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Tom – How did you handle going back to work?

Tom – How did you handle going back to work?

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I used to be a union cement mason, and I had my own business on the side, too.  At that time, I was strictly one trade; I did concrete work, that’s it, although I knew all phases of the trades.  So, the difference was I couldn’t push somebody o... Show More

I used to be a union cement mason, and I had my own business on the side, too.  At that time, I was strictly one trade; I did concrete work, that’s it, although I knew all phases of the trades.  So, the difference was I couldn’t push somebody out of the way and do the work myself.  Whereas before, if somebody wasn’t doing the something the way I wanted them to, or they were doing it  too slow, I’d say, “Get out of my way,” and I would do it myself.  I couldn’t do that any more.  Well, it took me a couple years to figure out what I wanted to try to do with myself, and I’d actually had somebody approach me and ask me what I was doing.  It was a gentleman that I had a barrier-free track ceiling system put in my house.  And I said, “I don’t know, I was thinking about maybe trying to do some consulting for people that needed to do remodeling, or rehabs or build a home.  Instead of then hiring a general contractor, I could some consulting for them.”  And he thought that I would be perfect for stuff like that, and he deals with people on a day-to-day basis with wheelchairs and elevators.   So he actually got me started, he was giving me referrals for work.  Last year, I finished building a house, the year before that, I did six bathroom remodels, and started building a house, which kept me fairly busy.  

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Tom – How did you handle going back to work?

Tom

Injured in 2004 at age 36, quadriplegic
More Videos by Tom
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I used to be a union cement mason, and I had my own business on the side, too.  At that time, I was strictly one trade; I did concrete work, that’s it, although I knew all phases of the trades.  So, the difference was I couldn’t push somebody out of the way and do the work myself.  Whereas before, if somebody wasn’t doing the something the way I wanted them to, or they were doing it  too slow, I’d say, “Get out of my way,” and I would do it myself.  I couldn’t do that any more.  Well, it took me a couple years to figure out what I wanted to try to do with myself, and I’d actually had somebody approach me and ask me what I was doing.  It was a gentleman that I had a barrier-free track ceiling system put in my house.  And I said, “I don’t know, I was thinking about maybe trying to do some consulting for people that needed to do remodeling, or rehabs or build a home.  Instead of then hiring a general contractor, I could some consulting for them.”  And he thought that I would be perfect for stuff like that, and he deals with people on a day-to-day basis with wheelchairs and elevators.   So he actually got me started, he was giving me referrals for work.  Last year, I finished building a house, the year before that, I did six bathroom remodels, and started building a house, which kept me fairly busy.  

Tom – How did you handle going back to work?
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