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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    evansville, IN
    Posts
    2

    tired of hvac, need help

    hi, first post on site, although have been reading forums for a long time. Anyhow, got some questions for old timers/pros out there. I guess i am in a slump, but have been getting really tired of my profession. I work long hours(80 wk not uncommon, even 50-60 winter), do way too much comm. kitchen work which I hate, nasty on calls because of restaurants, etc-gotta have now. I make a good living, but this causes problems with my day to day life, just married, no kids but planning on it soon. Well i have been talking with employers that arent in the hvac business and am thinking of walking away from it, will have to deal w/ pay cut for now, but financially okay. The only thing i like doing anymore is bigger work and refrigeration, and cant find any avenues into doing just that. Just wanting some advice on things to think about, do you guys go thru "slumps", and is there anything i can do to do what i like and stay in the biz. I am good at what i do, and that is something i would miss, but i gotta have a life, sometimes i think it is the company, but have worked for 2, but seems i cant get foot in door to a company that does just large scale work which is where i wanna be

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    131
    Hmm...have you tried another company that maybe your just working your 40 hours with some on call once a month or so or heck maybe you can start your own company that way u can pick and choose jobs and set your own schedule. Even if you switch fields you could still do side jobs for a little extra money. I found at my old job i was working 6 days a week on average and you just burn out. Im thinking its the long hours that are killing you. Anyways thats my 2 cents Good luck with whatever choice you make!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    where the beer flows like wine
    Posts
    2,871
    why dont you try switching to maintenance in a hospital, college, school etc.
    very little overtime, pay is comparable and the work no as hard.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    in my garage in maryland
    Posts
    32
    How is your service dept. structured? It is weird how things go. I servrd two tours (hired,worked for 8 yrs,resigned for a job out of town,rehired 3yrs. later) with a local company. The first tour was great. There were six good techs that took care of the overtime calls. You were on call once every six weeks. The boss was wisely involved, had high expectations of us all, and paid us well. The overtime was limited and even when you did where the pager, it wasnt terrible because the whole company clicked. Installers were doing great work, service techs were accurate and the trucks were well stocked so when you were faced with trouble it was easily handled. I enjoyed this job very much as a matter of fact, had this company remained this way I would still be working for them today, rather than have started my own gig.
    Fast forward to tour 2. Completely different. About 30 miles west of us there is a resort lake that was just starting to boom when I resigned. The boss saw an opportunity and jumped on it. The new construction business was rich with high end custom vacation homes. He moved most of his focus to the lake. He bought a home there, built a shop, and robbed his original location blind. He pulled 3 of the techs, 2 of the install crews, and almost all of his focus. By the time I got back there was only 1 tech and 1 install crew from the "good ole days". We had 1 new tech and 2 install crews that did not see there boss much and probably did not feel like he expected to much of them anyway. So we were down to 3 techs taking care of the same workload. We were overworked and on call almost twice as much. And without the company standards and high expectations that the boss used to very clear about his employees meeting, it sucked. When you were on call the phone didnt stop. Many times you had to go out on something that was just installed or serviced. Heck it got so bad that I had to try and sift through all of the calls myself trying to keep certain people away from certain things cuz you knew it would be a callback. The place went to mud fast. I didnt last a year. The company is now down to a total of three peple in the original location, which has been open for about sixty years now. The lake business is slow now because of the economy and I often wonder if the owner regrets pissin all that away.
    Any way back to the subject, it is weird how much a change, inside or outside of the company you are in can affect your outlook on work. Maybe, your boss could hire another well trained tech, allowing you to cut back to 40/wk. It would be cheaper than paying you all that OT. And ask to be involved with hiring, do all you can to get the company to "click". Because when it does start to click, there is no better place to work.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Canada NB
    Posts
    32
    G i wish i was good like you motojo,,I am just starting in refrigeration but did some a long time ago,,,,Hey Motojo since you like motorcycles,,I have a 2007 harley davidson with only 11500 km not miles I want 11,500.00 canadian for it,,It is mint condition,,,,,Hey Motojo i think you find you work too many hours,,In your situation i would start to work for your own business,,this way you can control your hours and make more money,,what do you think,,,?????

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Orange County, in a Galaxy far far away...
    Posts
    277
    I was in a slump about 3 months ago, really hated my two digit paychecks and screaming matches with the spouse.
    I'm still with the same company, a few people have come and gone. I now get more of the "crap" (read difficult) calls which no one else wants (read lazy, HVAC manager who cherry picks easy calls).

    What this has done for me is refocus my attention on the fact I love solving practical problems, I signed up for $1700 worth of FREE training from SCE and I'm studying for my NATE heat pump, air distribution and gas furnace specialties.
    Sadly I now read schematics and install manuals at night and have my study guides in the van with me at all times to snatch 5 -10 mins of reading whenever I can. I feel like I'm finally breaking into a stride with my learning and its a great attitude to have. My boss even commented how impressed he was with a couple of my diagnostics and customer satisfaction record.

