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Blue Collar and Proud of It!

Robert O'Brien
Robert O'Brien Member Posts: 3,451
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/user/ryeagley33#p/u/4/M5KYTl5yFog">http://www.youtube.com/user/ryeagley33#p/u/4/M5KYTl5yFog</a>
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  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,216
    Thanks for sharing Robert

    I reposted on face book. I was yelled at by my guidance counselor in High School when I said " I think I will be a plumber like my father," I like to think I made the right choice and I have made the world a bit better by being a good, and thoughtful plumber. Would I have made more as a doctor or engineer? I would say I would have. I would not be here answering and asking questions nor would I be deknuckleheading systems. I will be getting that book. I may even buy a few extras to give as gifts.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
  • meplumber
    meplumber Member Posts: 678
    The road not taken....

    Like Charlie, I had other options.  But chose to follow the family path to the basement.  My grandfather was the 3rd Master Plumber licensed in the state of Georgia.  My great granddad was plumbing way before licensure.  My dad followed and so did I. 

    As my oldest son prepares to make those fateful decisions at the end of high school.  I have encouraged him to do what he enjoys.  He is a very bright boy with way more options than I had.  He is leaning toward civil engineering.  Not to escape work, but to ensure that it is done right.  He sees that our infrastructure is in poor shape and sees a future in that.  Not a lucrative future, but a steady, honest future.  I am proud of him.

    He did a service learning project for school called "These Calloused Hands."

    I was proud that he was proud of his grandads and I.
  • R Mannino
    R Mannino Member Posts: 434
    Doctors Need

    to flush toilets too guys!! They'd be cold also without us!
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 15,989
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,309
    Great video

    The country is being led down the primrose path by the education establishment pushing college down everyone's throat. I'll wager that a high school education 40-50 years ago was a hell of a lot better than a bachelor's degree is today. The last recession was pretty tough on white collared workers while a lot of blue collar worker could at least pick up odd jobs doing repair work on homes and equipment. When you work in the trades the first thing you learn is to use what you have at hand.

    I graduated from Don Bosco Technical High School in '66 (4 years of electronics); they also had 4 year electrical, carpentry, and printing courses. I worked most of my life as a technician and engineer and went into management a few years before that plant closed in '94. We made military and commercial power supplies and even some stuff for the Apollo and space shuttle programs. Because it was a small operation we all did many jobs, at the end of that career I'd be disemboweling a wave solder machine in a shirt and tie because we could not afford to wait for the repair technician to fly in from Virginia.

    After that plant closed i spent a few years at a small engineering company and when that work looked to be drying up I went to work at the post office as a technician. Because of all the experience I had accumulated i was pretty good at keeping the sorting machines going. I learned a lot from the mechanics i worked with and they learned a bit from me.

    During my entire working career i was constantly learning from trade journals and company schools, you have to keep learning as the technology changes. I always enjoyed working with things and liked nothing better than finding a problem on the factory floor and finding a solution on the fly.

    Now that I'm retired I spend time on photography and design amplifiers for fun. Then, in the evening, I convert IPA to urine as a pass-time.

    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,839
    'Tis a noble trade...

    As others have pointed out, where would the world be without trades people?

    I am a third (known) generation BCW. My grand father was a master drain layer (essentially plumbing before it was called plumbing), my father was a master plumber (FINALLY, recognition) and I am a Master Plumber.

    When I was offered the opportunity to work as a plumber at a young age, I said NO WAY. I had other business interests. After a while, I realized that my talents would/could only carry me so far on the monetary scale, and I had to do something about it. I had a family to raise.

    I went back, and discussed the possibility of becoming an apprentice at the ripe old age of 20, and my dad welcomed me back into the fold.

    As for opportunity, how many jobs does anyone know of where the employer (in most cases) is willing to pay you a very decent wage to work during the day, and is willing to pay for furthering your education at night?

    With all of us Baby Boomers headed for retirement, there is a SERIOUS shortage of trades people coming that is going to cripple the service industry. In order to fill these positions, business owners are going to have to pay a premium wage with benefits in order to get more people to come to work for them. These additional costs will be passed through to the consumer, as they should be.

    Mechanics in the auto world commonly pull down wages of $100,000 per year. A good experienced/licensed plumbing technician can pull down over $120K per year.

    Bottom line, the world can not live without us.

    Job security.

    The fight with the high school counselors who are pushing students to go to college will never end. That is their job. The smarter counselors realize that not all students are cut out for the college scene, and will do their job correctly, guiding non college students to the appropriate trade schools.

    Interestingly, probably 90% of the employees on the other side of the parts counter at the local wholesale supplier have a college degree of one sort or another...

    It's never too late to change your mind :-)

    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
This discussion has been closed.