I guess I was lucky, in retrospect. I was lucky enough to get my first job with an honest man, who was very skilled in his industry, who was kind enough to take in a street kid and teach him a thing or two. Luck will only take you so far, though, so while I might have been lucky at first, I earned my spot here with years of hard work and studying. I didn’t just want to “have” a job and earn money, I also wanted to learn skills, so my hard work could take me places. Mr. Shelby ran the Shelby HVAC Repair and Supply shop, and although he paid me less than minimum wage for a while, what he taught me was priceless. After a couple of years of explaining and showing me the repairs he made to A/C units, furnaces, and water heaters, he started letting me get my hands dirty. He would stand behind me and talk me through the process as I fixed up the air conditioner or the space heater. By the time I was 15, he didn’t even need to stand behind me, he would watch TV while I refurbished an A/C unit. I thought I was ready to take the HVAC certification test, but I was still too young. I was actually still too young to even be an official employee of the HVAC business, he still paid me off the books. I didn’t complain, I just spent the next 3 years learning every single thing I could about every type of heating and cooling system ever made.