My favorite job as a kid was at the place next door to my dad’s auto repair shop, an operation that consisted of a sprawling, busy warehouse on the first floor filled with row upon row of construction and other tools. On the second floor, you could find the offices filled with desks and phones and phone books. Lots of phone books.

My job was in sales, meaning I had to pick up one of those phone books, find the numbers to contractors wherever they might be, and start dialing.

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