Plumbing Zone - Professional Plumbers Forum banner

1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
82 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Fellow Tradesman
This is an interesting form. I’m still trying to put a face to the comments and get a feel for you all. I do know this: it is bright and articulate lot that hangs out here.

Tell me: What is the one act you have initiated that has given you the most satisfaction about giving back.
I’ll start..
Got a call a couple of years ago from a woman asking if I did oil repairs. I said yes, but didn’t tell her “only if I have to”. I told her I was busy, that if it was possible she should find someone else to do the work”. I told her I would call her in a couple of days and see how she was making out. I called her 3 days later when I was once again looking to fill out my schedule and asked how she had made out. She told me she hadn’t found anyone and would still like me to pop by. I said I would the next day and made an appointment. It was the end of November.
I arrived to find a delightful English woman in a bulky sweater greeting me at the door. She had on a couple of space heaters to keep the frost off the windows and was in good spirit. I was surprised.
The furnace was a nightmare!!!. Everything was wrong with the system. I don’t know how many of you do oil, but it can be a nightmare. The vacuum was down, the electrodes were gap fried, the psi was half of what it should be and the ignition module had crispy critter contacts. Getting parts for oil burners is not an easy chore. If you finally can find them they are usually so expensive you would rather convert the system than make the repairs. I spent probably 10 hours on the system including trips around town sussing out parts.
When I was working there the lady, without even asking, brought me down a cup of tea and a ham and cheese sandwich. During this stressful period in her life she never lost her way.
When the system was up and running to my satisfaction, I went up stairs and worked out her bill. I charged her for parts only and put no mark up on them.
As far as my hours……I sensed she was a proud woman and would not be into charity. Because she had been so patient through this ordeal, and waited for me to finally show up, I decided to give her my hours for free. When I presented her with the bill I told her that twice a year my company picks a customer that I feel is a customer that is for whatever reason, a cut above the rest. Her bill was minus about $700 in labour costs. She thanked me from the bottom of her heart, had a tear in her eye, and hugged me on my way.
When I was there and having general talks with her, I mentioned to her that my wife was a teacher. She asked me where and I told her. Two weeks after my visit to her my wife had a surprise visit to her classroom. This woman had gone to the trouble of going to my wife’s school, going to the office and asking for a teacher who’s husband was a plumber (she didn’t know my wife’s teaching name) and tracked her down. She gave to my wife a loaf of homemade bread and a jar of homemade jam. I don’t think there has been a time when I have ever felt so good about me as a person. Can you imagine the kind feelings she was feeling when she baked the bread. And to think they were all directed my way.

Tell me your story….
tl
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
151 Posts
Last Thanksgiving we did the plumbing at a house that had burned down for a family of 6 that were very, very down on their luck from an accident in the poor part of towm. All of the trades treated it like a small extreme makeover house and got it done in two weeks so that they could be in there for their kids Christmas. Never thought much about it until last month when the GC had a luncheon that he said we HAD to go to. Thinking that I needed to be there to keep his work, I went. Got there and it was a special luncheon for us because all of the other trades did it for cost and we did the project for free. It was about a $5K remodel and the GC let everyone know about how much we gifted. Then the family came out to my table and began thanking me and thats when the waterworks started. Probably one of the best things I have ever done and made me feel really good to help out.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,437 Posts
I had a 10% off coupon for Lowes and i was in line and bout to pay for my 10.00 drill bit.......a lady was in front of me with several power tools for her husbands fathers day presents.....so instead of me saving the dollar.....I gave the coupon to her and she saved 30.00. I really just did it to cost Lowes money. Does that count?:laughing:
 

·
Senior Moment
Joined
·
1,904 Posts
Great story Trout. Whenever I do work for someone that seems down on there luck, I usually cut them a break. Sometimes there just lazy pigs, and don't deserve a break, and other times they genuinely could use a little help. The hard part is figuring which is which.
 

·
Drain Cleaning Specialist
Joined
·
2,076 Posts
I enjoy helping the elderly some really need the help during tuff times.
 
