I spent the day with a central heating engineer this week. One of the business units that the company I work for owns offers customer a service which repairs and services broken central heating units (ie boilers). In the UK most central heating is done with hot water radiators although few are forced air.
One way of keeping in touch with the business and ultimately our customers is to go and spend a day with one of the engineers and find out what their day is like.
I enjoy this. When I used to work for The AA (a roadside recovery service in the UK) I went out with a roadside engineer for the day and had a blast. I also learned a lot about our business. I'd never been out with an engineer and decided it was time.
I had a really interesting day. Gavin, the engineer picked me up at my home and we went to the post office depot to pick up the parts that he had ordered the day before for the jobs he had scheduled for that day. Then we went into people's homes. And glimpsed a slice of life.
One lady was older than god. She had lived in her home for 37 years. Her husband and her had bought the home for their retirement. It was on a horrible housing estate but her home was immaculate. Her husband was no longer of this world but she told me about her 3 sons and her 7 grandsons and her 4 great grandsons and 1 great grand daughter. I told her I bet that grand daughter was spoilt. She just giggled.
One lady had been without heat or hot water for over a week. She was lovely and made us a cup of tea. We fixed her problem in under 30 minutes. Wish we had been there a week ago.
One retired couple had just returned home from picking up their 2 year old grand daughter at their son and daughter-in-law's home. They were off to the hospital to have a baby. Whilst we fixed their central heating (which had flames coming out of it at one point) the phone call came announcing that they were the proud grandparents of a little baby girl. Mum and baby were doing great and as soon as we finished they were off to the hospital to visit the newest addition to their family.
Gavin was very professional and competent. He's a talented engineer who conscientiously does his job and takes pride in his profession. The customers loved him. I learned a lot from him.
Now my job is to make his day easier and help him to make our customers happier.