When Rob Weaver was in 8 th grade, he spent his weekends working on a nearby farm. His job was to pick up the 6,000-7,000 eggs laid daily by 15,000 chickens. Rob's careful handling of the product eventually led to a full-time job after high school gathering and grading the eggs.
After a few years, Rob went on to earn a degree in Applied Science at Harper College, with plans to find a job that made use of his interests in science and technology. In 1987, after a 10-year stint with a small refrigeration company in northern Illinois, Rob joined Northern Weathermakers.
Today, as a senior service technician, Rob is like a doctor on call. He never knows when he'll get an emergency, or what it will entail. With a mix of "patients" such as nursing homes, churches, office buildings and large retailers, he is always prepared to handle a variety of challenges.
"Every week is different," explains the veteran employee. "That's one of the reasons I like what I do so much."
Last month, for instance, a routine week included a maintenance check in a three-story office building in Niles; the installation of a 1+ million BTU boiler in a nursing home in Evergreen Park; and, along with a co-worker over a two-day period, the cleaning of an air handler "the size of two buses" in the corporate office of a national retailer.
Rob's attention to detail, good work ethic and attitude have made him a good influence and role model for our new service technicians over the years. "Half the job is getting along well with your customers and supporting them. The other half is being a good technician, knowing how to do the work," he says. "I tell the younger guys, if you can do both, you've got it made."
Building trust has been a big part of Rob's success in the field. "If I can keep a customer's HVAC system going, I will. At the same time, I may also tell them to budget in the next year or the year after to replace certain parts. They trust me to follow through with the job in the right way." Customers also report that Rob's old-school, my-word-is-as-good-as-a-signature approach, is refreshing.
At one point, Rob's expertise and talent – no surprise – led to a promotion. He spent part of his day in the office as the go-to guy for the service technicians and the rest in the field serving customers.
But after a few years, Rob missed all the face time with customers, so he went back to working full-time in the field. His customers were thrilled. His connection with many of them is so strong that when they have an emergency, they reach out to Rob on his cell phone, bypassing our dispatchers.
Even in the middle of winter, when snowy conditions, traffic and accidents make for a very long workday – such as a two-hour trip to Evergreen Park from Rob's home in Beach Park last month – Rob is where he wants to be.
"I see my customers 4-10x a year. I've watched employees get promoted and move up in their career – from the retail side to the corporate office, for example, and from the stockroom to the floor as a manager. I've attended a number of customers' anniversary parties and other celebrations over the years. It's almost like you're a member of their family," Rob says.
We're grateful Rob is part of Northern Weathermakers' family and look forward to his continued service for a long time to come!