Famous Last Words (Before a Callback)
You’ve probably heard the famous last words “Dude, watch this” before a concussion, burn, shock, broken bones or some other bodily harm. This phrase has become synonymous with young guys doing something dumb to impress their friends.
Technicians have two common phrases that may not lead to bodily harm (although sometimes it might) and they are –
“That’s Good Enough” and “That’s Normal”
Pulling a vacuum for 30 minutes without a micron gauge and then “That’s good enough”.
Doing a standing pressure test and the pressure keeps dropping JUST A LITTLE and “That’s normal”.
Running a 0 superheat and “That’s normal” followed by some made up reason about this particular equipment, or load conditions.
I have heard lot’s of made up explanations over the years… some of them out of my own mouth and almost all of them being used as a justification for something being good enough or normal.
Don’t misunderstand, normal and good enough are both real concepts, but they need to be backed by deep understanding of the equipment you are working on (have you read the entire installation instructions and / or service manual?) and the readings you are taking (Do you understand what they mean, why you are taking them and how your test instruments / tools work?).
If you can’t follow it up with “It’s normal because…..” or “That’s good enough because….” with a real answer, not a made up reason, then you need to keep working.
This is a journey for all of us, but stop for one second and be honest with yourself. When you get frustrated, short on time or feel in over your head… Do you ever use these phrases? If so, congratulations. You are in an elite group of techs willing to admit what you don’t know.
Now repeat after me…
“I will no longer make excuses for what I don’t understand, I will stop and work to understand what is actually going on until I have it mastered”
P.S. – Sorry for the repeat after me thing… It’s a bit too much, but this whole article is nerdy as heck so I figured I would just take it all the way.
Bryan Orr is a lifelong learner, proud technician and advocate for the HVAC/R Trade