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  1. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Tooldoc-I don't understand how I'm being"pushy".It wasn't my intention to come across that way.I've always tried to avoid being a"pushy broad",as some guys call it.So,what is the deal with a"parts house"?Are you talking about a sales job?Well,maybe that's not a bad idea for me.I was thinking about the things I learned in school,all the accessories that one can find on various pieces of equipment.I have a rather HUGE textbook(it must weigh at least 10 pounds)that I used all through school.It would be very helpful for a parts job because it explains how things work and shows a lot of photos and cut-aways of parts.I never thought of myself as a sales person(if I WERE truly"pushy"it would help!)so if the selling just involved people coming in to the place and asking for specific parts they needed then I could probably do THAT.Plus I DO have computer skills that would help in that kind of job.It's certainly something to consider,in lieu of being a service tech,and I could get the proverbial"foot in the door"that way.

  2. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Originally posted by hvacmama
    so if the selling just involved people coming in to the place and asking for specific parts they needed then I could probably do THAT.Plus I DO have computer skills that would help in that kind of job.It's certainly something to consider,in lieu of being a service tech,and I could get the proverbial"foot in the door"that way.
    that's the stuff.

  3. #16

    I am not sure what you had hoped to accomplish by your OP. Most of us over 50 are Grand Parents. I however am not either because I didn't marry young. The only physical limitation that I discovered by starting out already old is that knees were not made to be walked on and a good set of knee pads are a must. I normally avoid "speaking for everyone else", but I am going out on a limb here and say not of us have any idea as to why you were not hired by the few companies you interviewed with.

    You say you are over weight. Some extra weight would not be a problem to me, but I think I would draw the line at about 250 lbs. A tech above that could be a problem with breaking pull down stairs and requiring extra high grade ladders and equipment. Not to mention the additional fuel usage of a service van. If I saw a person to be large in size, my first impression would be that there would be too many equipment areas that they could get to. You said you could lose the weight. This makes one wonder why you are still carrying it. My suggestion: lose it! This will have great health advantages. Fat people are type casted as lazy. Though they are not always true first impression are really lasting.

    You have a degree or diploma in HVAC(R). This took a few years and a few thousands of dollars. Again I will go out on a limb and guess that over 90% of your class mates were working in the industry while attending class. You should have also been getting some sort of exposure at that time. You would have gain a better technical understand and would have had a feel for what your chances would be. I remember a Dateline scam a few years ago where a lady spent thousands via mail to take a airline stewardess course and then found no one would hire her because she was too big to fit through the aisle.

    As far as sex, you will be the only one to make that an issue. I have never heard of any one putting their sex or photo on a resume. If your first name is not: Shannon, Pat, Robin, Sam (Samantha), Terry or Tracy, etc., then just use your initials on your resume. This is not for deception, but to state that it is not an issue for you.

    Finally, you say you need help with heavy objects. If you can't carry as much as another person, don't expect the same pay.

    Good Luck,
    Sam (as in Sam's son)

  4. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Thanks for the input,Nevada.One thing I want to comment on is your hypothesis about my classmates being,as they say, already"in the business"during school.A few were at the beginning,and others quickly followed.By our second term almost everyone was working in HVAC.Most of my class,as you might guess,was male.There were 3 females-one who was a single mother,another was single and 28(and was working in construction,part-time,with a relative),and,of course, me.The guys were already familiar with the electrical and plumbing aspects of HVAC(as most men generally seem to have a natural,inborn interest in such things).I felt that my female classmates and I started out at a disadvantage because,culturally,women are not EXPECTED to know about things like electricity and plumbing("guy stuff").But we persevered,and all three women graduated.One thing that I DO want to say here is that I believe that a man can get away with pretending to know what he's doing,just because he IS a"man in a man's world",but a woman has to prove herself ALL THE TIME,over and over,year after year,just to be TOLERATED by most men.As a woman,I have two choices:Let the unenlightened cavemen of the world knock me down and make me give up,or stand up confidently and fight through the bull****.If I get labeled a"*****",well,that's just typical chauvenist nonsense.A woman can't be strong and self-confident without being labeled a *****,at least by the cavemen.I don't care about labels.I only care about succeeding in my chosen field.I was in the Army years ago and I can handle challenges.The Army made me strong and taught me the value of"being a team player".I also learned to deal with the cavemen-in-uniform,so I feel certain that I can handle the cavemen-in-HVAC uniforms.

  5. #18
    Hello Mama. Ya might want to watch that movie, Enemy of The State. In there, it was said that if you are fighting an opponent who is larger than you, your strength becomes your ability to change quicker than he can.
    And so on and so forth. You use their strengths to your own advantage.

    Some guys would hire you just to see if you have the right stuff to do this job.
    Some would hire you just for "the sport" of it. Not that dont make it right ... but we dont live in a right world ... now do we?

    First and foremeost you need exposure and then develope your skills as you progress.

    Ask questions, take great notes. Come here each night and post questions, no matter how they may sound to anyone.

    Give us a name to call you. Calling you "Mama" isnt exactly the best ... if ya know what I mean.

    Many of the men here will do their best to make you feel accepted and at home. But they have to get past the uniqueness of who you are ... first.
    There simply are NOT many women in this industry. And not many at all in the trade side of it.
    If you perservere, you will find that most guys will bend over backwards to enable you to get your job done.
    Only those with a "Napolean Complex" will resist you and fight you.
    I'm sure you know EXACTLEY what I am talking about!

    Since you already have the attitude that you must prove yourself ... over and over ... half the battle is already won! In YOUR favor!!!

    A woman named Kroeger came here once asking for advice on her boy friend.
    In time, we adopted her. She posted her picture here and received many proposals!
    There are a couple of women here. You just dont know it until you get aquainted with who is who around here.

    Here are some useful threads which should assist you.

    what does an entry level tech need to know?

    Design a tech thread

    top ten things to know

    major affects to your acrreer

    tool bags, what do y'all carry in them?

    becoming a master tech

    transition from res tech to refrigeration

    Useful tech support numbers

    your hardest thing to grasp in the trade?

    tech incentives program, by NormChris

    a wet wet chiller

    non-condensibles & micron removal

    proper vacuum technique

    tricks for changing oil in "pot" compressors

    determining moisture inside a system

    Micron Gage Wars

    leak detectors

    how to tell when it's time to change the oil

    Fractionization of "Blends"

    why compressors fail

    organise your parts

    inventory on a vehicle

    voltage imbalance, 3 phase power

    A way to test Capacitors

    open compressor

    Iceing up due to overcharge?

    NormChris/ superheat and subcooling made simple

    POE oil and acid

    pee traps

    Hope this helps.

  6. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Yo.... Here!, I'm right here..
    I won't pull any punches here.

    At 50 You are a bad investment. Now if you had 10 or 20 yr's experience, different story. So don't give me the Age discrimination crap I've hired several 60+ yr old guys but they were already mechanics, not very good ones in my estimation because they didn't continually educate themselves, but they could do the work. So now we higher young and train them, and take good care of them in hope they will be able to offset the cost of training them.

    An Apprentice w/ a 5 yr apprenticeship ahead of them COST the company somewhere between 50 and 75 G's to train that means they have to work for the company for a period of time, hopefully 30+ years but usually end up less than 10 yr.

    The company would like them to PRODUCE enough revenue to offset that cost.

    At 50 starting out, where is the payback for the company. You capabilites are on the decline at that point, hence a bad investment. This is the way it is in any industry, not just the trades, General Motors probably doesn't hire 50 yr olds to train them.

    You should probably look for a company that has to meet a minimum minority quota number for gov subsidized contracts.

    I told you I wouldn't pull any punches, and please spare me the Age discrimination crap I'm 55 and at 50 I could out work most of the techs I came across, but that is because I had 32 years experience and enough training to make most mechanics look like they were standing still.

    But I'm starting to slow down now physically big time.

    Gave it to you straight up hope this helps and I hope you're not fateddy

  7. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    R12, have you got this whole site indexed. That is about the third time I saw you post something like that. I think it is great. I wish such an index was availible for all possible subjects.

  8. #21
    Join Date
    May 2004

  9. #22
    Originally posted by John Walker
    R12, have you got this whole site indexed. That is about the third time I saw you post something like that. I think it is great. I wish such an index was availible for all possible subjects.

    I have my list of past threads and perhaps others have their own lists.
    I hope so.

    What would be truly neat is if we had a forum to sugest threads for preservation. So they would not be trashed.

  10. #23
    Join Date
    May 2004

  11. #24
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Lusker,thanks for the "best of luck"comment.R12rules,I have read your posts in other threads and was hoping that you would find mine!!You are not only a true gentleman but I think your posts are very valuable.You make a good point about my name-"hvacmama"doesn't really sound right.So for future reference my REAL name is Dolores.Thank you for the advice and the words of encouragement,and especially for the list of threads!!I shall check out each and every one of them.Men like you are the reason that I keep coming back to this board,in spite of the few who have used my post to level insults at me or to suggest that this post is some kind of a joke.I hope that you will continue to add your insights and perspective to this thread.Now,I must go to the list and do my research!!

  12. #25
    Dolores ... nice name.

    Some guys shared a lot of very valuable, pertinant knowledge with you here. And it is true you have several things working against you.

    Myself for example, I am over fifty. On one hand I go into a shop to apply for work and an apprentice comes over to me and gets all excited that I might join his team! He thinks I will be a Mentor for him on ocassion. He views me as a Big Brother type who will be there for him whenever he gets into a tight spot.
    His employer on the OTHER hand ... views me as somebody who may be set in his ways.
    Somene who may come and stay a year, maybe less and make a list of all his accounts ... and STEAL THEM AWAY!

    It's tough when you sit across from a younger person during the interview and this guy never made what your asking for in wages!

