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A day in the life of...

Typically my day starts around 5:30 – 6:30 depending on how many miles I've got to travel to site.  I usually get there for between 7:30 & 8:30 according the client’s time-frames.  If it’s a big site, the first thing I do is report to the site office, have a chat to the site agent to find out where I’m going to be working, which plots need testing and what result they’re aiming for.  It’s likely that I've already got the information before I get there but it’s best to check.

Once I know where I’m going, I head off to have a quick look round the building to see if there’s anything obvious in terms of where the air might escape.  If things aren't up to scratch I get hold of the site agent and point it out so they can make some changes.  Quite often there isn't anything obvious but if there is I can call on a laborer to help me out.  When I've completed the visual inspection I set about getting on with the job.  I take the measurements and do my calculations.  Any fiddly bits of measuring have to be done by hand but that’s fine.

The next step is to tape up any vents in the windows and bathrooms.  Sometimes this is done before I get there if I’ve been to site before and on other occasions I get help doing it.  It just depends really – sometimes I have to do it myself.

On to the test …

I put the kit in the door, take the readings and write them down.  I fire up the laptop, enter the readings and we have a result. When it passes, everyone’s happy, if it’s failed we do what we can to find out why.  If the client can put things right within an hour, generally speaking I stay on site to test again.  That’s easier when there’s more than one test on a site.  Once all the testing’s done I check in to the site office to share the results.  If it’s all hunky dory I might get a cuppa and then off to the next site where I do exactly the same thing.

Once I get back home I’ll fill in my time sheet whilst I remember then I log in to see what’s there for tomorrow.  I call the following day’s clients to arrange a time, trying to sort it in the best geographical order and off we go again.

What do you love about your job?

Meeting different people each day and having that contact.  Sometimes we talk football but other times it might be purely about the job in hand.  I don’t mind.

What makes the day interesting?

It’s more interesting when you've got issues to overcome.  It’s all very well when it goes to plan but you get a lot of satisfaction by trying to get to the bottom of why the building won’t pass the regulations and hunting down where the leaks are and then helping to client by giving info on how they can put things right.

What are the challenges?

Finding the leaks!  Sometimes they’re obvious but other times they can be hidden away in boxing etc.  You have to be really sensitive in the way you put things across too as sometimes the guys on site will take it as a criticism on their work – which it might be.  Tact and diplomacy are essential and also being dedicated to helping the client as much as you can.

Getting people to understand that what you say is correct and something positive.

What do you like about working for Energist?

I get on great with the other engineers.  We speak on the phone most days to discuss what’s gone wrong and how things are going.  We also have a laugh,  it’s a real team

Become an Energist Air Test Engineer, pop your CV over to TinaG@energistUK.co.uk today!
Jon Ponting

Author: Jon Ponting

This article was published by Jon Ponting on 14.01.2014.