At Advance Air, we have a “Way to Go” Award that we post in the office every time a customer calls to say what a great job so-and-so did on a job. That this happens on a pretty regular basis is a HUGE point of pride. However, so many times, the extra efforts of an HVACR technician happen behind-the-scenes or after-hours when no one sees. Even when not seen, the results are always felt. For those unseen hours and efforts, I wanted to show my appreciation. I thought a great way to do this would be to share a few of my favorite stories of our team going WAY above-and-beyond. There really is no adequate way to express thanks for the great work these folks do every day. And these are just a small fraction of the great stories there are to tell because Advance Air truly has THE BEST team on the planet. These guys (and gals) just OOZE with untold awesomeness! Here’s a little sample:
Late for Date Night
Last summer, one of our technicians was talking for days about the awesome Friday night plans he had with his wife. I can’t remember what the plan was exactly, but just the fact that he had any kind of date-night plan gives him massive man-points in my mind. But, as so often happens in this industry, an emergency service call came in at about 2 pm on the afternoon of Date-Night day. Since he had planned to leave early that day for wife wooing purposes, he was the ONLY technician AVAILABLE to take the call. I cringed as I picked up the phone to ask him to cover it, knowing he was gleefully headed home to start the weekend, but he jumped right on the call without complaint. Unfortunately, what we hoped would be a quick fix, turned out to be a dead compressor, without which the pizza place would lose their entire food inventory. Now the entire Date Night was at risk, but he STILL agreed to stick with the call until he could get them back in business with the cooler up and running. In an effort to save Date Night, we divided forces and I scrambled to the supply house to pick up the compressor before it closed for the weekend as he started prepping for replacement. Due to some seriously honed skills and ninja fast work, he was able to save the pizza cooler AND Date Night!
Locked Doors and Not Enough Bathroom Breaks
We’ve done work in some challenging locations, including a coroner’s office (picture in your mind what THAT’S like when the refrigeration goes out…), prisons (watch your back and count your tools before you leave), and fish processing/waste treatment/trash-burning plants (extra cologne does NOT help, trust me). This story takes place at an in-patient mental health facility. Our mission was to do cleaning and repairs to floor-mounted fan coil units throughout the facility. A seemingly innocuous task. The plan was that our technician and apprentice would be escorted by facility staff into to locked areas, safely separated from patients as we went. It all went pretty smoothly, until it was time for the patient day room/common area. Although the locked door provided security for patients and staff, we discovered that it also had the unintended consequence of limiting patient access to bathroom facilities. But when you gotta go, you gotta go, so they went…inside the fan coil units we were sent to clean. Yup, fan coil unit/emergency urinal. Did NOT see that coming. And unfortunately, there were a LOT of urine emergencies over the years. Nevertheless, our tech and apprentice donned their longest, thickest rubber gloves, put on their Tyvek suits, held their breath and got the job done!
Late, Late Nights in Dark Boiler Rooms
I recently wrote about a project we inherited that was originally installed by another contractor that politely put, did not fully execute the scope of work they were paid to do. It has been a challenge, despite having our best building automation and controls guy working literally night and day on it, alongside our entire management team (including my father who is actually retired now and phoning in from Florida!) This story is just one example that demonstrates the incredible tenacity of this technician, not just on this job, though this is probably one of the more demanding jobs. The story happened late one Friday night about a week or so ago. Earlier in the day, I made the mistake of saying the words, “I don’t want you to leave there until these items are complete.” Though I did not mean the statement to be taken literally, I sure enough found him still working when I checked into the site remotely at around 8 pm that night. As I pictured his angry wife plotting revenge on me for his absence, I messaged him to make sure he didn’t plan to sleep there all weekend! As if it wasn’t bad enough already, that was when I found out that the area he was working in has no electric lights, only a skylight, which had gone dark HOURS ago. So there he stood for hours, flashlight in mouth, completing the last task on the to-do list I’d given him, integrating a boiler into the Taco iWorx control system. At this point, this story feels like a “Worst Boss” story as much as it is a “Great Employee” story, am I right? And that’s still not even the worst part. Because it was SO late, he was actually locked in with no way out of the boiler room except for a military-style arm-over-arm crawl over pipes IN COMPLETE DARKNESS.
How does one thank these folks for this kind of awesome?!? A giant bowl of chocolate? A huge party? Well, I don’t know, but I’m hoping a “Thank you” blog helps.
Though I am not nearly a good enough writer to capture the gratefulness I feel for the absolutely amazeballs team that I work with at Advance Air, I hope that each person feels appreciated not just today, but EVERY day. Because you guys truly are awesome. Thank you for all you do!