What a difference two months can make… The two months that have passed since my last article
have been nothing less than historic, but not in a good way. The elephant in the room is COVID-19
coronavirus and as I write this, only now are reports starting to show a glimmer…just a glimmer, of light
at the end of this frightening tunnel.
I thought long and hard as to what I wanted to say in this month’s article. I wanted to be upbeat and
offer an alternative to all the doom and gloom.
…but that is not what this article will do.
I feel compelled to address an issue that has been bothering me throughout the national crisis.
I am really turned off by all the advertising on TV attempting to make a company seem like some
guardian angel in the midst of the virus pandemic.
You know the ones I’m talking about…car companies who want to sell cars to those in need of one with
deferred payments and low interest rates. Mortgage companies offering to “work with” customers who
are affected by the national emergency. Fast-food companies claiming to be “thinking of” their
customers even if they aren’t thinking about the fast-food company.
I actually thought in the early days of the pandemic, that advertising would cease…yes, I actually
thought that no company would spend money for advertising in an environment where people could
not take advantage of their products or services.
Boy, was I wrong!
Many companies appear to see the pandemic as an opportunity rather than the national disaster it is.
I find this rude, distasteful and frankly, gross.
I was beyond disappointed when I saw some within the HVAC industry appearing to market indoor air
quality products as a way to avoid COVID-19…some more subtle than others. The New York Attorney
General’s office sent cease-and-desist letters to several HVAC companies making unsubstantiated claims
of products that could help you avoid contracting the virus, one that actually claimed to “prevent” the
Look, I’m not a complete idiot…I do understand the concept of “one man’s disaster is another man’s pot
of gold” but do we need to be taking advantage of a situation as the world is still wrestling with it?
There will be time…a more appropriate time, when the general public will be very willing to learn about
products that may offer some barrier between contaminants and themselves and their loved-ones.
I am so turned-off by these companies that when things do go back to normal…whatever normal will
ever be again, I can’t imagine myself ever doing business with them.
OK…I will get off my soapbox for a minute and address the other side of this issue.
Those of you who know me personally or who have attended one of my in-person GREE mini split training events know that I love McDonalds unsweetened ice tea. I always have at least four large unsweetened ice teas at the ready at all events.
I so often go to McDonalds for my fix that I have come to know many of the people who work there.
Have you noticed that McDonalds right now is a primary food source for many Americans? No joke, many of us are going to McDonalds, and other fast-food restaurants on a weekly basis…some daily.
McDonalds has never missed a beat…McDonalds employees, young and old, have been providing interrupted service at their drive-in windows without (to my knowledge) any advertising that pats themselves on the back and / or claims to be “thinking of” me.
The HVAC industry will play a major role moving forward from COVID-19 in offering products that can help prevent a virus from thriving in our homes and places of business and developing yet unknown products and methods to keep our customers (our citizens) safer from such a pandemic in the future.
I want to be a part of that process…I will be part of that process, but not now.
Right now I want to be more like McDonalds…I want to do my job without fanfare or publicity.
That said…
Doing my job in this unprecedented environment has required this old dog (me) to learn some new tricks. I can no longer travel to a city near you to conduct in-person GREE mini split training events. I have however, been conducting 3 hour GREE mini split training webinars and will continue to offer more events in the webinar / podcast format as long as my travel is restricted. Please follow me on LinkedIn to learn of all upcoming online events.
One last thing about McDonalds…
In the past six weeks, I have said a number of times that the people working the drive-up windows at fast-food locations around the country during the pandemic should be receiving “combat pay.” I mean it…we may never know the risk that these people are taking by working that window, coming in close contact with strangers every few minutes for 8 hours or more a day so that they can remain employed and keeping food on their own family’s table.
I hope by the time I write my next article that the world has changed again in an historic way…this time with an immunization and a cure for COVID-19.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Gerry Wagner is the Vice President of HVAC Technical Training for Tradewinds Climate Systems. He has 38 years in the HVACR industry working in manufacturing, contracting and now training. You can contact Gerry by email: gwagner@twclimate.com and also please visit our website: www.twclimate.com