Andrew Mueller


Construction sites are no place for soft hands, or soft speech.

Most people don’t possess the skills or tools to be their own handymen. Over the years, the trades have become a lucrative career as less and less people know electricity, heating/cooling, and plumbing. It appears that there will always be a job market for those skilled with their hands.

Tradesmen are a vital part of society. They provide far more than repairs and maintenance. The development of any society rises and falls on their skills. Without these talented people, our lights wouldn’t work, our sinks wouldn’t drain, and we’d have to build fires to stay warm in the winter.

The work ethic required to succeed in these fields is exemplary, and we could learn a lot about grit by laboring alongside an electrician or plumber. We underestimate the expertise acquired within such complicated fields. It’s not until we have a problem that we begin to fathom the wealth of knowledge stored above that blue collar. But the trades can also be a dark place. Many of the stereotypes – crude language, surly interpersonal skills, inappropriate humor, etc – have come honestly. A construction site can be an uncomfortable place for anyone, but especially for a person of faith.

Andrew’s story reminds us that not all tradesmen fit the stereotype. There are companies where integrity and charity rule the day. There are crews whose faith inspires them to put forth a great product and treat people fairly. “It’s not about the toilet,” is a phrase from Andrew that I’ll take with me the next time I interact with a plumber. The way these professionals show their faith is in the way they take care of people while taking care of the product.

When I call a tradesman it’s because I’m out of my league and beyond my area of expertise. The plumber who takes my emotional state into consideration is the one who will receive my business. The tradesman who shows up to fix the problem, doesn’t overcharge, and completes the project with excellence is the one I trust. When people are the focus, quality products follow. When products are the focus, even in the trades, people can easily be forgotten, neglected, or mistreated.

Thank God for EXTRAordinary stories like Andrew in the trades!