Working with highly technical professionals can sometimes be intimidating. Last week, I shot a call to a co-worker in the Design Services Department at Uponor regarding a sponsorship job that I was guiding through from inception to installation. This, of course, included the services of Uponor’s knowledgeable and experienced designers, who on any given day work calculations and mechanical designs on jobs both big and small.

In my conversation with the designer, I asked whether we could get the design completed in a compressed amount of time due to an unforeseen schedule change.

The answer?

“Of course we can do it sooner, but can you help get the riser diagrams from the mechanical designers? They didn’t include those in the first go-around.”  


My professional side recovered somewhat quicker than my emotional side, and I said I would make sure to get in touch with the client. “And I’d like to run the hydronic calculation for both upsize and downsize of piping in order to arrive at a proper value proposition so that we take full advantage of the flexibility of the pipe,” he continued.

Wait. Was he showing off? It didn’t take long to realize he was indeed not showing off, but rather working with me to get the project moving faster through the process — just as the client had requested.

And it struck me during that conversation how amazing it is that I often sit next to these guys in the lunchroom; they crack jokes and eat the same crummy sandwiches I do, yet I had no idea I was dealing with experts at the highest level. When they return to their desks after lunch, they impart knowledge and expertise beyond my wildest expectations. I cannot understand, nor relate to or fathom, how they went about acquiring this kind of know-how; but I’m sure glad they are on my side when I need their help.