I asked our readers to show me their trucks for our truck issue (February), and they delivered. What I loved the most about putting together this feature was how people’s personalities really came out in the descriptions of their lives behind the wheel and how it defines them as contractors.
Here was one of my favorites from the A/C Lady in Euless, Texas:
“For more than 25 years, I've been behind the wheel, and now a few other of my loyal employees have too. When they were young, my two sons brainstormed the name ‘A/C Lady,’ and it has been my trademark all these years. My truck represents my company because it is simple and to the point, much the way I am. My father, who I lost this summer, gave his daughter the greatest gift in the world — knowledge. Some girls learn how to knit, sew, do makeup and hair; I chose to follow my dad around…”
As the daughter of an electrician and small business owner who started off as a carpenter, I appreciate this sentiment. Though I never wanted to work in the trades, I have a deep respect for tradespeople because I’ve seen the sweat, toil, and passion up close. In this industry, I hear a lot of similar stories.
PHC News’ Steve Smith is on a similar wavelength this month. In his column he writes, “We take it for granted that contractors are hard-working craftsmen and craftswomen who deliver services that do much more than just keep the heat on and the water flowing … It’s a tough slog. That’s the big reason editors serve as part-cheerleader for the readers and part-ambassador for the industry at large.”
There isn’t going to be a time when trade skills aren’t necessary. Yes, they are and will be much more multi-faceted. The representation will be more diverse. Workers will be hybrid creatures with technical training and soft skills and more formalized schooling all wrapped into one. They will wear and use even more refined technology that connects them in deeper ways to their customers. But they will never lose that first story — the “tinkering around in dad’s or mom’s shop” one. The “how I got here” one. It is not and will never be lost, as long as you keep sharing the old ones and creating new ones in the midst of uncertainty.
Delve into this month’s issue to read contractor stories, and much more!