MemberDecember 4, 2020 at 2:12 pm
Been hanging around here for a little over a year now and made some connections and gotten good advice. Many of you my know I work for a small school system in Tennessee as the only part time food service tech. I do some side jobs now and again but the area I live in is very rural. As such most of tje equipment I serviceis very old and not subject ro much change.
I have considered employment with a service company, two issues arise, (at least in my own mind). The first being my relative lack of overall experience. While I am very comfortable trouble shooting, reading schematics and wire diagrams, I just don't see a wide variety of equipment and worry that a company wouldn't care to hire a mid 50's green tech even though I may be a little more responsible and have a stronger work ethic than some of my younger peers.
Secondly, all the job postings I've seen want you to have alot of HVAC/R experiance. While I do hold an EPA type 1 and 2 certification, ( I made the decision to forgo universal so the school system couldn't rope me into helping service thier chillers as my maintenance and facilities maintenance are seperate departments). I do have some basic hvac skills.
It's always been my understanding that we usually break ourselves down into hot side and cold side, am I just not seeing and hot side jobs? Does anyone know of a Middle Tennessee area company wanting hot side peiple. Its not that I'm unhappy with the school, but I feel like I am going stale. For what it's worth, I believe in education and continued education. So On that note and for what it's worth I am CFESA certified in electric and should be certified for gas by February.
MemberDecember 5, 2020 at 8:34 am
First, you are not at all a “green tech” at all! You hold CFESA certification(s), you have true industry in-the-field experience, you hold refrigeration certifications. My goodness, what more could a manager want for a tech right in front of them asking for a job?
I don't know about now, but BeforeCovid, you could walk into any branch of the company I used to work for, speak with the manager and be hired almost the same day, IF you could be insurable by the company for driving. Any legal infarctions would disqualify you, no matter how long ago. Your age would not be an issue if you can do the work.
Now, that being said, poking about by your lonesome at a school is vastly different from working on a bank of dead fryers at a McDonalds at 11:45 AM. 🙂 You must be able to tolerate that kind of stress. And today, there's a lot of tablet/computer paperwork that drove me nuts. You have to have a “company-is-always-right” bent to succeed. Your driving must be impeccable, as you will be putting on a hundred or two miles every day, and my old company would fire you on the spot if you were a repeated speeder or had a complaint called in for bad driving.
Finally, all that being said, I'm almost 65, have a bad back and really bad knees. At cher age, kid, really think about what you are capable of doing for the next 5 years or so.
MemberDecember 5, 2020 at 8:47 am
Shawn, I can't speak for your area, as I don't even know you Zip code. But it sounds a bit like what I went through. I live in a very rural agricultural area. It's 80 miles to get refrigeration parts. 40 for a full sized market. But we had 13 food establishments in our town of 65 square miles, 2 state roads and a lake. One was the only way to get to the Adirondacks without making a big loop west. Primarily we had a lot of small dairy farms, but the low milk prices and high equipment and supply cost have forced them to grow houses. Every farm had refrigeration. Restaurants boomed in the summer months. Two mom and pop markets, A small school system, A tree farm with a ski shop, and 5 take out's. 3 convenience stores (one had 27 coolers). And let's not forget the cheese shop with large display cases. And a saw mill (dehumidification kilns). To survive, I had to also do electrical work, a little appliance work, water systems, and HVAC for my commercial customers.
Because I was good with motor control, I was asked by another electrician to look at a printing press drive in the next town over. Fixed it with him in about 15 min's and he gave me the account. It was the backbone of money in tight times for many years to me. Brand personnel charged $250 per hour from NJ door to door. So they loved me at less than haft that.
All has changed over the years. The markets are gone, 3 restaurant's survive, The farm's just crop, Sawmill is closed, and 2 chain store convenience stores have moved in (They have there own tech's).
What ever you do, customer trust and satisfaction has to come first. Even above short term profit. Most all referrals come form that. They tend to talk to each other and ask each other how to handle problems. Who they used.
Good luck and I hope this helps.
MemberDecember 15, 2020 at 7:43 am
Are you close to the Western North Carolina area of Tennessee?
MemberDecember 16, 2020 at 4:41 am
No, I'm in Dover TN. just outside of Clarksville, 1.5 hours north of Nashville.
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