What to Do

Part 1 of 2

I've been in the HVACR field for 4 years and have had a lot of bad luck with employers. Mostly being put in situations where the Journeyman bully you, by constantly critiquing your work, always making comments about everything from your appearance, to your tools, to your character, completely unfair judgments. The last company I worked for required I construct about 200 feet of PVC pipe for drains on several package units that were installed on a 40-foot roof for a well-known commercial client. The day they asked me to do this the forecast said it would be raining for 10 hours straight, and I estimated we received over 20 inches of rain that day, it was ridiculous. I did wait around for the rain to subside and I was able to take some pictures and get a shopping list prepared to go get my supplies, and then it would rain again pretty hard. No lightning, just heavy rain and about 10 mph winds. Going down the 36 foot extension ladder meant stepping on a ledge with aluminum flashing that was really slippery, and I felt like I was playing with my life, even with slip-resistant boots on. After getting the supplies and getting lunch I get a call from my supervisor basically accusing me of sitting on the clock, and wasting company time- a statement that I interpreted as I was being a thief. I ended up getting moved to another supervisor, and on one of the long drives I had to my first job I reached out to my boss's boss. Now, these guys aren't capable of freely expressing their thoughts, because they are limited by labor laws, but one of the impressions I received when speaking to him was that he viewed me as a b***h.

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  1. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Part 2 of 2

    Here I am, risking life and limb, for a company who views me as worthless. I ended up quitting, and I was considering leaving the field altogether, until I applied for a few weeks and got a couple job offers from two different companies. Hence, my question: 1. Company A is paying $29 an hour and they are focused on commercial HVACR. 2. Company B is paying $32 an hour, they also do commercial HVACR but they do chillers and rack refrigeration - which might be more than I can handle. Question for you anons is what factors do you take into consideration given the past experiences with other companies, and which company would you choose to work for? Both companies I had phone screenings with the recruiters and explained to them my past experiences, and what I am looking for in a company.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      I would take offer A that focuses on commercial work. At this point pick the job with the best working environment and opportunity to learn money making skills.

      As for abuse in the trades, it's very common. Finding a trade job where they do have some focus on worker safety and well being is rare. I was lucky in that I worked for a small company of older guys that just wanted someone reliable and polite and hard working. And then treated me great.

      In any case, the goal is ALWAYS to quit as soon as you feel pretty capable and start your own business. The escape from all the madness and abuse is starting your own. I make so much more now and have so much freedom.

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        I am seriously considering A, as they do appear to have more learning opportunities, with chiller and rack refrigeration experience, which is the pinnacle of HVACR as far as I know. Having had some experience in the past with rack refrigeration, I do know it is very demanding work, with the most amount of physical labor I have seen. That's also why it comes with very decent compensation.
        One thing I noticed is some companies will want the employee to come out of pocket for tools and materials that are needed for jobs, and then employee is asked to get a reimbursement. I've also run into the scenario where the supervisor asks techs to work outside the clock, essentially giving away labor to the company. Another issue I have seen is where the company asks employee to use the employee's personal phone to either download an app, or make phone calls or some other task involving work. These are things that I have seen across the board in various industries, and I feel are requests that are abusive. I am waiting to speak with both my supervisors to see if any of these things will be expected of the employee to help me further in my decision. Company A appears to want me to make a decision sooner rather than later, so I may end up with company B, simply because company A is operating under a faster timeline.

  2. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    how upset would it make you if i told you im one year in as residential service for a trane distributor and make more than than? and no, i'm not in a commie homosexual state, i'm midwest, fairly rural. my point here is...you're getting slammed doing b***h boy install shit for the same money as me fricking off all day.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      That's okay, I know what those guys at the Trane supply houses know, and it's not much. They do, however, possess excellent people skills, and have great soft skills that a lot of techs don't possess out working in the field. There's almost a "grug-like" mentality to them that is admirable, but sad as well. It's as if they aren't really capable of articulating words, and are left with just one-word or two-word sentences and observations; definitely not someone you want dealing with the public at large. Anyways, I commend you for your job, but one thing I notice with Trane is that they do take a long time to get back with you on job applications. I'll submit an application, a week passes by and they'll send me a message, and I reply, and now a whole other week is passing by and I have yet to hear back from them. They always end up calling me like 6-8 weeks after the submission of an application, and in this field that's just a snail's pace. I also can't hold off on paying bills for that long, so I imagine a lot of the guys that do wait for the call end up having someone to help finance them in the meantime. Anyways, How much do you make? If it's commission based I can see how you can make more than $32 an hour. One advantage I see with my route is I get more hands-on experience, making me a more well-rounded technician.

  3. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >I've been in the HVACR field for 4 years and have had a lot of bad luck with employers. Mostly being put in situations where the Journeyman bully you, by constantly critiquing your work, always making comments about everything from your appearance, to your tools, to your character, completely unfair judgments.
    >everyone else is the problem, not me!
    What if you are the problem but you just don't see it?

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >What if you are the problem but you just don't see it?
      Maybe I am, but there are things that there's no reason to be judging on an employee on. Tools that the employee provide on his own dime, as long as they get the job done, shouldn't be judged at all. Don't kid yourself, everyone knows the field is incredibly tough, unnecessarily so, at times. There's no reason to have to put an employee to work on a 40 foot roof when it's raining 20 inches. The field is full of sensitive men who like to use their position and punish their employees. Why would you be surprised when the employee jumps ship?

  4. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Keep in mind that for every task/job that you don't want to do, there is a person who would have no problem with doing it.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      That's fine Boss. Let them fall off a slippery aluminum flashing ledge to become a quadriplegic and collect money off the state - which isn't enough to have a decent living anyways. Let them catch pneumonia and end up getting hospitalized for days missing out on work.

      Guys, don't get me wrong, my attendance is near perfect, and Im punctual. I have all my tools. I address my superiors as "Sir" or "Boss." I try hard to be humble, and I understand to get along you must go along. I can roll with the punches, but after having 25 years of work experience, 4 of which have been in the HVACR trade, there are certain patterns you see and can interpret much more efficiently than a new guy who 's just looking to get his feet wet. I'm absolutely cognizant of the fact there are people out there willing to risk their lives for a paycheck. I've been around enough time, and have done enough research to understand, some risks aren't worth it.

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Wise move is light commercial. Easy and you can outfit yourself inexpensively. My HVACbro makes a mint servicing pajeet convenience stores whose owners refuse to replace dying equipment. That's normal and my bro loves those weekend emergency calls. Customer has to pay or their stock spoils. Bro's house and Harley collection are paid off long ago.

        He has two trucks, one as backiup and both bought cheap used. He wrenches so their cost is trivial. All his gear fits in one bed unless he needs to bring more scaffolding and ladders. He loves not having a boss and keeping all the profits. That kind of commercial work is often paid for in cash on the down low.

  5. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Enlist (not the Army or Marines) in a trades-related specialty like Civil Engineering then make much better compensation with an actual retirement and delicious benefit package. Fall off a civilian ladder and starve in crippledom. Fall off Uncle's ladder and get disability retirement so you don't have to work beside yer mum to get something warm in your stomach.

    If your current job doesn't have full medical benefits, disability retirement and early vesting in a reliable retirement it is drastically inferior to jobs which do. Other government gigs like LEO and Merchant Marine cap be quite nice. Remember the purpose of work is money and your working life short. You're wearing your body in return for compensation so measure jobs buy net profit/net benefits. You will be old very soon but being poor is a choice.

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