|View single post by That Guy|
|Posted: Sat Jan 27th, 2007 10:01 am||
|I started out as a farmboy or ranch hand, never could figure out what we were doing. We had cattle and some farmland, but not much of either. We always fixed all of our own stuff. I grew up crazy about electricity and machines in general. I used to take all my toys apart. My parents put a stop to that, they said that I could only take them apart after they broke. So I played with them till they broke, then took em' apart. By the time I was 13, I was working on TVs and had fixed my first appliance when I was 14. About that time I did my first picture tube swap. I used to tell my dad that I wanted to be a TV repairman. he didn't find that amusing.
I assembled a tube tester when I was 15, built my own wired remote control for my TV, a 1958 Zenith 22 inch. It featured a volume control and a headphone jack so I could watch TV at night, when my parents were asleep. I graduated from High School in 1977.
I worked for my mom and dad until my dad died when he was 56. I took care of the place and my mom until 1988. Those were not good years to be in the kind of business we were in. We sold out and moved to town. I went to tech school to learn electronics, but I chose the wrong tech school. After a year of fixing the Lab equipment and wondering how my teachers got their jobs, I decided to get a job and quit wasting money.
I started working for a small business that did HVAC, commercial refrigeration, and appliances. It was named after a nice guy named Jack. That was 1990. I had a whole two weeks of instruction in appliance repair, before they turned me loose on the general public. I was pretty green. Luckily I have always been able to read a set of instructions or a wiring diagram and be able to figure it out from there. I learned fast and worked slow. Well, not that slow. I like to do things once and get it right the first time. I worked on just about everything, from simple appliances to commercial ovens and cookers to installing furnaces and fabricating the ductwork for them. Not to mention my least favorite, commercial refrigeration.
Then about 1996 Jack began thinking about dropping appliances. He never really liked them and they were the weakest part of his business. Everything thing else made lots of money, appliances were the weak link in his money making chain. I talked him out of it, but the very next year he was back to wanting to get rid of them again. He made me an offer. Start my own business or move over into funace and AC installs full time. I foolishly thought that being my own boss again would be great.
So in 1997 I started my own business. Things were great for the first couple of years. I worked 6 days a week. I don't know how many hours a week, but a lot. Then came tax time and I would find that I was just breaking even. So I worked even harder. Tax time comes again and I'm still just breaking even. Now I'm kind of burnt and frustrated. The fourth year I didn't work nearly as hard, guess what? Same result. It doesn't seem to matter what I do. If I make more money something shows up and eats up the money. Unexpected expenses, medical bills, car repairs, you name it.
Now looking into the future, looking at the trends in appliances, and customers general cheapness. Looking at the general disrespect that the companies have for appliance repair people. The future doesn't look very bright. I work for people all the time that make way more money than me, have half my IQ, and treat me like the village idiot or some kind of criminal. They have a $40,000 SUV, a boat, and a giant camper in their driveway. But when I tell them its going to cost $150 to replace their motor on their washer. They say, "I'll just buy a new one." When I present them with a bill for my labor for checking their appliance, they practically have a cow.
Its kind of upsetting to have to put up with all the retards in the world (at least that's how it feels sometimes). Sure all my customers aren't retards. Infact 90% of them are great people and that's what really makes up for all the short comings of this job. The other 10% I'd like to smack in the head with a rock. JK
I'm thinking about trying out for the New Lonely Maytag Repairman. Only if I get the job, it will be the Bad Tempered, Jaded Maytag Repairman who prefers Whirlpool.