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- By James Wisler
My dad started Wisler Plumbing & Air. I can remember what it was like growing up and watching him in the trade. In this industry, you get to meet a lot of interesting people and see all different kinds of homes. I started riding along on service calls at a very young age. (One client told me they remembered how I tried to use a shovel that was twice my size.) My role early on was to be what some people call a ‘gopher’, which is pretty much a helper for my dad. I remember how I couldn’t wait to graduate from that role to actually doing the work. I would no longer have to get the tools or parts and clean up the job while my dad stayed inside the house.
Some service calls were very late at night. Being the small boy that I was, I had fears of things like huge barking dogs, or the dark night as I had to make the trip from someone’s home to the company truck. I’d run as fast as I could to get a tool or part—I’d even try to choose the right door to go from the house to the truck in the most efficient route. The ironic thing is, when I eventually grew up and got old enough to have helpers of my own, I expected them to run to the truck as fast as I did. I’d think to myself, why in the world was it taking so long to get me a tool? It’s funny how things that happen when you’re a child stick with you.
I grew up with two older brothers, one older than me by 5 years and one older by 6 years. As you can imagine, they were very kind to their little brother. They took it upon themselves to teach me all the ways of plumbing. One of the first summers I was out working with my brothers, they educated me about pipe dope, which is the thread sealant we put around pipes. It has a white, melted marshmallow-like appearance, and they convinced me to give it a taste-test. I was destined to find out if it tasted as good as it looked. (It was the nastiest thing ever, of course.) From that moment on, I learned to be judicious about what I should and shouldn’t eat.
I like to reminisce about all these childhood memories. They’ve definitely shaped me into who I am today. My children are still very young—probably no younger than I was when I started riding along with my dad. But the service industry has changed so much that bringing young children on service calls is probably frowned upon. I did take my son to a family member’s house while doing a plumbing project, though, and he was just so eager to help out and learn what I was doing. (I’m sure he got that from me.)
If you want to work with the family-friendly team at Wisler Plumbing & Air, reach out to us today., , or give us a call at 540-483-9382.