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Greetings all,

I'm Ryan from Lincoln NE. Here's a quick look at my credentials;
1999-2003 -- Steam Plant Operator
2003-2007 -- Apprentice
2007-2008 -- Journeyman
2008-Current Master Plumber

Since 2003 I've been fortunate to work for some great shops, and have had a diversified professional pedigree. I've worked in new commercial construction, utility install/repair, residential construction/remodel, residential/commercial service, and industrial systems. As you know, our trade takes us into about every conceivable type of building. I've worked in military installations, healthcare facilities, correctional facilities, airports, generation plants, and countless production plants, in addition to your more "common" projects.
I've hit some common milestones for plumbers; grade 6 license, MEDGAS 6010... I've managed departments for others, and like so many of us, I've operated my own company as well.
I believe that a person never really "arrives", and at any given time, we are all simply at different points in our training. That philosophy has served me well and kept me hungry to learn in an ever-changing trade. It's helped me to become not only the best technician I can be, but to be a better leader as well.

I'll share a quick horror story.....
One summer early in my apprenticeship, I was put on an industrial job for a prominent chicken production facility. The job was to update the sanitary and grease lines leaving the plant and basically replace everything to the sewer main outside the building. This plant was terribly old, I don't know what the previous occupant did, but the clay piping and some of the brick-lined pits were over 100years old in 2004. When the chicken people came in, the plumbing system just wasn't keeping up with what they needed.

The plan was, over the course of the summer, we would lay new piping next to the active systems, and when time came we would do the change-over to the new piping over the course of a night or weekend (during low production periods, because the plant wasn't shutting down for anything). This doesn't sound like a great deal of work, but the pipe sizes were 8" and plus, and there were multiple buildings on the compound that were all involved, and all of this piping needed to be installed below the main parking lot where it was all located. To put the size and scope in perspective, the grease trap was about half the size of a school bus, and we needed to rent a crane to set it in the trench.

Looking back, there were a handful of questionable decisions made by the project manager, but I didn't know any better at the time.
We contracted a local operator. I assume this looked good on paper, maybe management thought it would be cheaper with a local machine, or maybe less liability concerns, whatever the case, it was a bad idea. In week 1 the local guy either didn't understand the plan, or didn't know what a probe rod was, either way, he completely destroyed the existing drainage system. De-f**king-stroyed. As I'd mentioned the age and condition of the piping, there was no fixing it, the damage was extensive and it was done.

That mistake set the tone for the entire summer. Every morning we drove 90 minutes to the jobsite to find our series of trenches absolutely full of washdown from the plant. Feathers, beak, feet, fat... all floating in the bloody water that stood stagnant all night.
First two hours of the day were spent pumping out the ditch, thousands upon thousands of gallons of nasty water. After that, on went the muck boots and into the ditch we go, trying to push together hub and spigot cast iron. It was nearly impossible. The ground was saturated from the over-night soak, you could push a spade to its full depth and still not have any traction to push pipe onto the previous piece. Years later I found out the manager had ordered pipe and gaskets separately, and at some sort of discount. They were not compatible, and during install we continuously rolled gaskets up the pipe while trying to fit them in place. So not only was it **** conditions, but we were fighting an uphill battle with the material.

In the afternoon's, the hot Nebraska summer would begin to dry up some of the higher areas in the ditch, and the fly's were so thick you had to be careful not to let them in your mouth. Every step you took would expose a bed of maggots eating whatever it was they were eating. It would be pointless for me to try to describe the smell, but it never came out of my uniforms, and when that job was over I retired all the clothing that was in the rotation, including my boots. One event that maybe sums up this job the best - my buddy and I were doing the daily battle vs. the cast iron when he leaned over and dropped a chisel out of his chest pocket into the muck. In a dose of bad luck, this dime size dollop of chicken water splashed up and directly into Colby's mouth, right down the throat. In one fluid motion, Colby stood up, turned his head, and emptied his stomach right there in front of us. Poor bastard. It was a miserable job, but you make the best of it. If you can't laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at, really?
 

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Welcome Ryan! We should sticky your intro as a perfect example!
Where's the server located? I doubt anyone here can get their sticky to go that far.
 

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Plumbing since 1974
Plumbing and light HVAC
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Great story. Welcome on board.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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Greetings all,

I'm Ryan from Lincoln NE. Here's a quick look at my credentials;
1999-2003 -- Steam Plant Operator
2003-2007 -- Apprentice
2007-2008 -- Journeyman
2008-Current Master Plumber

Since 2003 I've been fortunate to work for some great shops, and have had a diversified professional pedigree. I've worked in new commercial construction, utility install/repair, residential construction/remodel, residential/commercial service, and industrial systems. As you know, our trade takes us into about every conceivable type of building. I've worked in military installations, healthcare facilities, correctional facilities, airports, generation plants, and countless production plants, in addition to your more "common" projects.
I've hit some common milestones for plumbers; grade 6 license, MEDGAS 6010... I've managed departments for others, and like so many of us, I've operated my own company as well.
I believe that a person never really "arrives", and at any given time, we are all simply at different points in our training. That philosophy has served me well and kept me hungry to learn in an ever-changing trade. It's helped me to become not only the best technician I can be, but to be a better leader as well.
130054
 
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