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It's Time

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  • It's Time

    I thought I would share some background before issuing a plea to this fine forum:
    I’ve worked for the same company since September of 1994.
    My father and uncle started the company in 1972.
    In 2002, my father “retired” and went to Arizona where he started a new business with no employees and he intends to keep it that way; he’s doing very well. Yes, he is a licensed contractor in both Arizona and California.
    My father is one of those guys who can fix just about anything. My uncle brings a wealth of experience and technical knowledge to the table but has always been more of the engineer / business man type. Well, let me correct that, he likes to play the part of an executive, but has never really had the makings of a successful business man. Over the last several years, I’ve grown more and more unhappy here. Three years in a row, we’ve had dismal late winter and spring periods. My aunt (office manager) and uncle rely on myself and one office person to take care of an ever increasing pool of responsibilities, but when it gets slow, they tell us to schedule days off for the technicians and the two of us as well. So when I have lose 13 hours of pay each week, and still handle every little issue that comes up, and find work for the other guys, and answer every question, and don’t take Friday or Monday off because that’s when we might need you (me) the most… We continue to lose good people because other local companies are offering them another dollar or two per hour and the promise of a full 40 hours. Well, I’ve had enough. I need a steady job. I’m reasonably well known in our small town, and because of my last name, I’ll never get one of those unsolicited job offers; everybody assumes that I’ll be taking over this place in another 2 to 3 years. That’s no longer an option or a reality. After 13 + years and dozens of day long classes and meetings, I have an extensive knowledge of a variety of furnaces and air conditioners. I can figure out how to fix just about anything; I have experience as a service manager, technical advisor for 4 other service technician, excellent customer skills, and 6 years of experience as a parts and equipment inventory expert. What I don’t have is any paperwork to prove that I know anything. I’m sure a lot of you plumbing guys would say I’m a hack, but I’m not. I’m seriously looking into one of the unions that would cover my trade, but I think I need to find a company that wants to hire me. I won’t be able to survive on what an apprentice makes, even if they go WAY beyond what I’m making now within 5 years. I need to get my foot in the door. I need an interview.

    Any suggestions?

  • #2
    Re: It's Time

    I've never liked the idea of nepotism in the workplace. Too many egos and preferential treatment. Might be a good idea to separate yourself from under the family umbrella.

    Keep in mind this is NOT a great time to be looking for another job though. Other companies might promise a 40 hour week but when things are tough, you being the last hired are first to go.

    Put a detailed resume' together focusing on your skills and shop it around.

    Good Luck


    • #3

      I agree that Nepotism can be a bad thing, and in fact my father always told me I had to work twice as hard as everybody else to prevent the "boss's son" stigma. I kind of feel like the opposite of nepotism is happening here. True, I'm not likely to ever get fired, but I think that It's just taken for granted that I will always be there pick up the slack and acquire new job duties every time somebody quits. When it comes to the days off and such, my aunt tells us that we should be happy to "make sacrifices" to ensure that everybody can keep their jobs, as if any of us, with the skills we have are totally unemployable, in spite of the fact that our guys keep getting picked off by other companies and they ARE busy.

      Thanks for your input. I guess a resume is the right place to start. I know with the slowness of the season and the economic outlook, this is no time to be looking for a job.

      Another issue is that my boss is probably two years or less from retiring, and pretty soon (maybe sooner than I think) I will NEED to be finding a job.


      • #4
        Re: It's Time

        Probably the best thing you could do it attend a NATE or CEPA course and get certified. Plumbing in most states requires a 4 year apprenticeship.


        • #5
          Re: It's Time

          i am also in the exact situation you are in only i work for my father in law. his own son doesn't even work for him anymore and i wish i didn't. i feel for you because i am going through the same thing. if you are looking to move to ohio, let me know. i would be glad to get someone else in there that has some knowledge and can help me out with all of the employees i have with no knowledge whatsoever because my father in law doesn't want to pay someone that has knowledge what they are worth. for the past few years i have been getting fed up and did something about it. i started my own business on the side and once it gets large enough to support my income i WILL be quitting. give it a try, you sound like you have a good head for business, find something you like and go for it.