Seif Zareef: An Early Calling
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
Whereas many tradespeople find their professional callings in adulthood, Seif Zareef found his when he was just a boy. “Both my dad and my uncle were plumbers, so I was introduced to the trade as a kid,” he remembers. “I started going out on jobs with my dad when I was five years old. Even at that age, I knew I wanted to be some type of contractor when I grew up. Since I had family in plumbing, it was natural for me to go in that direction. By age 20, I was working full-time as a plumber, and by 23, I had purchased a truck and was running my own business.”
Today, as owner of Z and Z Plumbing, Seif says his favorite part of his job is executing projects efficiently. “Usually, before I start a job, I’ll have a plan in my head of how I’m going to approach it. I get a lot of satisfaction from following through with a plan and successfully completing a job.”
A resident of Hayward (where he lives with his wife, Shahidah, and their four children), Seif spends his time outside of work on a variety of interests and pastimes. “I like riding dirt bikes and racing cars,” he says. “I own a 1970 Chevy Malibu that I enjoy working on and taking down to the track every so often.” Seif also enjoys being a family man. “Since I have four kids, I obviously do a lot of family stuff. We like to go to the park, take weekend trips and go to Disneyland every once in a while.”
In his life and career, Seif espouses the importance of honesty. “Everything I do has to be right—otherwise I’ll have trouble sleeping at night,” he says. “That includes being honest with my customers. I believe in karma, so I always try to do right by people, whether they’re a customer or just someone I meet on the street.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Seif says he’d relax and rehabilitate. “I’m only 37 years old, but I started working at a really young age, so at this point I’m like a young man in an old man’s body. Let’s just say I feel it in my bones. Hopefully, since I started working early, I’ll get to retire a little early and spend more time relaxing and enjoying my family and my hobbies.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: What was your first car?
A: A 1987 Chevrolet Camaro.
Q: What type of music do you like?
A: I like a little bit of everything—jazz, R&B, and even a couple of country songs here and there.
Q: What’s your favorite snack?
A: Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: Franciscan Crab Restaurant in San Francisco.
Q: What’s your favorite sports team?
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A: I’m a Bay Area boy, so I like all my home teams, especially the Oakland A’s, Oakland Raiders and Golden State Warriors.