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  1. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuildingMech88 View Post
    Thank you sir, I remember you making a thread with a similar subject. Did you end up moving on to controls?
    Not yet. My old adage from flying is:

    "Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance."

    I did have an interview this past Wednesday at a major controls company. Let me tell you about it.

    Before this meeting, I discussed what numbers it would take for me to make the change, and what I would expect after a year. Remember, their mechanical side make over 100k, being UA. He did not balk at what I mentioned.

    The day before the interview, it turns out that the two controls guys (the top guy called the Guru, no kidding, and his 'number one" if you watch Trek) would not actually be there for the meeting, but we would have them pepper me with their own questions. Not industry standardized aptitude questions, mind you, but their own personal inquiries, in the topic of controls. I would have preferred a written test followed by a discussion of the answers, because that is what i would do as an instructor in my college classroom and at the flight school.

    The service manger had a big safety meeting during the time my meeting was scheduled, so it was me, his assistant, and a speakerphone.

    After the safety meeting, the assistant and I went to another office, and the service manager joined us. He wanted me to "think about" the technician levels he discussed, and wanted a number form me, after I "had thought about it."

    Twice in the conversation, he said "I don't want to insult you" as he was discussing the levels.

    He never mentioned any dollar amount attached to the levels, other than a check one receives once they complete a particular course. I guess that's nice, but I don't take courses for a check, I take them because it makes me more skillful.

    Mind you, we had already discussed where I was coming from monetarily before the meeting, during my initial call with him.

    Has he talked with those two guys by now? I suppose, but it did not result in a call or an email from him or them.

    So, with that in mind, I am going to query a few controls manufacturers who sell the devices and license the software, to get their input. If I feel I am ready to make a contribution nine or ten months from now, that will be when I pull the trigger.

    It seemed like an odd experience, and I was not left with the idea that they intended to call me.

    So...does any of that seem like a normal controls interview experience?

    Advice?

    Insight?

    Training I should take?

    Thanks.
    [Avatar photo from a Florida training accident. Everyone walked away.]
    2 Tim 3:16-17

    RSES CMS, HVAC Electrical Specialist
    Member, IAEI

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  2. #15
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    Am I correct that your interview was with JCI?

    If so, I believe you had a standard big ass corporate bureaucracy interview and it does not surprise me.

    Quote Originally Posted by timebuilder View Post
    Not yet. My old adage from flying is:

    "Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance."

    I did have an interview this past Wednesday at a major controls company. Let me tell you about it.

    Before this meeting, I discussed what numbers it would take for me to make the change, and what I would expect after a year. Remember, their mechanical side make over 100k, being UA. He did not balk at what I mentioned.

    The day before the interview, it turns out that the two controls guys (the top guy called the Guru, no kidding, and his 'number one" if you watch Trek) would not actually be there for the meeting, but we would have them pepper me with their own questions. Not industry standardized aptitude questions, mind you, but their own personal inquiries, in the topic of controls. I would have preferred a written test followed by a discussion of the answers, because that is what i would do as an instructor in my college classroom and at the flight school.

    The service manger had a big safety meeting during the time my meeting was scheduled, so it was me, his assistant, and a speakerphone.

    After the safety meeting, the assistant and I went to another office, and the service manager joined us. He wanted me to "think about" the technician levels he discussed, and wanted a number form me, after I "had thought about it."

    Twice in the conversation, he said "I don't want to insult you" as he was discussing the levels.

    He never mentioned any dollar amount attached to the levels, other than a check one receives once they complete a particular course. I guess that's nice, but I don't take courses for a check, I take them because it makes me more skillful.

    Mind you, we had already discussed where I was coming from monetarily before the meeting, during my initial call with him.

    Has he talked with those two guys by now? I suppose, but it did not result in a call or an email from him or them.

