shophound
    And I thought I was the only guy (goofball? ) as a kid that did this. Maybe not at six years old, more like ten or so. Our junior high school had chillers and boilers and I'd often peek in through the windows of the central plant, wondering how all that stuff worked. The cooling towers out back by the football field were way cool. Big, tall Marleys that sounded like a jet when running.
    Local apartment complexes had chillers and creaky old Baltimore Aircoil cooling towers that often squealed after a heavy rain got to neglected blower shaft bearings. Filled the entire neighborhood with that sound. I'd ride my bike to all those complexes and stop and listen to all that machinery hum, thinking it would be cool to work on that stuff.
    And yes, I also was curious what brand of equipment people had when I went to their houses.
    I remember when I was in 8th grade, school was shut down due to a big snow storm.

    A family friend of ours took me down to the church where his wife worked at, and I was SUPPOSED to be helping him shouvel the sidewalks and clear the passageways.

    Instead, he went out, and after a bit I started snooping around the whole church going in all of the rooms checking out all of the heating units and turning on the thermostats to see them turn on (along with flipping any other kind of switch or button I saw to see what they would do LOL)

    I even found the boiler room and went down there and checked it all out.

    The funny thing is, I was there a good part of the day, and I never got bored checking the place out, it was a pretty big church!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    37
    Just remember CT where ever you go their you are. You are right that your desiny is in your hands. What is ment to happen with what you choose is what is is ment to happen.
    Good luck with your choices and the road you choose.
    I enjoyed talking with you at the convention you seemed to be a great guy.
    Westside

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
    Posts
    11,376
    Originally posted by ct_hvac_tech


    I remember when I was in 8th grade, school was shut down due to a big snow storm.

    A family friend of ours took me down to the church where his wife worked at, and I was SUPPOSED to be helping him shouvel the sidewalks and clear the passageways.

    Instead, he went out, and after a bit I started snooping around the whole church going in all of the rooms checking out all of the heating units and turning on the thermostats to see them turn on (along with flipping any other kind of switch or button I saw to see what they would do LOL)

    I even found the boiler room and went down there and checked it all out.

    The funny thing is, I was there a good part of the day, and I never got bored checking the place out, it was a pretty big church!
    Aw hell, might as well throw a few more childhood stories out there, now that we seem to be swappin' 'em. You see, some folks I've met think it's kinda bizarre I've had an interest in this stuff since way back when. It only causes me to reflect upon an episode of an old TV show titled "Taxi". Judd Hirsch played Alex Reiger, a taxi driver, along with a younger cast of actors. That's what the all the other drivers wanted to be...actors. Reiger was content being a taxi driver. I'm content being an HVAC tech and that I've been interested in it since very young.

    Anyway, your church story reminded me of an old church my mother used to work a food co-op at. I'd go with her and help her pack some boxes and do a few other things, then she'd let me go exploring, which she well knew by then I'd find a way to do, and usually no harm came from it (usually ). So I'd prowl all over this church, which had loads of neat little nooks and crannies, being it was old. Out back it had a tall, wooden natural draft cooling tower. Showing my age, those wooden towers were fairly common when I was a kid. They had slats on the sides, water was introduced on top and cascaded over a series of baffles inside the tower. No fan, the evaporative process provided the draft. The tower was made of redwood.

    I even remember these towers being on some houses built in the 50's. The compressor was in the crawl space, it had a water cooled condenser. Problem was homeowners would neglect getting the towers serviced and any efficiency gained over comparable air cooled units of the time was lost due to negligence. Of course, they're not much better with air cooled condensers, either.

    One of those apartment complexes I mentioned earlier had a chiller driven by a six cylinder engine that burned natural gas. It had a governor that would speed or slow the engine for capacity control. On top of the mechanical outbuilding was a huge horizontally mounted muffler next to the cooling tower. As a kid, the first time I saw that hulking, long, black muffler it kind of creeped me out, like some freaky alien thing living on that roof. It belched out the sound of that engine, which would really growl when the chiller was under full load. I can only imagine what it was like living in an apartment next to that thing. Like having a fire truck's engine running outside your window all night long.

    One time I rode by on my bike and caught a tech working inside. He actually answered my questions, which I guess might have blown him away a little, coming from a skinny, gangly kid sitting astride his ten speed bike. In fact, I think it was right there I first learned about capacity control, being he told me how the engine throttle worked according to building load. It was, pardon the pun, cool stuff.

    As for your life plans, you know the score best. Your words do indicate you've given it a lot of thought. I can only wish the best for you. As westside said, you sound like a great guy who is trying to make some positive changes in his life. Nobody can fault you for that. Go for it.
    • Electricity makes refrigeration happen.
    • Refrigeration makes the HVAC psychrometric process happen.
    • HVAC pyschrometrics is what makes indoor human comfort happen...IF the ducts AND the building envelope cooperate.


    A building is NOT beautiful unless it is also comfortable.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    East Stroudsburg, PA
    Posts
    13,215

    Serious, out of character reply from me.

    CT, Have you considered seeing a therapist, priest, pastor, etc?

    Sounds like you might have that social anxiety thing that we're seeing on TV.

    Maybe not, I mean, I fix racks, not social lives, but if you're just sitting around doing nothing and feel like life is passing you by, something is wrong.

    Also, bear in mind that the people that "used to be" a part of your life there have probably changed their routines and even friends, habits, etc, and might not be who you knew a couple years ago.

    Sounds like you're making excuses, and using your sisters as scapegoats for your own self-esteem problems, man.

    If you HATED your job and the area, I'd say, Man, get the eff outta there yesterday, but I don't get that impression from your postings at all.

    You can live in the same state as your sisters and still thrive. Just return the treatment that they issue you......


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    East Stroudsburg, PA
    Posts
    13,215
    I'll go you one better, in fact, if you wanted to learn supermarkets, we're ALWAYS looking for good, trainable, responsible guys to learn and earn.

    Forget your sisters. I know it's difficult to be shunned by family members, but they're not considering for a second your situation.

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