How did I end up in this job? No mystery there. I didn’t finish school and I was making minimum wage on a loading dock. So this company advertised in the paper for pipe-layer assistants. I didn’t even know what that was except it had something to do with putting in pipes for sewer and water but the money was twice what I was making and I needed to get enough cash together to get a place of my own.
They gave me a tryout and now I’m not even the new guy on the crew. The company has piles of work and they always need new people for their pipe crews. Not everybody works out because it is hard work and you’re outside all the time, but that’s why I like it.
At first I got all the basic jobs like levelling the trenches and shoring them up so the crew can work safely in them. Trenching is really important because that’s where the accidents happen if you don’t do it right. I helped line up the pipes when the machines were dropping them into the trench too and helped out placing the backfill. For a while now I’ve been learning about sealing pipes. We do concrete and PVC pipe mostly and joining and sealing them right is really important. I’d like to get to operate some of the equipment we use. You can get on the little stuff like the mini excavators and forklifts once you have some experience but if you want to work the big backhoes and excavators you need to get special training.