Brendan Penny has been an O’Grady Plumbing employee for more than 16 years, most recently as our company’s sewer replacement manager, a position that requires lights, camera and action. And we’re not talking about a Hollywood movie here. What Brendan does, among other tasks, is inspect underground services in the field with a sewer camera to determine what needs to be done to perform a replacement. He’s also in charge of job site safety and installation work with sewers up to 12 feet deep.
O’Grady Plumbing: What did you do prior to coming to work for O’Grady Plumbing?
Brendan Penny: Well, a lifetime ago I had the opportunity to travel Spain with a choral music group as a tenor for six months. Perhaps this was the best year of my life. Lack of funds, my fair skin and not being the biggest fan of Speedos led to my return.
O’Grady: What attracted you to O’Grady Plumbing?
Brendan: I knew Paul O’Grady from growing up in Bronx, New York. We even had the same teachers in grammar school. Shortly after my return from Spain I found myself in San Francisco looking up old friends. From that point there was no looking back.
O’Grady: When you aren’t working, what do you like to do in your spare time?
Brendan: A few years ago I was lucky enough to purchase my home. Ever since I have put every bit of my spare time into bringing it back to life. There was a family of raccoons living in the basement and many issues that needed to be addressed before I could even move in.
O’Grady: What reality TV show should you be on and why would you win or be kicked off?
Brendan: America’s Got Talent. People are taken aback by my tenor skills. Somehow I think Howie Mandel and Howard Stern would dig my singing, so I’m going to say “win.”
O’Grady: What’s your all-time favorite O’Grady Plumbing success story?
Brendan: There are many, I suppose. The one that sticks out most is not the savoriest but worth talking about. Another plumbing firm had responded to a service call for an elderly woman and had all but surrounded her with a contract in hand for $75,000 to replace the water pipes in the home because there was no water pressure at the faucet. Usually I will wait and give the other company the opportunity to finish their analysis and presentation before talking with them myself if they are on site first. I was tired and the call came through as an “emergency” going into a holiday weekend. I walked in and wanted to make this a joint effort. She was clearly distressed and unable to stand up for herself when I saw the shenanigans. I simply did as I always do which is look at the most obvious. In this case I removed the aerator and cleared the sedimentary obstruction and put the aerator back on. The faucet worked great and incidentally the pipes were already copper. There wasn’t much done in the way of plumbing and the transaction was without payment because nothing worth billing for was done. It was definitely a feel good story helping to help her out of a jam.
O’Grady: What is one thing not many people know about you?
Brendan: I’m an Irish citizen.
O’Grady: What would you do in the event of a Zombie apocalypse?
Brendan: Make a high-pressure water cannon to fight off the zombie’s when they come calling.
O’Grady: Who is your role model?
Brendan: There are so many. I can say my parents are a staple in my life. Musically, Jerry Garcia is a name that comes to mind.