Men @ Work
"You can't really think about what you look like when you're rescuing people," says Michael Lombardi, 36 (near left), with other members of New York's bravest (from left): Tommy Foley, 29; Dennis O'Connor, 27; Tommy Caruso, 31; and Joe Williams, 43, who notes, "You can't let yourself get out of shape doing this job."
Steve Fabiani, Construction Foreman, New York City
"Girls smile at me and sometimes whistle," says Fabiani, 35. "I'm not a wolf whistler myself. Not like the gang I work with."
Steve Ferrone, Trucker, Naperville, Ill.
"I haven't lifted weights in two years," says Ferrone, 32, "but the work is so physical, it's kept me in really good shape."
Stephen Fernandez, Contractor, Chicago
"I've always had a big smile," says Fernandez, 32. "I'm always smiling, and I know people associate me with my smile."
Paul Hutchings, Welder, Los Angeles
"I usually get a good response from women," concedes Hutchings, 25. "It happens that women hand me their phone numbers when I sit in traffic."
Orville Wooten, FedEx Heavy-Weight Handler, Los Angeles
"Women flirt with me all the time, and I just have to stay away," says Wooten, 35. "It didn't happen to me before I was married."
Michael Brager, Mover, Los Angeles
"There's not really much of girls staring at me," insists Brager, 20. "At least not that I notice. When I'm working, I don't pay attention to anything else."
Curt Kaplan and David Nicksic, Painters, Los Angeles
"I'm kind of a goof, and it disarms people. It makes me seem approachable," believes Kaplan (left), 30. Recalls Nicksic, 33: "Once, this girl saw me stepping out of my truck, and when I came back she'd left a note on my window saying, 'I'm so in love—call me.' "
Chip Hunt, Fisherman, Pompano Beach, Fla.
"I always look at myself and say, 'I gotta get to the gym,' " says Hunt, 23. "I always think I could look better."
Justin Hughes, Demolition Man, Miami Beach
"I'm not a guy who just goes and asks a girl out," claims Hughes, 30. "I'm like most men: I'm afraid of rejection."