Helping people is the foundation of everything I do and a huge part of what defines our business. Though my role in the business can change year to year, one thing will always remain the same — the constant dedication to helping people.
If you know me, you know I’m one who gets bored easily. You may have someone close to you who’s the same way. I love what I do, but I like to change things up every once in a while. I like to learn new things — new skills or ways of doing things. This is a characteristic that has defined much of my career and has brought me to where I am today.
I started out as plumber, and I still remember my first day on the job. That day, my boss came up to me and said, “George, I need you to solder this.” Easier said than done. Sure, I knew what soldering was, but on my first day as plumber, I didn’t have a clue what to do with his request.
In that moment, my boss told me I didn’t know how to do anything. Yes, there was a lot I didn’t know, and I was green, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me. I took on that project, and I learned. That’s the attitude I’ve carried with me from that day on.
From there I went into new construction. For five years, I built new homes here in B.C. This was in the early 1980s, and if you were around in the early ’80s, you have an idea of what happened next. The economy tanked, interest rates shot up, and new construction jobs vanished overnight. In the short term, it wasn’t great, but in the long term, it was probably for the better.
After construction jobs dried up in B.C., I found myself back east in Toronto. There, I went back to my roots and worked for a plumbing company — a company I worked with for nine years. My boss was a younger guy, but he was intuitive. He knew when I was bored even before it occurred to me.
When my boss saw that I was getting bored or something seemed off, he threw something new at me. It was something to break up my day-to-day processes and, more importantly, it was something that utilized my drive to learn.
My boss asked me to work on some of their heating projects. At the time, his company didn’t do a whole lot in the way of heating. In fact, no one else in his business worked in heating, so I had no one to learn from. In many respects, I was on my own and had to start from scratch.
And I went with it. Before long, I was working on a variety of heating projects. There was one job that required me to break through a customer’s tile to get to some pipes. I was asked to patch the tiles and make it look as good as new. Again, I had no idea how to patch tiles, but that didn’t stop me. I learned, completed the tiling, and left that job with a satisfied customer.
And that’s what it’s about — the customer. Behind my drive to learn is the knowledge that I can help our clients that much more. I bring what I’ve learned over the years to our business, to our team, and to the people who call us every single day when something goes wrong in their homes.
– George Lewis