Readers Agree Something Is Missing in Contracting World

The following letters are in response to Mark Skaer's column "New HVACR Career: Door-To-Door Inspirational Speaker," Dec. 19.

Getting Motivated
As a small contractor who has employees to take care of and all that goes along with running a business, I have to tell you that I used to look very much forward to getting away to attend the trade association conferences seeking that renewed boost of energy and motivation to excel. However, too many of the conferences became way too political and there was not enough motivation, so I had to seek out other venues to get the boost.

I do agree that we all need someone to help pick us up and keep us off the edge. Many times my wife, who runs the office, and I do this for others - provide a shoulder or a pick-me-up when people are feeling down or have lost some focus, so it is great when someone does it for us. I would like to see some of the leaders in the trade associations pick up the ball and run with this idea.

It would be a great boost for a supplier's business if they too would come to visit upbeat and offering some ideas and tips instead of the same old thing. At one time a supplier worked with their contractors to formulate these action plans and helped keep them motivated. I continue to hope that someday this type of relationship selling returns.

D. Brian Baker, President
Custom Vac Limited
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Make Each Day A Happy Day
Mark Skaer mentioned something is missing in the world of contracting. What an understatement!

It is tragic to see so many men and women spending so much of their time at their jobs every day of the week for one solitary purpose: to make money. We each have a ministry, a special, personal contribution that we each can make each day that, at the end of the day, makes the world a little bit better place to live. We should feel so good about what we do for a living that we would be willing to do it for free! (What percentage of the work force in America do you suppose feels that way?)

There is another quotient I think should be added to the formula you mentioned: SQ (spiritual quotient). Without a doubt, we are all happier human beings when we come to realize that we are part of something much bigger than ourselves.

It saddens and angers me when I follow behind other contractors or technicians who have obviously done the least they could to get by or who have exploited another person for the purpose of fattening their wallet. So what if you can get away with it; more than anyone else, you are cheating yourself.

I think most contractors are too macho to talk about things like purpose, fulfillment, or finding happiness in knowing you made the world a better place today.

It's time for contractors in America to be more than just profitable; it's time to be happy!

Bruce Dix, Owner
Dix Air Conditioning & Heating Inc.
Bradenton, Fla.

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

[Editor's note: This letter is in response to John R. Hall's editorial "Time to Revisit Carbon Monoxide Poisoning."]

This letter is to thank John R. Hall for his editorial in the Jan. 16 edition. Our old furnace needed rebuilding this year. We had done it professionally. Two days later I went downstairs to answer our CO detector, and moments later, our smoke alarm, and discovered our garage (under our bedrooms) was filled with smoke from the furnace malfunctioning. The alarm saved our lives.

It happened again, two days later, but this time I was prepared. We set up a "fire station" inside the laundry room - the first room inside from the garage - with a respirator (I had sucked in a lot of smoke during the first event), fire extinguisher, and flashlight. I had also been retrained on what to do and where to find the main furnace shutoff switch. We had put new batteries in both the smoke and CO detector after the first incident. This time the drill went smoothly. After a third visit and a new transformer, our problem seems to be solved. But I didn't let the repairman leave until he did a thorough CO detection test in the area.

I never realized the hazards at all. Although I'm still coughing, the lesson was a good one and prompted a new safety course at our house.

Linda Taylor,
PayneSpencer LLC
Tacoma, Wash.

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Publication date: 03/06/2006