Monsieur Drain talks to future plumbers with the possibility of hiring them
The two co-owners of Monsieur Drain, Howard Cohen and David Kellner, had a lively exchange with plumbing and heating students in Verdun on September 21. Cohen and Kellner dropped by at the Pearson Electrotechnology Centre (PEC) on Champlain Blvd to talk about what life is like as a plumber, give advice, and provide some philosophy on life.
They also talked about the possibility of hiring recent grads. To prove their point, Cohen and Kellner presented Tasso Liakopoulos who graduated from PEC 16 months ago and now works as a foreman for Monsieur Drain.
“Tasso has his own vehicle and is in charge of getting our permits,” Cohen explained. But he also encouraged students to consider going into business for themselves. “There’s good money in plumbing, but to be successful, you should always try to keep learning.”
Monsieur Drain specializes in unblocking drains, often using specialized equipment like high-tech cameras and high pressure jet cleaning nozzles. “We diagnose problems and offer full service, including excavations and installation of backwater valves. Some other plumbing companies call us up to unblock drains they can’t do.”
Cohen and Kellner interspersed their talk with funny videos, including one that graphically showed why it is a bad idea to open up a “clean out” that is under pressure. They also joked about unclogging a drain in a restaurant where the cook was working only a few feet away in obvious contravention of all hygiene protocols. “He asked if we wanted him to cook us dinner, but I said that we’d pass on that,” quipped Cohen.
“Don’t be too quick to drive away once the water level starts going down; it’s better to run tests to make sure you’ve solved the problem. Nothing is more embarrassing than to get call to go back to work site…” was among the advice offered.
Cohen spent time describing his own career trajectory, starting to work for his dad’s company, Abe Cohen Plumbing. “It can be tough working for your old man! Then he told me to go to school and get my ticket so I enrolled in a plumbing school for about two weeks. But the instructor there complained that was disrupting his class because I knew more than he did.” Eventually Cohen and Kellner launched Monsieur Drain and now have six trucks.
“We are looking at expanding, not through franchises but rather with a licensing agreement where calls would go through us,” said Kellner.
Plumbing and heating students at PEC benefit from a state-of-the-art workshop during their 16 month course. More info at: 514.798.1818.
By: John Symon – mtltimes.ca
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