    So, with that in mind, I am going to query a few controls manufacturers who sell the devices and license the software, to get their input. If I feel I am ready to make a contribution nine or ten months from now, that will be when I pull the trigger.

    It seemed like an odd experience, and I was not left with the idea that they intended to call me.

    So...does any of that seem like a normal controls interview experience?

    Advice?

    Insight?

    Training I should take?

    Thanks.
    Sent from my SM-G965W using Tapatalk

  3. #16
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    I was only 50% surprised.
    [Avatar photo from a Florida training accident. Everyone walked away.]
    2 Tim 3:16-17

    RSES CMS, HVAC Electrical Specialist
    Member, IAEI

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  4. #17
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    I've been in controls service for over 10 years, and I would add you have to be able to interpolate a lot of times what people are trying to convey to you. Also, don't talk down to them for obvious reasons. There will be times you will have to get out the Crayons and construction paper to explain what is going on. If this frustrates you, then prepare yourself to pull out your hair.
    "It's not that I'm smart, it's that I stay with the problem longer”
    Albert Einstein

  5. #18
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    Thread Starter
    Thank you all who have contributed to this thread. I am very grateful.
    My lunch/interview was on Thursday and since then I had not stopped thinking. From making this post, to talking to friends in similar fields/trades.
    They all said very similar things, "if you are ready for a challenge and a rewarding career, make the jump!!!"

    Last night I made the decision to go ahead and jump! I am beyond excited. This is the opportunity of a life time for me and I do the best I can and then some more!!!

    What I have been offered as starting pay is more than what I expected. Almost $20k more!! this is just unreal to me.

    Now the hard part, to put in my 2 weeks notice with my current employer. I learned so much in almost 3 years working here, not to mention the friendships I made which I hope to maintain.

    Thanks again to everyone for their input, I hope to comeback soon to describe my first few days on the new job!!!

  6. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuildingMech88 View Post
    Thank you all who have contributed to this thread. I am very grateful.
    My lunch/interview was on Thursday and since then I had not stopped thinking. From making this post, to talking to friends in similar fields/trades.
    They all said very similar things, "if you are ready for a challenge and a rewarding career, make the jump!!!"

    Last night I made the decision to go ahead and jump! I am beyond excited. This is the opportunity of a life time for me and I do the best I can and then some more!!!

    What I have been offered as starting pay is more than what I expected. Almost $20k more!! this is just unreal to me.

    Now the hard part, to put in my 2 weeks notice with my current employer. I learned so much in almost 3 years working here, not to mention the friendships I made which I hope to maintain.

    Thanks again to everyone for their input, I hope to comeback soon to describe my first few days on the new job!!!
    Congratulation and good luck! This trade has kept me well paid and gainfully employed for over 26 years.
    Controls, the cause of... and solution to... all your HVAC problems.

  7. #20
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    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by control$ View Post
    Congratulation and good luck! This trade has kept me well paid and gainfully employed for over 26 years.
    My goodness, comments like this are the ones that motivate me. Thank you Sir!

  8. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by BALloyd View Post
    Am I correct that your interview was with JCI?

    If so, I believe you had a standard big ass corporate bureaucracy interview and it does not surprise me.
    Nailed it! Hehe
    Hmmmm....smells like numbatwo to me.

  9. Likes BALloyd liked this post.
  10. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by timebuilder View Post
    The day before the interview, it turns out that the two controls guys (the top guy called the Guru, no kidding, and his 'number one" if you watch Trek) would not actually be there for the meeting, but we would have them pepper me with their own questions. Not industry standardized aptitude questions, mind you, but their own personal inquiries, in the topic of controls.

    The service manger had a big safety meeting during the time my meeting was scheduled, so it was me, his assistant, and a speakerphone.

    ...the service manager joined us. He wanted me to "think about" the technician levels he discussed, and wanted a number form me, after I "had thought about it."

    He never mentioned any dollar amount attached to the levels, other than a check one receives once they complete a particular course.

