In this engaging family saga, the Original Poster (OP), a successful plumber, grapples with the struggle for recognition against his lawyer brother in the eyes of their shared parents. Amid this ongoing tension, an unexpected flood pushes this friction to a boiling point, as OP demands the same respect and remuneration his brother receives for his work. As the waters recede, a turbulent aftermath unfolds, leaving us eager to discover: can the family overcome this tide of conflict and find mutual respect?
OP’s brother, a lawyer, is often paid for his work by their parents, who wear their pride in his achievements openly. Meanwhile, OP, a plumber, often renders his services free to his parents, despite owning his own company, and his achievements are largely overlooked.
The Underdog’s Triumph
When OP’s nephew decides to follow in his father’s footsteps and study law, OP is proud of his hard work. However, his parents use this as an opportunity to pressure OP’s children into choosing a “successful” path, devaluing the path OP took.
The Next Generation’s Choice
OP’s daughter decides she wants to be a vet tech, which prompts further pressure from his parents, who insist that she should aim higher to become a veterinarian. Despite her well-reasoned choice, their relentless pressure continues.
The Straw that Breaks the Camel’s Back
OP’s resentment builds when his parents belittle his daughter’s ambitions. OP recalls that school was not his true calling, and he resented growing up under his parent’s insistence on higher education. OP was content to enter trade school and had no fondness for growing up in a home where education was the only measure of success.
The Emergency Flood
One weekend, there is an emergency flood that occurs in the area where OP’s parents live, causing significant flooding to over 1,000 homes. The tension is further amplified when his parents call him for help amidst their flooding situation, yet have continuously shown little appreciation for his trade or services.
Floods Stir the Pot
OP is swamped with other emergency cases, making him unavailable to help his parents free of charge as usual. OP states that although a circumstance like this is unfortunate for an individual homeowner, his business is in high demand, and he can make significant income while his emergency services are in high demand.
OP’s parents react poorly when he refuses to help, citing that his lawyer brother always makes time for them. OP retaliates by offering to charge his typical emergency fees for his services, which causes them to hang up abruptly.
While still upset, OP’s parents call back, realizing they have no choice but to pay OP’s emergency fee after realizing all other plumbers in the area are either busy or even more expensive. They reluctantly agree to pay, and OP promptly fixes the issue.
The Service Call
When OP visits his parents and conducts his service call, his parents are visibly annoyed with his behavior. Although not many words are exchanged as he is busy with work, he mentions to them that they still got the ‘friends and family’ price for an emergency. This fact does not help mitigate the situation or understanding between the family.
The Silent Victory
After the incident, the parents maintain a cold attitude towards OP. However, he uses this opportunity to remind them of his success as a businessman and insists on being paid for his services, just like his brother.
A New Conflict Arises
Not long after the flood, OP’s son expresses interest in following in his father’s footsteps and becoming a plumber. This further intensifies the tension between OP and his parents, who still harbor their own ideas of success.
The Ongoing Battle
OP’s parents express their disappointment openly about their son’s decision, leading to further strain in the family dynamics. Despite their harsh words, OP supports his son’s choice, believing everyone should choose their own path.
Taking a Stand
Fed up with his parents’ continuous meddling and criticism, OP decides to confront them once again. He requests them to respect his and his children’s choices and contributions, a move that leaves his parents speechless.
The confrontation results in a temporary halt in communication between OP and his parents. The strained relationship further complicates family gatherings and interactions, making each encounter tenser than the last.
The Final Chapter
In the end, OP’s resilience and dedication to his profession and business encompass the meaning of success to OP. He does not feel success is defined by a profession as his parents do, but rather by the passion, dedication, and happiness one finds in their chosen field.
Nevertheless, there continues to be a rift in their relationship, and OP does not feel his parent’s views will likely shift. He’s primarily concerned that his children are not influenced by his parent’s specific views on career success and ponders how to protect his children for this view that upset him during his upbringing.
Was The Man’s Behavior Appropriate?
The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter. Here are some of their responses:
One reader said, “I am glad you stood up for yourself. Blue-collar jobs that require a lot of time and apprenticeships like yours are fading, with fewer and fewer people wanting to do these jobs globally.
We need more plumbers, electricians, and carpenters, and fewer lawyers.”
Another Commenter Thinks
Another responder wrote: “One thing I’ll say is you should stand up for your daughter and not let them make her feel bad about something she wants to do. If she wants to be a vet tech, then don’t let them keep trying to talk her out of that.”
A Third View on The Story
A different person states, “People who don’t respect trades are baffling to me.
It sounds as if they don’t really know what your work is worth. They were long overdue a rude awakening on that.”
A Final Perspective on the Matter
Another viewpoint on the story: “If they can pay the lawyer for his time, they can pay the plumber too.
And the next time they push your kids, you should say, ‘In this house, we encourage our kids to be what they want to be and not someone else’s idea of what is successful.’”
What Do You Think?
What are your thoughts on their actions?
What would you have done in this situation?
This story is inspired by a Reddit thread.
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