    You get "profiled" by most who interview you. They see you as a liabilty rather than an assett.

    I would like to make a number of assumptions right here and now about who I read you to be Dolores.
    Please check off which one's I hit the nail on the head ... Ok?

    First assumption about you:
    YOU would show up for work either on time or early. And you would chat with the staff prior to having to be there.

    You have a clean driving record.

    You have a great work ethic.

    You treat others as you wish to be treated yourself.

    You respect and value other people's property.

    You respect and value other people's tools/ equipment.

    You value relationships with others.

    You would share knowledge and information freely with co-workers.

    You are "teachable".

    You are willing to start as an apprentice or helper.

    You posess organizational skills.

    You print well. You spell well. You can fill out paperwork properly.

    You can keep written records, SAFE. Organized. Clean.

    You wont be talking down to or belittling your co-workers.

    Your desire is to give back what others have given to you in the way of knowledge and help.

    You know in advance, where your sleeping each night. And you wake up each morning and are available/ ready to go to work.

    I could add some stuff to the list ... but it would be considered sexist.

    So what? Here goes ...

    Your not gonna go out and get someone pregnant and have to leave the company and hide out in some other state!

    Your employer doenst have to worry about the DA's office filing a claim against your paycheck for Child Support or Alimony withholdings ....

    Your not on the lamb.

    You will dress appropriately for the job.

    All in all Dolores, you do have a lot to offer an employer.
    A lot of office workers who show an A/C service tech to where the equipment or thermostat is located ... would feel more comfortable with a woman than some of the men who show up for the service calls.

    Some guys dress like PIRATES and dont think anything is wrong.

    Once I was working an RTU, late one evening, and this office girl steps out of the building ... doesnt know us from Adam ... and there's three of us out there.
    I felt kind of sorry for her since she was all alone and there were three strange men out there.
    And nobody else around.
    If there had been a woman on the crew ... I am sure that would have set this person more at ease.
    Or .. if it is a woman who is in the building working and she walks by ... she isnt going tobe wondering what's goin thru YOUR mind... and with guys ...women are always on guard.
    Unless they are Black Belts or subscribe to DiceMan's 9mm thread.

    Oh ... Dolores ... you probably havent been properly introduced to Popa Dice yet.
    He is the official greeter here.
    One of the Rites of Passage on this forum community is to contribute a post to his famous thread entitled: "9mm". It is over in the Genereal section.

    Oh... only one thing ... first ... you must READ the previous posts BEFORE you make your contribution.

    (jus kidding)

    And when you ever do meet Dice ... if he asks you anything about a goat ... just ignore it.

  13. #26
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Well well,R12rules-YOU REALLY PEGGED ME!!Although I DO want to make a few comments.First,about that"clean driving record"...yes,except for a speeding ticket and a(bogus)ticket for running a stop sign(because I failed to reach a "dead stop").As for your guess that I would show up to work either on time or early and,if early,would"chat with staff",my best friend can vouch for my sort of"friendly puppy dog"personality.I'm an Irish girl-what can I say? It's in my nature!And,yes,I'm"not on the lamb",although I HAVE been on both a camel and an elephant,at the annual Colorado Renaissance Festival in Larkspur.The elephant was fairly easy to ride,but the camel's hump was a bit more of a challenge(not to slide down his long neck,as I had to sit in front of the hump).>>I checked out some of those threads that you listed(too many to cover all at once)and I took notes.Especially on the threads that talked about evacuating and charging systems.I did get basic training on that in school but not to the extent that YOU describe in your posts!Let me be(perhaps brutally,to myself)honest here and admit that my trade school was only 9 months long so I REALLY learned JUST THE MINIMUM of knowledge about this field.However,I can say that I DO understand HVAC theory(i.e.the refrigeration cycle,refrigerant blends and how they perform[Azeotropes and Zeotropes],the kinds of oils and what refrigerants they are compatible with,how to measure superheat and subcooling,how to check pressures, and how to recover/evacuate/charge a system).We actually DID spend a LOT of time practicing on taking readings and recovering/evacuating/charging equipment.We also practiced doing wiring on both cooling and heating units.I had some difficulty in understanding how circuits operate until I found a little 80-page paperback book at Barnes&Noble called "Quick & Basic Electricity" by Carol Fey.She is a "degreed technical trainer who has worked in the controls industry for the last 20 years".Her teaching method involves a theory she calls "P.I.G.Electricity". The PIG stands for Practical Is Good.It also refers to a teaching tool she uses-a battery powered stuffed toy pig- to teach basic electrical principles.The book REALLY DID help me to understand how circuits work,better than my Basic Electricity class did(although I got an "A" in the class).The title of the book actually includes the words A Contractor's Easy Guide to HVAC Circuits,Controls,and Wiring Diagrams.The book is listed as being published under P.I.G.Press,Littleton,CO(copyright 2000).Maybe this book could help a few people here,too.As for DiceMan's 9mm thread,I simply MUST check it out!!Sounds interesting!!

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