    I guess I'm still not happy with the crap pay but I know for a fact I'm slowly becoming the best technician I can be, never mind at my company.
    My plan is to get several NATE specialties, keep applying to commercial companies and somehow someway get more troubleshooting experience.

    I won't lie, I very nearly quit the trade and wanted to get into something else, its been slow, difficult and long, long hours with sweat drenched clothes and cuts bumps n bruises but its something everyone on here has been through at some point.

    Best of luck to the OP and keep pushing yourself
    You cannot cheat an honest man. But that doesn't stop people trying!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    evansville, IN
    Posts
    2
    thanks for all the replies, hvacpope i have put in at a school corp. this weekend that is hiring and also a couple maintenance positions and think that could be a very good go for me. motojo, I hear exactly where you are coming from, alot of what happened to you is going on here, alot of our techs don't get along-try to look smarter than the last guy, some even bad mouth each other in front of customers, its really mind blowing that some are like that and it really brings down the morale because i know i am not the only tech here looking else where. this is also my 2nd tour at this company and like you it is not the same, i know alot of guys out there arent getting much hours because of economy, but when you spend 70 hrs a week half of which are senior tech call backs and i am supposed to clean up, it gets soooo old. Im fairly young, and know alot more than most my age, and around here there is not alot of younger guys in the trade, so i know i can do better and try and move further in my career. and getting in another field and doing a little side work can pay good, got alot of liquor store owners wanting my sidework so i know that is there

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    austin
    Posts
    264
    You work too much. I'd hate anything if i did it 80 hours a freakin week!
    when life throws me a banjo, i play it

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    131
    Quote Originally Posted by michigan1 View Post
    You work too much. I'd hate anything if i did it 80 hours a freakin week!
    Thats my thought on the matter too...cool to see youve applied to other jobs but you should sit down with your boss and say look i just cant work these hours any more, sound like your a loyal tech and good at your job so he shouldnt have any issue with it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio
    Posts
    136
    Apply at your local union. They would like a young guy with your skills. probably bring you in as a journyman or a least third year apprentise. The union contractors seem to get the cleaner work on larger tonnage equipment. I love my job it is the kind of stuff I would do on a week end.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    140
    Your are describing what I call an ill-managed company. Any company that has the audacity to work a tech more than 50 hours a week clearly isn't educated enough to manage the company and it should be your calling card to start looking elsewhere. Let's face it, most of these companies are so behind the times when it comes to management and usage of technology that they have no clue what is most important to pay attention too, and that being with any company, the health and well being of it employees. Basically its infrastructure. And when you and others get tired of the ****, what are you gonna do? Leave right? That's what you're considering now right? Well some more idiots fill in the gaps of the people that leave and walla! No you have more call backs than ever and the company name begins to decline. Soon your company is downsizing to compensate for the poor management and blames the economy for it when all the while its because of stupid stuff like them overworking their techs and not having good management practice. My honest opinion is that if I expect a tech to get out of bed in the middle of the night then I am gonna pay him for it first and second give him the time off he needs to loosen back up. To me working a man more than 50 hours a week is more counterproductive than profitable and should be avoided at all costs unless he/she specifically requests it, very much like myself when I was not married and had nothing else, just trying to get ahead.
    But the best advice to offer you is that you need to confront management and tell them how you feel, and don't sugar coat it. Let it be as it may, I can tell you from experience that you will pay for harboring any b.s. above and beyond that nasty coffee you got this morning and was too far away to turn around and get another one. They need to understand your frustration. A good manager will relocate you to another site, job, responsibility, etc. A poor manager will tell you to go down the road or that he/she doesn't have anything for you, all because it would require actually managing something other than their fantasy football league. If all else fails then its advisable to compile a worthy resume and leave when you want. I operate my own company now and have been where you're at but I will always take an employees stance on any matter because you are the company. An owner/manager is nothing without an employee but an employee is and will always be an employee. 9 times out of 10 its not the trade but the company you're working for that is burning you out.
    The only decision in life is to decide what to do with the time given to you

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    478
    i hear ya, i'm pretty disillusioned about the trade too!

    starting to get sick of looking for a job that isn't an unorganized mom & pop shop or a company thats more interested in your sales quota than your ability as a mechanic. most of that is residential work thought. i'd rather work in commercial but every company out there wants 10+ years of experience and i don't have that.
    You have to pay your due's before you pay the rent!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Lady Lake, Florida
    Posts
    799
    Yeah, You should be able to find somewhere else to work if you can't work something out with your current employer. I think a lot of us get burned out either temporarily or permanently. I believe it's one of the changing nature of the trade. I've been in the trade since 1976 and after being layed off nearly a year gave me time to really reflect on my career and what I'll do next.

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