How to Become a Plumber: Part 1, Intro

“Should I become a plumber?” Many young men ask this question at one time or other, and not a few older guys get fed up with their lot in life and ask the same question.

I never got to ask that question. I was thirty four years old and suddenly unemployed. I looked all over Memphis for a job that would support my family and allow me to continue in school in pursuit of a PhD degree. All I could find was Roto-Rooter, who hired me because I already owned a van. I didn’t know plumbing; I didn’t know drain cleaning; I didn’t even know that water ran downhill. But, by golly, I learned — because I had to. When I finished the PhD, I discovered that nobody cared, so I kept plumbing. I was supposed to become a college teacher, but the colleges could never figure that out, so they left me in the plumbing trade. It’s just as well; there’s a lot less sewage in plumbing than on today’s college campuses.

Maybe you’re asking that question: should you become a plumber? I certainly can’t tell you how to live your life, but I can tell you what I’ve seen and heard since I first climbed into the truck thirty two years ago.