The Tech

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zapdbf's picture
The Tech

I wanted to write an article about being a technician; I hope this small document will help the non technician understand what really goes on in a repair shop.  I have been a technician repairing everything from a electronic church bell, to a voting system, televisions, ect,, you name it I probably have had my hand in it including sidewinder missiles.  Being a repairman; I am a hero, I am a villain, I charge too little and I charge too much.  I don’t know what I am doing, and I am also the best technician in town. These ideas plague all technicians, there isn’t a single technician (and I know allot of them) who hasn’t been through this.  The salesman has the advantage of showing you something cool neat and exciting, but by the time I see that product,  the excitement is gone, only disappointment and anger exists.  When the job is done quickly and efficiently, I usually don’t even get a smile. The strain of the day to day lack of appreciation, for a job well done, will take a toll on their soul. Some techs will become bitter and hateful. Others will avoid it all together. It is hard for a technician to get through a tough repair and feel very good about himself knowing he tackled a very challenging problem only to hear that they charged too much or took too long.  


Service manuals (although we wish) don’t tell you how to fix that tv, The engineers that made that television have no idea what may go wrong in the field. We the technicians did not design the television.  It happens every day; a technician Is given a tv to repair and that tech has never seen the inside of that model television before,  and he is expected to fix it.  Basically the technician is on his own.  He has to get the manual out and learn as much about the design that he needs to , then proceed to find the fault. Once the tech spent several hours or even days on and off he finally finds the problem amid thousands of components and measurements.  Once he figures it out the good technician makes note of the symptom and what the keys were to finding the problem.


To that customer that technician was stupid and took too long, and charged too much.  The tv is fixed, the tech did allot of work and feels very good about finding that very difficult problem. But all the customer can see is the villain.

Now the next customer comes into his shop with the same model with the same problem, the techs says “Hay I have seen this one before it might be this” and if it is the same problem we have fixed this tv in record time. The customer is happy he got his tv back quickly efficiently and the tech is the hero.

What you see posted in these boards is the result of one if not many technicians going through the above mentioned process then offering this information to you.  This information is his lively hood. And many times it is hard gained.  About 60-70 percent of the televisions being repaired, utilize that gained knowledge.  The rest of the televisions will require the tech to probe and use all of his experience to get it fixed.

There are allot of good technicians out there, the next time you have a problem with something that  an engineer designed,  please give your tech  a smile and say thank you for helping me.  It means more than you can ever know!  

dans_repair_service's picture
Good summary of the repair

Good summary of the repair business from the tech's perspective.  Let me add that this occurs also in the computer field.  I have been involved with computer "maintenance" since the time when that work was viewed as sub-par.  We were shunned by the "development" folks as not knowing enough to create anything.  What has come to pass though is that the maintainer is the one that actually gets the software to work as it is supposed to, after the "developers" are done.


Larry Dillon
Larry Dillon's picture
I agree with Dan, this is

I agree with Dan, this is certainly a great analogy of a techs life and frustrations in a repair shop, as well as dealing with customers and thinking most techs are crooks. I have seen my share of crooks as well as what we call butchers. Those are the techs that will jury rig several resistors or capacitors they have taken out of other sets just to save a few bucks and send the set on its merry way. Or maybe cut out a part and solder them to the top of the board. I could go on and on about this, but I have found that if you use the right parts, and are organised somewhat in your shop, most repairs are not all that bad unless someone tried to repair it before you do.


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