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The roman empire blazed path for today's plumbers

The Roman Empire Blazed Path For Today's Plumbers

Plumbers are a familiar sight to all of us. We often see them fixing the sink, unplugging a toilet or repairing a leak. This looks like fairly mundane work, however, your plumber is a highly skilled and trained individual with a vast knowledge of pipes, fixtures and building foundations. The origins of plumbing are ancient and astonishing in complexity and functionality.

One of the earliest known examples of plumbing can be found in the ancient ruins of drains, bathhouses and palaces that flourished over 4,000 years ago. The ancient Minoan Palace of Knossos in the isle of Crete had four separate drainage systems. These systems all emptied into stone sewers. It also contained the first flushing toilet with a wooden seat and a small reservoir of water.

As wonderful as this is, one must look to the Roman Empire for plumbing roots in the development and creation of pipes carrying water provided through aqueducts. It was the refinement of material from stone and earthenware to lead that provides the root name of the modern day plumber. The word plumber comes from the Latin plumbus or plumbum which means lead. The newly coined name for these workers was plumbumer. The name was later shortened to plumber.

Modern plumbers have expanded on the early duties of Roman plumbumers although the core responsibilities remain the same. Today they are responsible for installing and maintaining pipe systems carrying air, gases, steam and water. They also are versed in installing plumbing fixtures for kitchens and baths. The main contrast between ancient and modern day plumbers is the attention to the environment.

Sustainable energy projects have become the hallmark of far-sighted plumbing contractors all over the world. This means that special attention is paid to installing low-flow showers and toilets. Fixtures and piping are made from sustainable materials that do not impact on the environment or on an individual’s health. Lead is no longer in use for obvious health reasons.

A person interested in plumbing should look for a vocational school or apprentice training from a reputable plumber. Apprenticeships can last from four to five years, sponsored by boards made up of unions, representatives and experts in the field. While not all plumbers are unionized, the unions are still a prominent player in today’s construction and definition of plumbing. Applicants must be 18 years or older, have a high school diploma, or informal training in the field.

A plumber must be able to read blueprints, retaining knowledge about foundations, fixtures and frameworks. They are expected to follow instructions from plumbing contractors or builders, plan the work and then perform the duties with capability and excellence. They must have computer skills as software programs are used to design, implement and detail a plumbing installation. They must understand building codes, materials and techniques to be a successful plumber.

Prospects for employment in the field of plumbing is very good and plumbers make an average hourly wage of twenty dollars in most areas of the US. Job growth is expected to be above the national average and long-term prospects are excellent. A career in plumbing is a noble profession with a rich and extensive background. The nobility of the profession is echoed in the words of an ancient king when he said if he couldn’t be king, he would want to be a plumber.

Can i make mistakes with employees

Can I Make Mistakes With Employees?

Copyright (c) 2008 Pat Brill

What’s one question that all managers face in managing employees:

…can I make mistakes with my employees and still be effective in managing them?

Note: Some mistakes are illegal…become familiar with the federal and state employment laws.

The mistakes I’m talking about are human in nature….being too busy to focus and listen to your employees.

I’ve have certainly made mistakes with my staff….didn’t listen enough, was annoyed, rescheduled 1:1′s with my staff more often than I should, and yet I still managed to do a fairly decent job in managing my staff.

Just because I have a background in HR doesn’t mean I didn’t make my mistakes. Learning the skill of managing employees is just that…learning.

When I realized my mistake, I did the best I could do to rectify the situation. First, I acknowledged my mistake to the employee. Why is this important? You are showing respect to your employee as well as yourself, when you admit that you didn’t handle the situation in the best manner. You also model for the employee that it’s ok to make mistakes and to come forth so you can both handle the situation. It’s a mutual learning experience for both of you.

Sometimes the issue is small and you weren’t aware of it until the employee said something. Other times, you knew immediately that you didn’t handle a situation right. For example, you didn’t take the time to explain a project to the employee and you had a nagging thought that you were not organized in your presentation.

What I found to be the important strength to develop in managing employees is to respect what they bring to your team. Sounds ideal… especially when you are busy with day-to-day operations and feel the pressure of time to meet your deliverables. Yet It can be done.

Start by asking yourself…do I respect what each member brings to the team? If you don’t, then how can you resolve that situation? Employees do deserve your respect. Even if an employee isn’t able to meet the essential functions of their job, you can still handle them with respect. Sometimes the most respectful action is to let them move on to another position that is more suited to their abilities. Think it terms of respect when you interact with your team members.

So the question I leave you with is: Can you employees depend on your values to do what is right…even if you take a detour and make a mistake?

If you want the best from your employees, you have to give them your best…your respect.