Champion What Makes You Unique

The last couple of weeks have been crazy, a vistor down our chimney (squirrel claws, not Santa Claus), half our tree snapping off in the front yard, a trip to the ER, and having to look for new employment due to my job being cancelled. But, you can learn a lot from a plumber…

The Timline

  • 9:00am — “Twas the the day before Thanksgiving, and to the neighbors bathrooms we did roam, for no water was draining in the in-laws home” — and a clogged up house before thanksgiving is a serious matter.
  • 10:00am — My brother-in-law, Larry, and I tried to unclog it with a 40 foot drain cleaner “snake”. No luck.
  • 11:00am — A plumber was called that morning and said “We’ll be there by 4 this afternoon”.
  • 5:30pm — no plumber. A phone call reassured us that the plumber would be there.
  • 6:30pm — through a valiant effort by my mother-in-law, we have a great Thanksgiving meal (yes, on Wednesday — when 3 families are involved things get complicated).
  • 7:30pm — still no plumber. A phone call told use that “they should have called you and let you know that the plumber wasn’t coming”. Grrrrrr.
  • 7:31pm — panic sets in. What are the odds of a plumber coming the evening before Thanksgiving?
  • 7:33pm — Not too bad apparently. One says he’ll be there in 15-20 minutes
  • 7:50pm — Plumber arrives.
  • 8:45pm — Drain clog which turns out to be 100 feet down the sewer line is fixed. There is much rejoicing.

The Rest of the Story

Pretty boring story, except for the plumber that showed up. I’ll let his phone book ad do the describing: Image of one armed plumber phone book ad

His van had similar artwork including what may be my favorite slogan ever: We Single Handedly Beat the Competition

 

The Moral

Too often we try to hide what makes us unique because we don’t want be seen as different. What Mr. Merryman can teach is that we are different, and even if we don’t want to, we will stand out. By being up front about his unique appearance, Mr. Merryman ensures that we won’t forget about him and in doing so removes both surprises and obstacles.

But we can’t win just by being different. We are still being judged by the job we do; by emphasizing what makes us unique we challenge ourselves to excellence. No one wants to be remembered for a job poorly done.

So, as I embark upon my new job search, I hope I have learned the lesson of the one handed plumber well.

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