My best friend and mentor of many years was a woman named Helen. She took me into her business and gave me, not only a job, but a career. She allowed me to learn as I worked, and she also encouraged me to better myself so I could go farther in life. I never knew my real mother, but Helen was the mom I always wanted to have. I haven’t seen her in a while now, but I still feel I owe her a tremendous debt for giving me that first break with a job in her HVAC service and repair company. I wasn’t certified with HVAC at the time, like I am now. And to be honest, the only thing I knew about air conditioners was how to turn them on. I couldn’t even be certain that I knew how to properly operate a thermostat. Helen kept me employed anyway, and lead me along, until eventually I went to night class and got certified as a heating and cooling systems repair technician. More than that, she treated me as a friend and equal, not just one of her crew of AC guys. You would never think that an A/C repair shop was such a fun place to work, but boy was it ever! After a few years Helen had some health problems, so she sold the HVAC business and moved to a warmer climate. We still talk on the phone once in awhile, and when we do we always trade old stories back from our HVAC days.