When asking Josh Bishop a question, one never gets ‘just a simple reply’. Bishop is known for taking a simple yes or no question into a lengthy conversation, and often into subject matters that delve far off the original intention or question. He is an enthusiastic talker or “people person” as he likes to put it, and if he passes you on your way to work, will generally politely ask about your family or how your day is going.
Bishop’s upbeat personality and positive attitude are what got him to United Tool and Fastener in the first place. In 2014, after being laid off from a long-standing job in the oil and gas industry as a machine job helper, he was presented with the opportunity to work at UTF by a temp agency.
“After having gone through more than one layoff in the oil and gas industry, I decided that maybe the oil and gas industry wasn’t the right career for me. So, when this opportunity at United Tool and Fastener presented itself, I thought, ‘Why not give something a little different a try?’”
Thus began Bishop’s six-year career at UTF.
“I quickly realized there’s some real potential here (at UTF),” he explained, “because to work with a company that supplies construction materials to those oil and gas and medical jobsites would be an interesting experience. So, I decided to give it a try.”
Although Bishop was initially hired at UTF as a temporary worker, his role encompassed doing a variety of things, including checking products in and verifying orders.
“I started by pulling orders, verifying that everything was correct, and then double-checking the order again. Later, I began helping (Jason) Stofel (UTF Shipping Manager).”
His next role was in Will Call, which was his favorite.
“Working in Will Call was very interesting, because everyone has a story. I’ve been accused of taking too long with customers because I want to hear how their day is going and how business is with them. It’s always an interesting snapshot of the industry at large,” he said.
“Ultimately, I made some new friends with the different customers I would help. There was a guy from Karsten that had been coming in for five to seven years that I helped and became friends with. So, that was probably the most enjoyable aspect was the people.”
Hence, during his six years at UTF, Bishop has done a little bit of everything. However, during this past summer he realized (while having his hair cut at a barber shop he had been going to his entire life) that maybe he was ready for a change.
“I have always wanted to teach… specifically as an occupational therapist with an emphasis in handwriting. However, such a career requires four or five years in school and more likely a master’s at a minimum.”
As Bishop was weighing his various options, a completely different option was presented to him while he was at the barber shop he’d gone to for 20 years.
“My barber asked me if I had ever thought about cutting hair… especially with me being such a people person. And I said, ‘No, that never crossed my mind’. He said that the cost of barber school would be a relatively inexpensive and quick way to into a new industry, and you’d be working with people all time.”
Therefore, Bishop was told that if he was interested, his long-time family barber would be willing to introduce him to the gentleman who taught the hair-cutting trade to him. Ultimately, Bishop was told that he was welcome to come sit in one day and meet some of the barber’s customers and get a sense of what barbering was like.
“So, I did sit in one Saturday. And, lo and behold… it all worked out as though it was meant to be. Ultimately, all my education will be paid for and I’ll have a job (waiting for me) when I’m done at a business where my grandad and dad went before me.”
Josh Bishop’s final day at UTF is Friday, Feb. 5, 2021.
“We’re excited about this next chapter for Bishop and wish him all the best in his new endeavors,” said UTF owner, Bobby Williams.