Letters From Our Readers: Dec. 26, 2011

December 26, 2011
KEYWORDS technicians
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Editor’s note: This letter is in response to Kimberly Schwartz’s editorial “Don’t Let That Talent Slip Away,” Nov. 21.

Talented Techs Cost a Company Money

I need to tell you what happens to all that great talent in the supermarket field in Southern California. The large chain supermarkets in Southern California, for the most part, have contracts with service companies. What that means is they pay one price to cover all refrigeration repairs including refrigerant. They do an online bid, and the lowest bidder wins the contract.

If a contractor shows up to a store for a repair, the service company loses money. The goal is to keep the techs out of the markets. The service company needs a balance of lower-end guys and a few experienced techs. Too many experienced techs means lost dollars on those contracts. The supermarkets dictate what they will pay.

I left a few years back to work on precision cooling equipment. When work got slow, I decided to head back to the markets only to be told that we cannot afford you. Here I was with all this experience to be told this.

I know a lot of great service techs that companies will not hire because they come at a high price. I always thought the more talented you were the more money you were paid.

I am not sure where this industry is headed, but it does not look great for talented techs.

Dave Whelan
Technical Support Supervisor

Publication date: 12/26/2011

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Lost Jobs

Lee Barry
December 26, 2011
I too have been the victim of losing a job due to "Temp Services" or of "new fangled" systems. I am a retired sheetmetal mechanic with over 40 yrs. experience. I could read a blueprint, fabricate the ductwork, install the system, fabricate metal. There are/were a lot of "field mechanics" that can not make a straight piece of duct, the could only install it. Quite a few years back when one of the field personell asked me about laying out metal vs. installing it I told him,"a trained monkey could install the ductwork, but it takes one hell of a trained monkey to layout and fabricate it". Well sir in 1986 I met that "hell of a trained monkey" face to face, and its name was Cybermation 700A. These things have cost who nos how many top notch metal men their jobs, and theres only so many installation sheetmetal men needed to install the few jobs that have been since the "collaspe" of the construction industry. If we were all in sheetmetal unions we could have fought this kind of "job replacement", or at least got money retribution for the damned things.



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