How Learning About Faucets Changed Her Life

As the lone female working in the plumbing department of a big box home improvement store, Jennifer was used to the skepticism and smirks. As a widowed mother of a teenage daughter, she didn’t let any of that get to her because this job was all she had.

Customers didn’t know that she worked twice as hard as her associates to learn everything she could to do her job. It was a steep learning curve, but she was determined to prove everyone wrong.

But one area of the department stumped her: the kitchen and bath area, namely the faucet aisle. Because her time was spent mostly in irrigation and assisting customers in finding parts for their projects, faucet knowledge was an area that was sorely lacking in her training.

After a particularly trying day dealing with impatient customers and contractors, Jennifer was ready to go home. Her shift couldn’t end soon enough. That day she’d been insulted by a customer for recommending the wrong faucet and failing to help him in the way he needed.

She vowed to herself that she would learn about faucets so she’d never experience the helplessness and uncertainty that she’d felt in dealing with that particular customer. Mostly, she was disappointed and angry with herself because she truly needed to know this knowledge. It wouldn’t be the first time a customer would need her help in the faucet aisle.

So what did Jennifer do?

She went home, soaked her tired feet in a tub of warm water, kissed her daughter, and searched online for answers. She settled on because of the ease in which the information was presented. Her spirits lifted as her self confidence returned. She also watched tutorial videos to cement the knowledge. At first everything seemed so complex, but soon everything clicked.

A few weeks later the same customer needed help in the faucet aisle. As much as Jenifer wished she could avoid the encounter, she was the only associate available in the department. With a heavy heart and more than a little reluctance she approached the customer.

The customer’s dread was obvious, and she didn’t blame him. She surprised herself and him when she was able to explain the differences between the faucets he was considering. Not only did she explain the information well, the customer also bought other items based on her recommendations. She floated all the way through her shift.

She continued learning more, even installing a new pullout-handle faucet in her house when parts for the old faucet were discontinued. Soon family members and friends asked her for advice on plumbing matters. She was pleased that they considered her an authority, but for certain jobs she would refer them to a professional.

A few months later, the department manager position opened up. Jennifer applied and was hired. She was one step closer to providing a better life for her daughter. She knew that none of these changes in her life would have been possible if she hadn’t worked hard to gain the knowledge and use it to help others. It would have been so easy to give up, but she would have missed out on so much.