CAMP HILL, PA. — I was lunching with two co-workers recently when from behind the counter, up pops a man with his back to me. His T-shirt read, "For Expert Heating & Air Conditioning Service & Installation call xxx-xxxx." Of course, the shirttail was hanging out, not neatly tucked in his jeans, but at least it was a welcome relief from the NASCAR shirts that appear in our national trade magazines. The gent walked around the counter to a place where we could see his slightly worn and soiled white Nike sneakers, the same kind our technicians wear when they're NOT making a living.
What are we to do? We require our service technicians to wear clean uniforms, belts, socks and clean WORK shoes. In fact, if they're working on an air conditioning or refrigeration system, they must wear gloves and eye protection. If they kneel on the floor or ground, we want kneepads or a foam mat to protect their knees. They look at a trade magazine and see the unsafe and the unprofessional.
You see, getting folks to respect our profession must start from within our industry. If we don't respect ourselves, we'll face the age-old battle of getting the respect a technician deserves that leads to a better-than-average living. Is it any wonder our industry has a technician shortage?
Dressing professionally, following safe work habits and learning to talk with customers is where it starts. CONTRACTOR magazine can help by carefully selecting the photos it publishes to meet a standard of professionalism that measures up.
I wish for a couple of trade magazines to go by — without seeing the sneakers, jeans and NASCAR-shirted unprofessionals.
SECCO Home Services