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Job Politics

HeatingHelp Administrator Posts: 651
edited July 2020 in THE MAIN WALL

I got an email from the Customer Service Manager at a well-known boiler manufacturer whose name I will keep to myself. His email made me think of the laws of physics and how they sometimes hide behind our fears. It also made me think of job politics and how telling the truth is always a good thing, even though it might hurt your business.

Read the full story here



  • hvacr
    hvacr Member Posts: 5
    Often marketing & sales are more concerned about bruised egos than long term reputations & rewards.

    Call it like you see it. Right, wrong, or gray, customer gets benefit of any doubts. Might not like what you say, but they will respect you for it.
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 3,676
    It's amazing how many jobs are taken where the customer 'can't afford' to do it right, but for some reason still expect it to work correctly.
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,589
    edited July 2020
    I got a call from a boiler rep I really like working with a few years ago about big condo building that was frying the heat exchangers in some very expensive commercial condensing boilers. He knew that I was friends with the maintenance engineer and the general manager and asked me to just inquire about how the new boilers were running but please don't mention that he asked me to. I called up my buddy to ask if he liked his new boilers and he explained that the boilers were awful and did I want to take a look?

    The very first thing I noticed was that the boilers were pulling combustion air out of an enclosed garage. This garage had exhaust fans the size jet engine and the canvas roll-up doors bowed inwards at least 6" when the fans fired up. I then showed the manager the section in the manual that clearly stated that the combustion air could not be pulled from a negative pressure space. When I explained to the manager what was going on, he said that his staff and the contractor thought the same thing but that the design engineer and boiler manufacture did not agree.

    I then sat the maintenance engineer and GM down and explained the relationship that Dan beautifully described in this article. The design engineer screwed up and the manufacture would rather eat a few heat exchangers than get sideways with him.

    The funny part is that the rep never even told me what he thought was wrong with the boilers. He knew that he could not open his mouth and keep his job. At the same time, he wanted the owner to know what was wrong with the system and he wanted it to be fixed. Everything worked out perfectly in the end, I just hope the engineer actually knew he screwed up and did not do another design like that.

    Thank you for the great article, Dan!

    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,553
    Thanks, guys. Spread the word.
    Retired and loving it.
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,589
    The relationship between manufacture rep and engineer get's even stickier at times. An engineering group that I have worked with always comes in much cheaper than the competition. They can do this because they have the manufacture's rep do the design for them. The manufacture's rep specifies all there own product and the job is tracked internally in the supply chain. I have seen equipment package come in 30%-40% more expensive than comparable equipment so that the rep can make his or her commission on the back side. Good luck getting approved for an alternate on that job.

    What bothers me about this arrangement is that the client is never aware of the arrangement. They think the engineer is awesome for working so inexpensively and that the contractor is ripping them of by charging so much.

    When interviewing an engineer, this subject is one of my first questions....
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein