Dating back to the early 1900s with his great grandfather, you could say that plumbing runs in Bobby Drescher Jr.’s blood. Drescher (@theplumberlorian on IG), alongside his brother, has run a family-owned and operated plumbing service and repair company since 2005, which was started by Drescher’s father.
Drescher started in the plumbing trade as a part-time apprentice while he was attending college, and once he graduated, he decided against pursuing a career with the Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications he obtained, and became a full-time, licensed journeyman plumber, eventually getting his Master Plumbing license. “I learned most of my skills from working alongside my father as an apprentice; from there it was a matter of repetition and different experiences on the job that eventually led to me getting my journeyman’s and feeling 100% comfortable running a service truck on my own. I later got my master’s and here we are over 16 years later.”
Family is a big part of who Drescher is, and it’s also what keeps him grounded. “I have a loving wife, and two beautiful boys whom I hope to pass down my skills to when they are old enough. I enjoy what I do every day, but for me, it’s not just about the work I do, but also the people I get to meet and help along the way,” says Drescher.
Drescher says it’s always tough to keep a good work/family life balance. “If there’s work related stuff I need to discuss at home, I’ll get that out of the way usually once I get home, but for the rest of the evening I focus on my family, while trying to stay engaged with my wife and kids. I’m all for working late from time to time to get the job done, but you definitely have to find balance. The kids are only young once, and I intend on being there for them and my wife as much as I can,” says Drescher.
And it’s that family unit that has helped Drescher throughout his plumbing career. Drescher owes a lot to his father and his brother, both of whom have guided and helped him. “My father would be my biggest mentor in and out of the trade for sure, being a licensed master plumber himself,” says Drescher. “My brother, too and that’s weird to say because he’s my younger brother, but we grew up learning the plumber trade together, and we bounce ideas/tips off each all the time, which is always helpful.”
Does Drescher consider himself a mentor for others? He does now, chuckles Drescher. “I started the Instagram account to blog my journey, but over just a matter of months, I’ve had a dozen or so reach out to me saying they love what I’m doing on social media and that it’s inspiring. It always catches me off guard when I hear that and I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it. I want to reach more people on here, not just those in the trade already.”
Drescher has met a lot of amazing people on social media, and he admits he was a “babe in the woods” starting off, yet he was fortunate to have a few people who supported what I was doing right in the beginning. “I have made some solid friends for sure. A few that I talk to on a daily basis, which is so awesome. I have also picked up a few tips and tricks as well from other plumbers on here. I think that’s one of the coolest things from a trades’ standpoint is that we can share with others so easily things we have learned.”
And while Drescher’s most trusted tools on the truck are his torch, pliers and tape measure, “it’s great that some of these tool brands and others I have used for years are so engaged with their audience. That’s another positive of social media, that it gives them a way to interact with their users, whether it’s just purely for entertainment purposes or their trying to shed some light on a new tool or product. I’ve had the opportunity of having some of my videos shared, which is always great.”
Speaking of social media, the handle @theplumberlorian is such a cool name. “Well, I am a plumber, and a big fan of The Mandalorian. I also can relate a lot to the main character Din or “Mando” in the show. It’s twofold for me: here you have this guy who goes on missions each episode and somehow the mission goes sideways at some point. Being a service plumber, I can definitely relate to that. I’m sure other trades can as well. Some jobs go smoothly from start to finish, but then there’s others that aren’t that way at all,” says Drescher.
“The important thing is to have the knowledge for when they aren’t straightforward missions, and you can adapt to the changes in front of you. Mando also becomes sort of a father figure to Grogu, this child-like creature he stumbles upon, and being a father myself, there are some scenes that choke me up because in the end, there’s nothing we wouldn’t do to keep our kids safe. He’s a relatable character for a lot of people, and I think that’s why the show is as popular as it is. This is the way.”
In the end, Drescher says the plumbing industry needs to do a better job attracting people to the trade; there’s a negative picture painted of blue-collar work by a lot of people who pass it down to their children. “It starts in the home really and it’s a tough nut to crack for some. I’ve met plenty of people who have a positive viewpoint of the trades, but I’ve met others that acted as if it’s beneath them,” says Drescher.
Drescher says that social media is one outlet for individuals to show blue collar work can be cool, and show a different side of things. “I’ve had so many people reach out to me that I inspire them. Which is crazy to hear, and never gets old. Some have been in their trade for years, others just starting out. That’s what keeps me going, just knowing that maybe I’m making a difference on there. We need more people out there investing in our youth and keeping a positive spin on the job,” says Drescher.
But it starts in the home. What picture are the parents painting, asks Drescher? “College isn’t the only option, and it may not even be the best option for some so why keep pushing it on your kids? Because that’s what they have stamped in their brain. We have to reach them somehow and change that line of thinking.”
Drescher went the college route because that’s what society was pushing on him, but it’s not for everyone. “You can have a successful life going into the trades, and I will always be an advocate of that,” says Drescher.