    Mind you, we had already discussed where I was coming from monetarily before the meeting, during my initial call with him.

    It seemed like an odd experience, and I was not left with the idea that they intended to call me.

    So...does any of that seem like a normal controls interview experience?

    Advice?

    Insight?

    Training I should take?

    Thanks.
    I parsed your quote above down to the more relevant peices. The JCI philosophy is that the boots on the ground are fundamentally incompetent and not to be trusted. This unspoken maxim permeates every level of their organization. The boots on the ground includes everyone at the branch - anyone outside Milwaukee, with the possible exception of the regional people.
    So the unbelievable 'why did you schedule a job interview, and then get busy with things you knew were schduled to happen?' Like a safety meeting. (All branches have one every month). This is an example of said incompetence. It is managed by Milwaukee.
    Not to be underestimated is the strategy of making you squirm while he asserts his dominance in giving you a veiled ultimatum 'why don't you think about a number while I go do this thing I scheduled to do during your interview... even though you already gave me one over the phone before you arrived. Before I reconsider the offer I have not offered.'
    The wage levels is a JCI thing. They go to EXTREME measures to be sure nobody knows what anyone else makes. Like the Matrix it ensures another layer of control. Then Corporate holds all the cards in negotiation. Only they know what the going rates are, who makes what, cash flow, and margins. That and a healthy handful of intimidation and bluster and you cave. All you have is a desire to feed your family... poor fool! Hehe.
    This is standard JCI - and why I badmouth the organization (not always the technicians) whenever I get the opportunity. I have experienced the same thing as you have with them.
    This may seem counterintuitive in view of the preceding, but I would follow up and see if you can go to the next step. The goal is to get a career in controls, and it is likely that these guys can make that happen. They are coerced by the corporate pay and bonus structure to make their numbers and putting you under the screws to do that is perfectly valid for them. They are being coerced by Milwaukee as much as you were by them.
    There was nothing they said that excluded your requested wage. In fairness, they have likely been drinking the blue koolaid so long they did not realize that wage scale 103a does not mean anything to you - while it is likely perfectly clear shorthand for 42k to 51.5k per year (or whatever) for them.
    When I worked for them, one reason I did all 3 levels of their training in only 20 months was that I needed the payouts to cover expenses. It is an investment on all sides - they take a chance on you, and you invest in your future through them. Remember, it is a step to something better.
    Having interviewed with several controls companies I would say no, not a usual interview experience - unless you are interviewing with JCI. Then it sounds spot on.
    Again, follow up and see if you can get in.
    Hmmmm....smells like numbatwo to me.

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  12. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by timebuilder View Post
    Twice in the conversation, he said "I don't want to insult you" as he was discussing the levels.
    TB, you may want to post back in the other thread your experience. The audience that was helping you is subscribed to that thread, not this one.
    In case it helps....
    Hmmmm....smells like numbatwo to me.

  13. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuildingMech88 View Post
    Thank you all who have contributed to this thread. I am very grateful.
    Last night I made the decision to go ahead and jump! I am beyond excited.
    What I have been offered as starting pay is more than what I expected. Almost $20k more!! this is just unreal to me.
    Thanks again to everyone for their input, I hope to comeback soon to describe my first few days on the new job!!!
    I hope it goes well. Glad it worked out for you!
    Hmmmm....smells like numbatwo to me.

  14. #25
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    I'm going to wait another week and then send an email where I will reiterate my monetary interests.


    Do I have these points right?

    1) the individual check values he mentioned represent a bonus for passing the courses?

    2) the courses are given on the clock or off the clock?
    He mentioned being sent out of town for some class work, and that sounds a lot different from online stuff I would do at home after work

    3) only an employee can take the courses?
    [Avatar photo from a Florida training accident. Everyone walked away.]
    2 Tim 3:16-17

    RSES CMS, HVAC Electrical Specialist
    Member, IAEI

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