Plumbers, Mechanics and More. Oh Joy.

It's been one of those weeks. Everything in my life is making odd noises: the minivan, the pump, the children. (ok, the children's noises may have been due to the sheer number of kids involved.) Nonetheless, having to deal with a plumber AND a mechanic in the same day left me feeling quite sorry for myself (and my wallet).

Because we believe in small businesses we tend to call the little guys: the solo plumber, the small repair shop, etc. They're not always as effecient as larger organizations - and I've spent a bit of time tracking down the mechanic, trying to get an estimate for the work. (because if it turns out to be triple what I'm expecting, I'm going to need to get some xanax from my doctor. It's best to be prepared!)

Yup, I've worried about the cost of all this manual labor. Plus parts. Did you know the silly 20 gallon pump tank costs $158 from a plumbing supply house? It's an empty tank, for crying out loud! {sigh}

And then I started thinking about the men who were performing this labor. The plumber who drove directly to my home to check on my pump before going to have his knee operated on. Sweat was dripping down his face as showed me exactly how to replace the pump tank, because he's not allowed to work for two days following his surgery. He left me the connector and the glue, I just needed to buy the tank.  [Jim Teufel, Earleville]

Bob Shamrock [Shamrock Automotive, Elkton] is equally hard-working.  He's juggling a fleet of to-be-repaired vehicles, phone calls and little-old-me - who keeps asking questions. He fixed an urgent problem with my van over a week ago - and I still haven't received a bill (he really needs a secretary). He's working in a stifling repair shop, doing physically demanding, dirty work. He obviously does it well, for people keep dropping off their cars like he's raffling off an i-pad. 

And so, I've decided to stop worrying over what everything will cost. It has to be done - and I can't do it myself (nor do I want to!). I've decided to just be grateful for these hard-working, honest men - and their talents! They attend to our everyday emergencies and make everything all right again.  They don't wear white shirts or work in sterile, air conditioned surroundings. Instead, they wear the blood, sweat and grime of their chosen professions - and provide for their families by doing so.

These independent contractors are American businessmen at their best - and I'm proud to support their efforts. Thanks, Guys! 

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