I have been a big fan of the James Bond movies since I was a kid. I’d be happy to talk for hours about which film is the best, which villain is the best (or should that be worst?), which “Bond Girl” is the best, and which Bond gadgets are the coolest. And, it occurred to me recently, that maybe a way to make our industry more attractive to potential young refrigeration technicians would be to point out the similarities between them and Agent 007 of the British Secret Service.
We all know how serious the technician shortage issue is — the statistics and the anecdotes are always grim. I was speaking with a refrigeration contractor the other day, and he said he knows of a number of companies that have to turn work down simply because they do not have the resources to get it done. And a shortage of bodies isn’t the only challenge: as refrigerant phaseouts and more stringent energy efficiency requirements lead to more advanced and complex system designs, it can create a “skills gap” for even experienced technicians as they strive to keep up with the changes.
So, we all know we need to find ways to attract technicians to our industry and keep them well-trained.
That’s where Bond, James Bond, comes in.
Think about it: what does James Bond do? He goes to trouble spots and solves the problem. He never knows when he gets called into M’s office what the assignment is going to be, or to what locale he will be traveling. He has to be knowledgeable and think fast on his feet. He has to diagnose the problem, determine how to solve it, and carry out his plan. He uses cool gadgets to get the job done, and he needs to stay trained and up-to-date on all the latest technology. He has to be on call 24/7 to save the world from disaster.
What do refrigeration technicians do? They go to trouble spots and solve the problem. They never know when their phone rings what the assignment is going to be or to what locale they will be traveling. They have to be knowledgeable and think fast on their feet. They have to diagnose the problem, determine how to solve it, and carry out their plan. They use cool gadgets to get the job done and need to stay trained and up-to-date on all the latest technology. They have to be on call 24/7 to save their customers from disaster.
Although there are some non-glamorous aspects to both jobs (as one small example, people are always trying to kill Bond), refrigeration technicians actually have a lot in common with the world’s greatest secret agent. They are agents of order in a chaos-filled world, making things right and having new and different adventures every day. Maybe if the industry starts to play up the James Bond comparisons, we can change the image of the refrigeration technician and help young prospects see the interesting life of action and adventure they could lead.
And what the heck, just for the sake of argument:
Best Bond film: Goldfinger.
Best Bond Villain: Ernst Stavro Blofeld, as played by Donald Pleasance in “You Only Live Twice.”
Best Bond Girl: Anya Amasova (Agent Triple X), as played by Barbara Bach in “The Spy Who Loved Me.”
Coolest Bond Gadget: How can you top the option-loaded Aston Martin DB5 in Goldfinger?
Publication date: 2/7/2018