Purpose. It is a powerful thing, and it can have a great influence on one’s life path. For Chris Ramos (@bold_cityplumber), he found purpose in his family and his work. You see, Ramos had rough upbringing, to say the least. Growing up in Ossining, N.Y., about 35 miles northeast of New York, Chris’s mother lost her best friend and sister—his aunt—and had been in the middle of a divorce and custody battle with his father. Her life started to spiral out of control, and Chris took to the streets, dropped out of school at 16 years old, and made some bad decisions. “I was hard at listening and I just didn’t want to be at home,” says Ramos.
Meanwhile, Chris’s father, his grandparents and his cousin, Jay, would always tell him he needed to do something better with his life. “I just didn’t want to hear it; I was very upset with how things were at home,” recalls Ramos.
Eventually, at the age of 19, Ramos met his girlfriend and eventual wife, Laura. At the time, she had a 3-year-old boy named Derek. “After dating for awhile, I realized I wanted to be a big part of Derek’s life, and I wanted to be a father to him. Yet, I needed to change things with my life first,” says Ramos.
Ramos finally decided to start working different jobs and jumped around for a while until he bumped into a family friend named Dougie, who had been a plumber for many years. Remembering the advice from his cousin Jay, finding a trade could change his life for the better. “Jay was a big part of me turning my life around. Every time he saw me, he would say, ‘Chris, join the trades before you end up in jail or worse.’”
So, Ramos told Dougie he needed a change to make money and do better for himself, his girlfriend and her little boy. “Dougie encouraged me look in the local Penny Saver magazine and find an ad of a local company that was hiring apprentices/helpers. I called a company and asked if they were interviewing. They invited me to their location and hired me on the spot as an apprentice,” says Ramos.
Soon after, Ramos’s wife became pregnant with their daughter, Julianna. At the time, Chris and Laura were living in his grandparent’s house in a very tiny basement studio. “We knew it was time to move out and start our lives as a family in our own place. We decided to move to Florida, and we have lived here ever since, and have another son, Christian Jr.,” says Ramos.
While Ramos has been plumbing for most of the time in Florida, he did take a short break from plumbing to see if he wanted to do something different. “I went to work for FedEx but realized plumbing is where I needed to be. It is my passion.”
Currently, Ramos works for a small company that’s close to home. He is in charge of service plumbing as a residential plumber, which includes drain cleaning and sewer inspections. “I’ve been with this company for a few weeks as I recently made a job transition to be closer to home. This will help me be closer to my wife and kids throughout the day.”
Comfortable in his career, Ramos loves customer service, and the feeling when one is able to diagnose an issue and come up with a resolution and repair it, leaving a happy and satisfied customer. “The customer has paid you their hard-earned money; it is your duty to provide outstanding service and quality work. This will determine the longevity of your career in the trades. Your reputation and your integrity are important,” says Ramos.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s been up and down, says Ramos. “Some customers don’t want you in their homes out of fear of getting the virus, understandably so. We make sure to use gloves, masks, shoes covers and eye protection. We dispose of the gloves and shoe covers after every job for the safety of our customers, and ourselves. We also call ahead to ask the customer if they have experienced any symptoms or have any underlying health conditions that could put them at risk.”
Uplifting the Trades
Ramos believes that the trades need more dedicated schools, and more talks with kids in high school to let them know that there are more options and alternatives. “Let’s introduce them to the trades and show them they could make a great living and earn a skill that no one can take from them. They will carry the skill with them for the rest of their lives.”
Ramos suggests to find a company that is offering a helper position or an apprenticeship program. “Be patient and soak in all the knowledge; stay off the phone while at work and bring a note pad. Stay focused, stay hungry and never become complacent. But always make sure to put family first.”
Lately, Ramos has been busy with his Boldcast Instagram Live show on Sunday nights. Ramos always wanted to put together a podcast as he’s been a fan for many years, and they have helped him get through his work days. “I was in the middle of putting together a podcast for audio podcast platforms until I started to talk with my buddies ProDrains and Quays Plumbing. They had thought about doing it on Instagram and I was offering my help anyway I could to get them started. One day, I went live with another friend of mine, The Impetus, and it started to take off. The next day I put together some promotional content and scheduled my very first live event,” says Ramos.
On his very first live show, so many big names from the community showed up and chatted with me. “It really helped the show take off. There wouldn’t be The Boldcast Live if it wasn’t for that first lineup of guests that showed up, without being scheduled. And, of course, the fans that viewed the show.”
The show has taught Ramos so many great things—from the awesome knowledge being put out there from every guest to learning how to become a great promoter and staying organized. “My goal has always been to give back to this community.”
Interestingly, at a very young age, Ramos has dealt with very bad anxiety issues. “Before every Boldcast Live event, I get sick to my stomach and have almost gotten sick during the show. I’ve got a great poker face, I guess. I’m working on these issues, and working on making life easier. The Boldcast has helped me break through it and face my fears,” says Ramos.
When he is not on the jobsite or working on his next Boldcast, Ramos likes to spend time with his wife and kids, and go to the beach or go fishing. He also enjoys video editing and graphic designing. “Do your absolute best to be there to be present for your wife and kids. You can never get back lost family time,” says Ramos.
In fact, when asked about the last time he said he had a great day, “I was spending time with my wife and kids, or plumbing. It’s what I know, it’s what I do, and it’s my passion.”