So for three months this year I had a job working for a natural gas company in upstate New York. I am very grateful for the opportunity, and, what’s more, I found the job to be a lot of fun. It was different from pretty much every job I have ever had, and I actually found myself looking forward to work every morning.

What follows are some lessons I learned along the way (in no particular order).

  1. There is a unique satisfaction to engaging in manual labor.
  2. That smell you notice when there’s a gas leak? It’s not actually natural gas. It’s an odorant they add so you can smell it. Natural gas is mostly methane, which is tasteless, odorless, invisible, and lighter than air.
  3. Christians in the workforce face about a hundred different challenges to their testimony every day. Pastors would do well to remember this.
  4. For those who grew up getting their mouths washed out for uttering a “minced oath”, the vocabulary of the blue-collar work-force will come as a shock.
  5. Driving a “Gator” is really, really fun.
  6. Gas meters are something you never really notice. Until you spend a summer painting them. Then the first thing you say when you look at a house is “hmmmm…meter needs painting”.
  7. Your “dad brand” is bolstered when you drive by your house in the company pickup.
  8. The guys I worked with are, quite literally, the backbone of America.
  9. They were also Trump voters…to a man.
  10. If you don’t get a nickname, you don’t belong. Mine was “South America”.