I've been a Plumber's helper for almost three months now, at Fred Smith Plumbing & Heating Company, located in the Upper East Side of Manhattan. It's been one of the most invigorating, and tense learning experiences of my life. My mechanical knowledge has increased immensely, which I'm very proud of, because I've viewed myself as somebody who is naturally mechanically inclined. I've been bouncing around as a helper at the beginning, to learn from each mechanic as much as possible. The shop consists of mainly immigrant Albanians, immigrant Poles, Puerto Ricans & Dominicans, and native white New Yorkers. Lot's of "fucking fuck" goes around in the van, when 8 of us are being dropped off to work around the city.
I was working with Chris, a mechanic of Irish descent, on a 5 inch waste line at a building located by the Metropolitan museum. The superintendent didn't do a shutdown of the line, so every single time somebody flushed their toilet from above us, the piss and shit would fall on us. It was one of the dirtiest moments of my life, and I left that job stinking like shit on the subway train. People looked at me with respect and disgust at the same time. Why? Because somebody's got to do the job.