How Do You Make Your Living?

I’ve always been interested in how people make their living. At a wedding reception years ago, I was seated next to a man who worked at a cardboard box factory. Who know that cardboard could be so interesting! I’m not kidding – there’s a lot to it.
A few days ago I discovered a chip in my windshield. By the time I drove into town and back, the crack was nearly 10 inches long. Fortunately, my insurance company was really quick to schedule a replacement (thank goodness for that comprehensive coverage!), and I was lucky enough to get to watch the whole thing.

Most people who work on my car prefer not to be watched, let alone photographed, but Bryan was really accommodating.

Meet Bryan, Man of the Hour.


First, Bryan removed the old windshield with this gizmo that inserts a wire under the seal. By pulling the wire around the outside edge of the glass, it separates the glass from the seal. Poof! He lifts the windshield right off with suction cups.

Then there are several cleaning steps. First: removal of the old gasket. Second: clean all the grime, grit, and old adhesive off where the new seal will go. Third: clean the dashboard inside the car, as you’ll never reach in there once the new glass goes in (this includes all the dead flies, hornets, and other debris that you can’t reach when you clean your own dashboard).

While Bryan is busy cleaning, I’m snooping around the cool truck! He’s got everything! He said he does six windshield jobs a day. Look at all this glass – I’m job #3 for today, so you can see the whole day’s work stacked up, along with tubes,  sprays, blankets, wires, and all those cool suction cup tools!

Every job generates garbage, and Bryan’s job #1 when he finishes today is to empty out all this debris! At least he takes it all with him – my car was spotless.

Okay, now we’re ready to prep for the new glass. First: the primer. It’s black goo that he applies with a little dauber, just like the kind we use to waterproof our shoes (the dauber – not the goo!).


Next, the gasket. He pumps it right out of the caulking tube, powered by his cordless drill! I am impressed (did I already say that?). Notice how the gasket caulk ‘stands up’ – that’s a special skill, I’m sure, but that will make it easier to adjust the glass once it’s on the car.

Here comes the glass….

A little wiggling, and it’s right in place!

The final step is the trim replacement:

But wait… there’s more!

Bryan cleaned ALL  my windows – good man!

I’m a happy customer, and I really learned a lot (did I mention that this whole job took Bryan about an hour?). There’s no substitute for  experience!

Thanks  Bryan!  See you soon – but I hope not TOO soon!

So… what have you learned about lately?  Do you know someone with an interesting or unusual job?  I’m all ears.

1 Comment on “How Do You Make Your Living?”

  1. Lucy Martin says:

    Interesting photos – it’s amazing a big, heavy windshield can be replaced with just one pair of hands.

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