The 4 Men At My House

Our water heater broke.  So our housemate had some plumbers come over and install a tankless heater.

Two plumbers showed up one morning to do the install.  One was a slender young man, he looked younger than me, and one was a man probably in his later 40’s early 50’s.

Since the tankless water heater is heated by gas, it required running new piping from the gas meter at the front left corner of the house to the tankless at the right rear of the house.  There is a very small crawl space under the house.  So small that the termite guy that just came to the home said he couldn’t even inspect and would just have to spray because he couldn’t get under there.

I could hear the older plumber trying to convince the younger plumber to take short cuts.  Just run the pipe over the back steps, don’t crawl under there.  “You don’t make enough money to be crawling under this persons house!” he exclaimed.  The young plumber quietly persisted that he would crawl under the house and pipe it correctly.

It was interesting to hear voiced a battle that rages daily in everyone’s mind.  Do I do what is right which takes more work and time, or do I take the easy route?

The older plumber actually got kicked off the job half way through the day.  At the end of the evening, after 8+ hours of work the tankless was installed.   The young man was covered in dirt from crawling under the house.  I thanked him for his hard work and shook his hand and he smiled.  There’s something that lets you sleep well at night, knowing you’ve done what is right and have worked hard.

I ordered a pizza because I didn’t realize they’d be working all day and I’d be at home with the gas and water cut off.  When I answered the door an older gentleman with grey hair, delivered my pizza.  It wasn’t your usual teen/twenty delivery guy.  He made eye contact and handed me my pizza which shook in his hands.  “Did you get all of your sauces?” he asked me making sure he was thorough.  “I did.” I responded.  I wanted to ask him why he was delivering pizzas at his age, but didn’t.  I gave him my money and said he could keep the change.  He stopped, looked me in the eye and thanked me for the tip and told me to have a nice day.  Noticeable nuances, I took note of.

I also sold my camera lens on craigslist that day as well.  I kept getting text messages from the buyer referring to me as “dude.”  He let me know that he was waiting on his girlfriend to get out of work so that he could get a ride.  He also let me know that he could meet me anywhere because no distance would stand between him and his dream of being a professional photographer.

He texted me to let me know he had arrived.  I opened our front door.  He was smoking a cigarette and didn’t want to put it out and fumbled with it.  He ended up putting it on the cement stairs and said “don’t worry, I’ll make sure I get it.”  He came inside to see the lens, the living room instantly filled with the smell of smoke.  “You’re selling this for real cheap, you know how much these things are going for right?” he asked.  I wasn’t sure why he would say that if he was about to buy it.  I was glad he thought he was getting such a great deal.  He thought they were being sold for double what I was asking.  I had already done my research and the going price for the lens used was about $50 more than I was asking.  I wanted it to sell and that’s why I listed for what I did.

After trying out the lens, he whipped out some cash and left.  The next morning I found his barely smoked cigarette on the front steps.

All four of those men left an impression on me that day.  Enough of an impression for me to share it with you.  It was interesting to observe the 4 very different men who came to my house that day.

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