| David Gane


Last Wednesday, our basement started seeping water. We called the city and they told us we had a water line break on our side of the property.

We had just had our sewer line replaced six months before, so I called the same guy, Doug, to come look at it. This was a Friday morning and he came over in the afternoon.

They had been on a job and had finished early. They thought they might enjoy the rest of the warm day. One guy was hoping to get in a round of golf.

As soon as Doug looked at my problem, he started sizing things up. They decided to jackhammer the basement, digging into the concrete they had poured half a year ago to fix the sewer line.

They brought in shovels and dug, hauling the sticky cold mud up the stairs and out to a truck. After three hours, they knew it wouldn’t be fixed that day and planned to come back Saturday.

Early morning on Saturday, Doug arrived. They could only work until noon, because one guy had a wedding and another guy had an additional job to do.

They dug a hole by the city junction box, trying to ferret out where the leak was, looking for a weak point that lay seven feet beneath the surface. After a couple of hours, they knew it wasn’t there and pushed the dirt back in and planned to return in two days.

Monday morning came and they returned. The plan was to dig by the house. The hope was that the pipe was leaking at the footing of the house.

They pulled away the dirt to about six feet, then excavate with shovels, until they found the water line, a sewer line, or water bubbling up.

Once found, they cleared the mud away and instead of searching out the leak, they cut the pipe and capped it. They stood around ten minutes until they knew no more water was leaking, then pulled the old line and replaced it.

Once everything was good, they pushed the dirt back in, patched the basement hole, and cleaned up their mess. By noon hour, they were done.

I asked Doug if they were going to get the rest of the day off. He told me they had to make a trip out to the dump with all the old pipes. However, if it rained tomorrow, they’d likely not be able to work.

Not once did Doug and his guys complain that the job was so hard that they couldn’t do the work.

Doug never spent days telling his buddies how he wanted to dig the hole or wished he could replace the pipe. He came up with a plan, showed up, and did the work. The results weren’t exactly immediate and it took a little longer than expected, but when Doug’s guys were done, so was the job.

None of his guys don’t show up because their favourite new video game, movie, or book had just arrived in stores. Nor did one of his guys arrive late because he spent the morning surfing the web trying to figure out how to dig a hole and an hour later was reading about Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus, the man who defeated Hannibal.

And I’m pretty sure none of them Tweeted or Facebooked while in the hole, sharing or complaining or bragging (or worse humblebragging) that they did their job. They showed up, did their shit, got paid, and moved on.

Get it?

(Photo Credit: Matthew Wiebe)

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