The Politics of Plumbing

A cleaning crew, a plumber, a maintenance crew, an IT person… These are a few of the things that are easy to take for granted if you’re any average, growing business. They have a company, they offer services, we need those services, we pay for said services. Bing, bang, boom. Simple, right? Not so much in this field.

Almost akin to the “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service” practice, I’ve witnessed way too many companies refuse doing business with us, because of who we are. And while this may seem like a “win” to the other side – that some Higher Being is guiding the Cable Guy away from our clinic – it’s actually a big ol’ fail. Let’s face it. Refusing service to an individual because of what they believe is discrimination.

Take a second to think about what the world would look like if every business could refuse their services based on a difference of opinion.

The only thing that keeps me from getting angry about it is that, ironically, by having to have that conversation with a company before we talk about the specifics of the job, you find some really wonderful people that are supportive and appreciative of what you do. (Who knew there were so many pro-choice dispatchers in Texas?)

Recently I read about another one of those situations from this pro-life newsletter I’m subscribed to. Our Beaumont clinic called a maintenance company that we’d used before, and trusted, and… well here, I’ll let them tell you the story:


Eileen in Beaumont recently witnessed some men who answered the call on what was otherwise a typical day on the job.

A truck from a heating and air conditioning contractor pulled up in front of the abortion center where the 40 Days for Life vigil is in progress. A couple of guys got out and saw the signs: “Pray to end abortion.” “Do they do abortions in there?” asked one of the men. The volunteers responded, “Yes, they do!”

This man had not been aware of that. “We don’t do work for people who do abortions,” he said sharply, “and we will tell them so!”

With that, the two men went inside the abortion facility, came right back out, got in their truck and left.

“We want to encourage all businesses to be as brave as those folks,” Eileen said of the men who put principle above money. “Our world would be different if everyone took such a strong stand.”


No kidding our world would be different! If the goal is to create a world where people can be as openly judgmental, self-important and indignant as they want, then get me outta here!
It would be just lovely if these businesses took it a step further and included in their Yellow Page ads who they would and wouldn’t service. It would save us so much time. But as for now, we take our chances with every person we call and thankfully we find some true allies along the way.