This is a picture of My Dad, Craig Pykles, outside of his Dad’s shop at 4611 University Avenue in San Diego back in 1952. My Dad was probably 7 years old in this picture and every time I see it, or any of the other pictures of our family business from back then, it gets me thinking. How have we been able to be in business for as long as we have?
I don’t believe that our business has been around since 1946 simply because my grandpa was a shrewd businessman who wanted to make a dollar and a cent in the plumbing business with his brother-in-law. He wasn’t that kind of man and neither is my father. And having spent 16 years of my life around Howard Pykles and 29 years now around his son I’m pretty confident that we don’t do what we do because we love plumbing in San Diego.
We don’t work in this business just because we want to plumb and remodel homes. So why is it that we have been able to do what we do, in the place that we’ve been able to do it, for so long? What makes us special, different, unique and valuable? Do we really care that much about plumbing, drains, faucets and drywall? Are we obsessed with keeping water heaters efficient and water from being wasted by leaks? What is it all about? Why are we even around?
As I’ve asked myself these questions and spent a good amount of time now working in and around with my Dad, I’ve come to some conclusions of my own. Our business is about our customers. Not their wallets. Not their drains. And definitely Not their stopped up toilets. Those are gross. There has never been a time that I have honestly found myself or anyone I work with looking forward to doing half of the dirty grime jobs that we do. But we do them. Day in and day out, we DO them. Why? For an honest dollar? For the love of the job? Because we love snaking drains and clearing sewage out of pipes? No. It’s because we care about our customers and we care about each other because WE are Family. And as a Family, we treat everyone who works for us and with us as a part of that as well.
From what I’ve learned it doesn’t take much to maintain a happy family. We treat each other with respect, celebrate each others accomplishments, learn from each others faults and have as much fun there is to have in working honest and hard in a business that is generally overlooked as a highly valuable service in society. We take pride in protecting the health of our customers who come to know us as family and we know that the services we provide may not cure people from health problems they may experience in life, but they surely work toward preventing those problems.
This is why we are important. This is why we matter. I’ve come to see that We are important to our Family. Our Community, our State and our World depend on us to be there because we make a difference in the lives of those we are asked to serve. Sure what we do may not be stopping wars in Africa or be the cure for cancer, but I believe that what we are doing is just as important, because when we do our job we allow others to pursue the lives that they want as far as their passions and pursuits allow. This is why I love my family (both blood related and not) and why I love what we do. We Plumb. We Remodel. And We Serve. We are the Working Class American Heroes of Pykles Remodeling and Repairs and we will be around serving our community and Family as long as we are needed.