FUN FACT! Uncle Zay is a BIG TIME nerd. When I get ahold of a new interest, I dive in head first and soak up as much information as humanly possible. The same applies to my career path. When I stumbled upon the opportunity to jump into the plumbing world, I had NO CLUE what I was really in for. A lot of people don’t know the history of the trade or any of the intricate techniques that really come with plumbing. One person who DOES know the history and A LOT more is my boss whom I’ve nicknamed Uncle Steve.
Uncle Steve has been plumbing for almost as long as I’ve been alive - twenty-seven years, to be exact. You could imagine what sort of knowledge someone like this has. I pick this man’s brain about EVERYTHING, even to the point of frustration. Nonetheless, he feeds me all the information I could ever want (and some that I don’t). The people that are closest to me know how hard it is to quench my thirst for information. Somehow though, Uncle Steve never ceases to amaze me when he troubleshoots tough jobs, works out difficult building plans, and deals with crazy contractors. He does all this with a sense of poise that is incredibly fascinating. His knowledge of which tool does what, when to use it, and how to use it properly is purely mystifying. Every situation and project is dissected and analyzed with precision and pride. I’m honored to be in the trenches with him on a daily basis.
On the flip side of the coin, when it’s not all business, Steve’s sense of humor electrifies a room immediately. His wit and slick comebacks make job sites truly entertaining for our customers. It’s not uncommon to hear terms like “bozo” or “bird brain” more than you actually hear our names being used. I also like to poke fun at his age frequently, saying that he and Jesus were in the same third-grade class. He’s actually only fifty-eight, but in the trading world, he’s a dinosaur. There are no shortages of dirty jokes, military folklore, and political rants either. Introductions to topics of conversation often start with the obligatory “Back in my day” or “When I was your age” (these are ALWAYS good).
All in all, the opportunity to learn and grow with someone who is drastically different and much smarter than me is worth more than I can wholly describe. Simply know that the trenches aren’t always ugly, especially when you have a cool sidekick.