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Hang in there Dunbar, the work keeps you young at heart. I learned to solder at age 8 'cause i was the only one on the job who could fit in the "one cement block out access" to a crawl space. I can still hear my old man screaming at me to get my ass in there while I whined and cried about spiders, lol. 25 cents an hour pushed me to ignore my fears (I think) and I moved up the ladder to owning and operating the company he started. I've come full circle from running (and babysitting) a full crew of guys to doing everything myself with just one helper and a secretary. My body hurts like hell and I love it. Stress on the mind was worse when I was the only thinker for a pile of people who couldn't. I'm 43 and the little things are now the most rewarding like hearing a HO who I connected a new undermount kitchen bowl today tell me, "My God Dan are you flexible. I'm hurting just watching you kneel and bend that way!" His payment certainly helps, lol. I ache but feel way better than being mentally drained daily by constant officework and being surrounded by well paid complainers. I'll force myself to stay in the field as long as possible. Coming home physically whooped has a special feel to it. I'm a service guy and long jobs suck but they have a tendency to clear the mind when physically challenging. Stay away from the pills and ignore the pain as long as you can. I feel worse when I'm not active.

By the way, anyone have any pants with knee pad pockets? Regular knee pads are an annoyance because of the straps and I just can't seem to get into the habit of carrying a kneel on pad.
 

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Iv'e never seen jeans with pockets for knee pads, but whoever gets them invented is gonna be rich!!!!


Here's a trick for you guys who are complaining about aching wore out bodies:

get a piece of 2" thick styrofoam. cut 3 pieces 18" wide by 36" long. Stack'em together and use a whole role of duct tape wrap the entire block of foam. Next time you have to do some under sink work, lay that baby on the floor up against the cabinet. Sit your butt on the end and lay back, head into the cabinet and go to work. Oh, yeah -- try not to fall asleep in front of the HO, cause you are comfortable for once. This WILL SAVE YOUR BACK!!!!
 

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Hey Sewerologist - Young Crawler Kid

Same here! My dad used to call me "Freddy the Mole", for how I was the only one in our company who could fit in otherwise inaccessible crawlspaces.
Now he works for me. And I still sometimes end up going into the crawlspaces anyway.
It's especially tough when the skinny techs go on to other companies and the only thing I have left is the big, rotund techs who can't fit.
I guess that's what skinny apprentices are for. I don't know if I can hire solely based on whether a guy can fit into a crawlspace or not; I might get sued for discrimination or something.
 
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