  • Like
Reactions: trout lake

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,326 Posts
I enjoy helping the elderly some really need the help during tuff times.
My old boss was the exact opposite. he would rob the poor and give the rich a break use to piss me off. He was more interested in getting in good with the rich and locally famous(drs ,lawyers, local tv personalities) and looking out for himself. Use to tell him exactly what I thought of him. gee I wonder if that is why I got fired:whistling2:. but it was worth it.
 

·
every tool is a hammer
Joined
·
4,304 Posts
I have down a lot of plumbing for free. Sometimes I even pay for the parts. I usually do it for elderly or single moms. My folks divorced when I was young and I can sympathize with these ladies. For the hotties who got knocked up at 16, and now they finally kicked the deadbeat babydaddy out, I don't feel so much sympathy for. The best part is when people pay their bills at the city hall and tell the clerk stories about this wonderful plumber, my stepmom is the clerk, and it really makes her feel good that a formerly worthless jackass has straightened out his life. Sorta like Onesimus for you bible readers out there.
 

·
Drain Cleaning Specialist
Joined
·
2,076 Posts
My old boss was the exact opposite. he would rob the poor and give the rich a break use to piss me off. He was more interested in getting in good with the rich and locally famous(drs ,lawyers, local tv personalities) and looking out for himself. Use to tell him exactly what I thought of him. gee I wonder if that is why I got fired:whistling2:. but it was worth it.
The world may never know who we are or what we have done. only those few we helped.
 
  • Like
Reactions: pauliplumber

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,032 Posts
i don't own my own company, so i can't give much away.

but a few years ago my boss who is very generous did some work for a sheriff youth ranch in north florida, about a 2 1/2 hour drive from here, he supplied the parts.

there wasn't really much involved but it took all day considering the drive time.

i asked him if they are a non-profit, which i thought they were and i donated my time, he really wanted to pay me but i felt good helping, as little as i did, it still felt good.

i help neighbors for free, they buy parts and i install them for free, just the right thing to do IMO, karma and all :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,326 Posts
I had an old lady call me one time. She had water running over her drive everytime it rained and it would wash out making it hard to get her car in. I got over there and went to look at the problem. After inspecting it I notice that the ditch along the road was full of thrash and gravel. I went to her and told her to call the county and that they would take care of it.
A few weeks later I was reading a public forum on the internet and I noticed my company name posted on there. I clicked on it and it was the lady praising me because I told her to call the county instead of fixing the problem myself and charging her. Said that she would always call me now for her plumbing problems.
 

·
Lego Expert
Joined
·
4,570 Posts
I dont cut deals for anyone. I am not in the biz of charity. I give 10% to my CHURCH where I KNOW it will go to good cause. I also give my deer,duck,and fish to HUNTERS FOR THE HUNGRY.
 

·
Lego Expert
Joined
·
4,570 Posts
Well can you come over to my house I got a ton of stuff just for you jjbex?
Just because YOU do stuff for FREE???? doesnt make you a better man brother
 

·
Retired Moderator
Joined
·
6,781 Posts
i am not going to mention any names, but a company I worked for used to go to this house every week to repair a water leak in this house. I went back and told the dispatcher why not re pipe the house? She said they made more money doing repair work. After work I drove back to her house and told her what was going on. I re piped her house for the cost of the materials. She was on a fixed income. I could not find it in myself to charge her.
 

·
Plumb Crazy In Idaho
Joined
·
6 Posts
A few years ago, rigt before christmas, we had -30 weather, alot of frozen pipes. I received a call from an elderly woman (late 80'2 or early 90's) home pipes frozen. My apprentice an I worked for 4 hours thawing & repairing pipes in a nasty crawl space. Half frozen & wet, I went in to her home to write a bill. Before entering I question my self if she was on a very fixed income. Had the feeling if I gave her a bill she wouldn't be eating for the next month. As I entered, she was sitting on a chair pen & check book in hand ready to write me a check. Her hand was shaking so much that it confirmed my feelings, I walked over to her and said there was no charge for this service. She just sat there and cried. I hugged her and told her to call me if she needed anything else. It was the greatest christmas gift I received that year.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
402 Posts
I do the plumbing for free off hours at the Daytona Outreach Center. Myself, wife, daughter and a few more at my church feed them once a month (Good meals-not heat and ser.e). I've come to be friends with many of them and they are so grateful. Does a heart good!
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
Top