Turning wrenches since he was 17 years old, George DeJesus (@georgetheplumber) considers himself relatively lucky during these crazy times were going through, as the service calls are still trickling in, with some days bit slower than usual. During the current state of the trades during the pandemic, DeJesus says it’s hard going into customer’s homes right now, but he is taking the necessary precautions to take to keep himself as safe as he can. Pandemic or not, “I’ve learned to never get too comfortable that the jobs are going to come in,” says DeJesus. “You have to give great customer service so you get called the next time.”
DeJesus transferred to a trade school during his junior year of high school and got his first plumbing job at 17, and he hasn’t looked back. “High school just wasn’t for me. Finding this trade was my savior; I could have gone down a very bad road but I got a job, learned this trade and found I could be good at something. From there, it was easy to apply myself. I continue to learn every day, and teach when I can,” says DeJesus.
Having worked with various companies throughout the years has helped DeJesus become very well-rounded, learning more skills with each experience. For the past two years, DeJesus has worked for All Clear Plumbing and Drains, Succasunna, N.J., where he specializes in boiler and drain cleaning residential work, finding gratification in troubleshooting the most difficult service work jobs. “I love being a plumber. It’s hard work but when you have a difficult job and figure it out, it leaves you with great satisfaction,” says DeJesus.
DeJesus considers himself very fortunate to have had many mentors over the years, but perhaps none more influential than his father, a very hard working and dedicated general contractor. “There are new skills to be learned and I try to learn as much as I can about each position I take. The friends that I have met through the years are great guys and I love learning and sharing skills I know with them.”
What advice would DeJesus give to someone thinking about entering the trades? “It’s hard work but a good living. Don’t be lazy. If I’m showing you how to do something, pay attention and get involved. Keep your phone in your pocket. Measure twice and cut once,” says DeJesus.
One outlet DeJesus has found most satisfying and beneficial is social media. “I have definitely found social media to increase my friendships and knowledge,” says DeJesus. “It’s amazing that no matter how much you think you know, you can still learn more. I talk to most of my Instagram friends more than the friends I have locally. They can relate to what struggles come with the job and can celebrate the triumphs. I’m so thankful to have been able to make friends with so many great people.”
Yet one of DeJesus’ biggest struggles is balancing work and family time. In his “spare time,” DeJesus likes going to the movies with his wife and family, and he enjoys taking day trips and weekend trips. “I tend to put too much into my work. Even on my days off or when I get home, I tend to be catching up with IG and social media,” says DeJesus. “Lately, I’ve been trying to teach my kids some of the trade, and I do listen to my wife when she tries to focus me back to family time. Well, most of the time.”
In the end, DeJesus is a craftsman and he is proud of the work he does, and it shows. In fact, when asked when the last time he said, “Man, today is a great day!” he responded that it happened last week with his last boiler install. “I stepped back and felt that it was probably one of my best and favorite installs.”
With hard work and his willingness to get better, the trades have been good to DeJesus. You get what you put into it. “Not many people can say they make six figures and don’t even have a high school degree … well, at least working legally!” says DeJesus.