The radio show Car Talk on National Public Radio has on its Website ( a number of “famous last words,” several of which can pertain to the daily lives of service technicians. And as you will notice, most relate to personal safety, which should be No. 1 priority, but often isn’t.

These include:

• What does this button do?

• Are you sure the power is off?

• Which wire was I supposed to cut?

• I’ve done this before?

• That’s odd.

Of course that, as we know, barely scratches the surface of phases we hear tossed about in the HVACR industry.

To those I can add:

• But we’ve always done it that way.

• What’s the “rule of thumb” for servicing this?

• Close enough.

• The refrigerant is probably still OK to reuse.

• I remember my grandfather told me to …

• I’ll get the manifold gauge. It is right under the refrigerant tank in the van.

I don’t need to:

a) Read the manufacturer’s manual;

b) Call the manufacturer;

c) Figure out who the manufacturer is.

Then there are those phrases that are often offered customers:

• Sure, I’ll give you a ballpark guess on what this will cost you.

• Be done in 90 minutes, two hours max.

• I’m the cheapest price in town.

• I do great work. You’ll be totally satisfied. (To be followed by: “I’m not getting much return business. Must be the economy.”)

By the way, if you have some more phrases too often (mis)spoken in the industry, let me know.