I’m glad that I get to experience what it’s like to be a plumber. Even though I experience some hard challenges, there are some really rewarding aspects that make it all worthwhile. The best part is that we’re in an industry that’s essential to the health and safety of the human race. (Sewage and unclean water can contribute to disease.) Our industry is very important because it is so essential to daily life. It’s very fulfilling to know that what we do is significant.
Unfortunately, because our service is so essential, we have to go to someone’s aid quickly whenever something breaks. We get calls from customers at all hours with problems like sewage backing up in the basement. Whenever that happens, we have to do whatever we can to provide help.
This past Father’s Day, one of our technicians was getting ready to go out to dinner with his family. A customer called and said, “We’ve got sewage water all over our basement!” We needed to get someone over there right away. Our technician had to go home and get suited up, which was disappointing to his wife and children. On the bright side, there’s a very rewarding feeling when we solve a problem for the client and make their life better. It’s what we choose to do for a living, so we have to be ready to go when we’re needed.
Another challenge is that every house is different. As a result, it can be hard to find all the parts you will need to complete a job. Over the past 80 years of plumbing, many different products have been released. Products that were used only ten years ago may have already been discontinued. Experienced plumbers who are competent in their trade need to know a lot about a wide range of products that span decades.
As an example, I just recently went to my in-law’s house because they had a toilet with a handle that was sticking. Unfortunately the toilet had been discontinued so the replacement parts were no longer available for purchase. I knew exactly what the problem was, but it didn’t matter. If we can’t get the right parts, sometimes our only option is to replace the entire fixture.
In any skilled trade, whether it be plumbing, mechanics, or HVAC, there’s a bad rap that people take advantage of others. Unfortunately, items in our cars or homes never break at an opportune time. It’s inconvenient and sometimes costly to fix the problem. Of course, just like any other industry there are good and bad companies out there. It can be challenging to prove to people that you’re trustworthy (especially if the norm isn’t trustworthiness).
We have to present our case to new customers, just like in a court of law. We have to work hard to earn people’s trust. There can be challenges if plumbers aren’t able to communicate exactly what is going to be done and how much it will cost. Everyone has to be on the same page so that there are no misunderstandings. On the other side of the coin, it’s extremely fulfilling once we’ve built a relationship with a client.
Water is very important to the human race—we wouldn’t survive if we didn’t have ready access to this resource. We as plumbers have the opportunity to work with water every day. Our job is to deliver the most important staple short of air, so it’s very rewarding to us.