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Ignorance and arrogance: a toxic combination in the appliance repair trade

Samurai Appliance Repair Man


The techs here at Appliantology and Master Samurai tech really are the exceptional techs in the trade today. The "techs" who comment on videos at YouTube: eh, not so much. Unfortunately, many of the "techs" at YouTube illustrate the biggest problem in the appliance repair trade today: parts changers who know a little and think they know it all. 

A comment on this video from a PCM who’s been changing parts for 45 years (ie., 1 year of experience repeated 45 times) reveals much of what’s wrong with the appliance repair trade today: ignorance combined with arrogance

Robert Love commented, “Why not simply measure for 120 VAC at the evaporator motor. And you could also check the ohms of the motor.”  This is a classic PCM and the teaching in the video flew right over his head. I assumed his comments were offered in good faith and so I wanted to help a brother out. 

I explained that checking voltage at the evap motor required a freezer tear down, which is a huge PITA in this model.  Further, it was unnecessary because I could get the same information by doing my testing from the easily accessible control board (two plastic snaps and it drops right down). Also, ohms checking is amateur hour- professional techs rely on volts and amps for diagnostic conclusions as much as possible. Finally, tearing down the freezer to access the evap fan motor would have been totally wasted time and effort because the problem turned out to be the control board anyway. If you watch the video, all this will be obvious to you. 

My comments were offered in good faith, offering helpful instructions. His reply (which has since been deleted) consisted of instant hostility, ignorant mocking, condescension, and name calling. Like too many "techs", he exhibits the toxic combo of ignorance and arrogance. Rarely do you find people so overly impressed with what little they think they know than among appliance techs with a few years of experience. Maybe it’s because they have no other credentials or accomplishments so their sense of self image and worth are all tied up in fixing broken appliances. Sad, very sad. 

There’s nothing wrong with ignorance. We’re all ignorant about something. Ignorance is curable with education... unless arrogance gets in the way. And that’s the story with our friend, Robert Love. 

Sadly, his story is not uncommon among appliance techs with a few years of experience: they know a little, have fixed a few appliances, become impressed with their little nuggets of knowledge and so become untrainable and unteachable. These guys give the trade a bad name, set a poor example for younger techs new to the trade, and make crappy employees for companies looking to hire techs

We just returned from the United Appliance Servicers Association Annual Service Training Institute in St. Petersburg, FL. We had a booth at the trade show and had great conversations with many multi tech appliance company owners looking to hire techs. They, too, were sick of the attitude baggage that comes with many “experienced” techs. Most of them have taken our advice and preferentially hire rookies based on character and then use Master Samurai Tech training to ensure they learn the core concepts and how to troubleshoot

Of course, there are exceptions to this-- not all experienced techs have the attitude and ignorance affliction of our parts changer friend.

For example, the technician brethren at Appliantology are helping each other hone their craft and become better at their trade. It’s a mix of rookies and veterans in the trade. We’re all here to both learn and teach. That’s what we do for each other every single day and we do it with civility and humor vs. the snark and snipe that seems so pervasive on social media platforms like YouTube and Facebook.

Here’s the video that I discussed above:


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Samurai Appliance Repair Man


And just to show that not all interactions on social media are snarky, here's an example of an excellent question from a genuine truth seeker that shows he's really thinking about what I showed in the video. Ron McCarty asked this great question:


Forgive my ignorance, Brand spanking new at all of this but I find it very interesting!! and actually Interesting enough for a career change In the future....How did you determine that there was an internal switch in the jazz board?

And my reply:


Great question! I figured it out based on understanding how circuits work and then deducing the necessary function of the board in that circuit for the evap fan motor. I knew the motor needed both Line and Neutral to run. Line was hardwired but Neutral went through the board. Therefore, the only function of the board in the evap fan motor circuit was to switch Neutral to the motor so it could run. That’s why we teach appliance repair from the “inside out” starting with electrons and circuits— so you can figure out how a circuit is supposed to work based on function. No need to memorize “monkey tricks” if you can reason through a problem.

Ron's reply:


Thanks very much for the timely reply! Answered my question fully, thank you again!

Pebble snatched!

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 Love it!....... “There’s nothing wrong with ignorance. We’re all ignorant about something. Ignorance is curable with education... unless arrogance gets in the way.”

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Great points. Humility makes 'being wrong' a lot easier. Whereas experience is great, unless innovation stops, expertise is an ever evolving challenge. That makes it interesting.

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