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4 Lessons Learned from Hiring a Plumber

PlumberLessons from a plumberAs men we like to fix things. Whether we really can or not we like the challenge. It gives us purpose. A reason for breathing.

The other day I decided to take on fixing a wobbly toilet. This is not a task for the feeble-minded. First as a guy getting in and around nether-region splatter is well not my cup of tea. No matter how much of a germaphobe I am. The residue of visitors and guests lingers.

Our house is one of those houses where nothing is as easy as it seems. What should have been just a matter of tightening some screws or maybe adding a shim. Turned into an all day ordeal.

From a broken cast iron flange, failing from age. Then snapping a brittle connecting hose. I was not going to give in easily to this porcelain giant. Hammering and chiseling my way into oblivion. Defeat was not an option, at first.

A couple futile trips to Home Depot and ad-mist frustration. Do I throw in the towel, have I made things worse? Guys don’t ask for directions much less any help. Battered and broken the room a bit more so. Frustrated that I made things worse. Maybe I should have just called the plumber first off I guess.

So I gave in and put up the white flag of surrender. I called in reinforcements and had the experts come out.

When the plumber got to the house I showed him what I felt was signs of an inept handyman. Beyond a couple of slight smirks, he graciously gave me some advice. He said rather than charging me several hundreds of dollars for something I am capable of doing he would rather show me how to complete the project at no charge.

Dumbfounded, I obligingly took his advice. Men don’t usually share much about themselves. This guy not only shared tips of his trade with me. He also showed that there is such a thing as genuinely wanting to help someone. He shared with me that he had worked 30 hours over the past weekend. Yet he took the time to offer free advice.

Lessons Learned from Hiring a Plumber

  1. It is not always about the job – sometimes we are better served to focus on the person rather than the job. Sometimes this means giving of yourself in lieu of payment.
  2. Getting broken to be fixed – We have at times to break ourselves or things around us in order to be rebuilt. The rebuilding is only sometimes a physical recreation.
  3. Guys really do need to just be guys – even men that work desk jobs need to get their hands dirty occasionally. Whether it is being elbow deep in unmentionable filth or just a weekend camping in the wild. Men need to be able to be men.
  4. Better to try and fail than not try – Countless times I have been out of my depth in a project. Each time I end up this way I learn something new. These teachings are not always the way we would imagine. Then again many learn their lessons from a carpenter, why not a plumber too?

Now its your turn. Have you started a project that turned into something more? Did you call the professional or continue to make a mess of things? Better yet have you ever learned from an unexpected source like I did from my plumber?

About Charles Johnston

Charles is a Christian, husband and father of fur-kids who shares his walk with others in hopes to help other's along the way.

12 Replies

  1. The lessons of plumbers, I know those well…my Dad is one! As you point out many times it is better to try and fail, just don’t do that with appliances that you can’t turn off the main for!

    1. It’s great that you have a dad that is handy like that, many times guys have to figure it out on their own because their dads are no help .. thanks for commenting!

  2. My Father was also a plumber/ electrician/ superman. Thankfully he has taught me a lot about fixing things around the house. As a child I helped him build houses. Sometimes there are things that I either can’t fix, or don’t have time for. He’s usually available to help, which is really nice~

    1. My wife’s father (my father-in-law) is an electrician so I have learned some from him. He readily admits he knows little about plumbing so I didn’t even call on this one. Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  3. I am lucky my father and husband can fix almost anything. I am pretty handy from watching from the sidelines all those years.

    1. Sitting on the sidelines definitely can come in handy. The little I claim to know is from watching others ..well that and books and youtube … thanks for visiting my blog!

  4. I reached out when I started blogging. So much help from so many people. As far as handyman stuff, my father-in-law always jumps in and helps.

    1. And you so often reach out and help others David! Thanks as always!

  5. Jamie

    I have had to ask for help a lot lately…I have also learned a lot!

    1. Asking is the first step to learning many times keep asking away Jamie!

  6. I’m right there now. We have a toilet that isn’t working. I’ve tried everything and after several months it’s still not fixed. I want to call a plumber but the price is what is stopping me. I know it’s a simple fix but haven’t found out how to fix it.

    It’s ironic because when I was in the Navy I was in charge of the plumbers!! Yet firefighting was my speciality.

    They were some of the best out there!! Yet many aren’t doing this a a job now?

    1. Sometimes it is the easy simple fixes that we tend to put off doing!.. calling the plumber can be a difficult choice on the bank account and a little humbling for a guy too as well.. maybe you will be blessed as I was with someone that would rather advise than sell.. best of luck!