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Proving Them Wrong

The inspiring story of a female lineman who loved her job—and was good at it.

Proving Them Wrong

Shimmying up the side of a five-story utility pole like a bear up a tree hardly seems like a glamour job. But to Becky Rochford of South Burlington, Vermont, it was.

She loved her physically active job as an electric-meter reader for the utility company—sitting behind a desk had never been her thing—yet she was looking for a bigger challenge. As soon as she saw the job opening for a lineman, she knew she had to go for it.

The guys at work scoffed: After all, the job description had said lineman. It wasn’t the kind of work meant for a petite female. Even the other women in the office had their doubts.

But Becky had her mind made up. She took night classes, pored over her homework and learned all the complicated technical procedures. Since linemen have to drive big trucks with cherry pickers, she got her commercial driver’s license, even though she was barely tall enough to reach the clutch.

Her final test: Bore a hole at the top of a 50-foot pole. It was scary hanging that high up, secured by only a wide leather belt. And it took every last bit of strength she could muster to operate the heavy drill. Her arms were as limp as overcooked spaghetti by the end, but she did it! Becky had become a lineman!

From then on, there wasn’t a job she wouldn’t tackle. When a devastating ice storm hit the area, Becky put in 18-hour days repairing downed power lines. “People would come out of their houses, bring me cookies and coffee,” she recalls. “It felt really good to be able to help.”

Eventually Becky developed tendonitis in her hands and elbows and had to quit. You’d think she’d be miserable losing a job she worked so hard for. Not Becky. “I learned I could do something really difficult and do it well,” she says. “I grew stronger from it.” Now she’s back reading electric meters, and she’s happier than ever. “I get to be outside all day,” she says, grinning. “Plus, all that walking keeps me in shape!”

Becky’s Tips

1. Stretch yourself.
Move out of your comfort zone. Everyone told me girls couldn’t be linemen, but I proved them wrong.

2. Give it all you’ve got.
I had to put all my muscle into climbing a 50-foot pole, but it was worth it.

3. Be flexible.
I loved being a lineman, but I didn’t fall apart when I had to give it up. I’m still having fun!

Download your FREE ebook, Rediscover the Power of Positive Thinking, with Norman Vincent Peale

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