Knowing Where to Tap

Knowing Where to Tap

From Chicken Soup for the College Soul

Knowing Where to Tap

Before setting off to college, my father sat me down and shared this memorable story with me. It is one I shall never forget. My father is not college educated, yet he possesses more wisdom and insight than most college professors I have met. After you read this story, you’ll know what I mean.

There is an old story of a boilermaker who was hired to fix a huge steamship boiler system that was not working well. After listening to the engineer’s description of the problems and asking a few questions, he went to the boiler room. He looked at the maze of twisting pipes, listened to the thump of the boiler and the hiss of escaping steam for a few minutes, and felt some pipes with his hands. Then he hummed softly to himself, reached into his overalls and took out a small hammer, and tapped a bright red valve one time. Immediately, the entire system began working perfectly, and the boilermaker went home. When the steamship owner received a bill for one thousand dollars, he complained that the boilermaker had only been in the engine room for fifteen minutes and requested an itemized bill. So the boilermaker sent him a bill that reads as follows:

“Tony,” he said, “I want you to go to college so that you can get your degree, but more important, I want you to return with an education.”

Tony D’Angelo

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