Being named Dubbo's Favourite Tradie is a prize addition to John King's resume, but the air conditioner technician probably won't be needing to hand-out one of those any time soon.
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Mr King won the accolade at the 2023 Rhino Awards, held at the Dubbo Regional Theatre and Convention Centre on Friday, October 20.
The senior service technician for Chill-Rite Refrigeration and Air Conditioning said he was "blown away" with the recognition, which came quite unexpectedly - to him at least.
The people's choice award was voted by the Dubbo public so many of his customers must have voted for him.
"I try to have a nice measure and talk to people in a calm way, and treat people the way you want to be treated and it comes back in return," Mr King said.
Mr King loves his job because it's all about problem solving - which is also one of its biggest challenges.
"It's the day-to-day challenges when it does come down to those tricky, hard to find issues, [so there's] problem solving, those kinds of things," Mr King said.
"A lot of people don't like doing that kind of stuff. You get a better sense of accomplishment when you do get it."
Mr King's job consists of maintaining air conditioning and refrigeration systems in domestic and commercial properties. He takes care of service and also breakdowns.
He began his career as a school-based electrical apprentice with the mines, but he decided the mines weren't for him and went to live in Dubbo, where he began working for Chill-Rite Refrigeration and Air Conditioning.
"[That was] nine and half years ago. I stuck with it ever since, because I enjoyed it," he said.
Jobs in large commercial properties can be challenging at times, but Mr King relishes the demands in various different areas including office buildings, aged care facilities, hospitals, the local zoo, and also servicing new homes and fault-finding in old homes.
He said the Rhino Awards evening was "quite a night".
"I was just sitting there and when they ... opened the envelope [and announced the winner], I just hung my head down a little bit because I wasn't expecting my name to actually get called," Mr King said.
"I was sharing a table with my competition at the time, we both sort of looked at each other and they announced my name and I was quite shocked and blown away."
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He described the awards night as "a stunning evening, very well executed".
"Everyone was dancing and enjoying themselves," he said.
And though he was named Dubbo's Favourite Tradie, he works alongside a top team.
"We jump between each other and help each other all the time and make sure we get to go home on time on Fridays," he said.
The Rhino plaque has pride of place on Mr King's TV cabinet at home.
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