It may sound silly, but I mean it when I say: I plumb with my heart. Let me tell you what I mean by that. My title here at Hope Plumbing is "Service Manager" but that doesn't really give you the whole picture of what I do day to day.
I'm a matchmaker. A big part of what I do at Hope is match the right guy on our team to the job at hand. This is harder than it sounds. Each of our plumbers has his own special set of skills and it's very important that the right plumber shows up to your door. It's also important that my guys feel confident. If they tackle a job that plays on their strengths, they'll deliver premium service every time. I'm here to make sure that happens.
Managing my team in this way is especially important with the shortage of folks joining the plumbing workforce. The world needs more people in the trades and I think it's important that young people know there's an alternative to the traditional college route, which can often lead to massive student loan debt and a hard time finding work. The more folks out there trained in skills that are critical for our economy, our standard of living, and really, a better quality of life for everyone.
Speaking of young people, some folks would be surprised to learn I majored in art at Herron as a youngster. Turns out I'm color blind, so that kind of puts a damper on that career path. However, I like to think I bring some artistry to my work in every way I can. I like to make neat and pretty-- parallel and perpendicular. I think anything can be a work of art, even a plumbing job.
Another role I have is educator. I teach third and fourth year plumbing students, and let me tell you, I don't go easy on them-- and they appreciate that. In a world where everything is faster, cheaper, easier, this kind of work becomes more and more important. Years later, I'm still in touch with some of my students. I don't just have the opportunity to change them as plumbers, I can change them as people.
I try to develop the same kind of relationship with my coworkers. One of my colleagues here at Hope, a guy that's older than me and has been in the trade longer said to me, "I came here to work because I want to work with you. But don't get a big head about it." I'll take it.
I put a lot of pride in my workmanship and do the best to represent my own name and the company. It's not a job to me, it's not just a paycheck, it's part of my life.