It's A Great Time To Be A Skilled Tradesman

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RSteve

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My regular plumber has been quite ill and unable to work. He's 74 and says he has no intention of retiring. I spoke with him yesterday. He'd just gotten out of the hospital, where in his words,
"Steve, I could feel myself dying. My liver and kidneys had shut down."
"Jack, maybe it's time to take it easy, recover, and just enjoy life."
"Are you crazy? With this pandemic, all the old guys have retired and there's a shortage of plumbers. I'm on track to make over $200 thousand this year. My son's an electrician, working out of his house, and he says that every day he takes off he loses close to a thousand dollars."

I wound up calling seven local plumbing companies before I could get someone to come to my house next week. On local radio, one large plumbing company is offering a $50,000 hiring bonus, payable over ten years, of course. I can't imagine what my bill will be. Yikes!
 

Ranger107

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I feel your pain. Been trying for two weeks to find a piano tuner. Cheapest so far is $200 and he can't get here for 3 weeks.
 

Zeno Marx

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PBS Newshour has been doing an interesting series on the trades. Covering several angles. Shortage. Incentives. College graduates changing direction and going into the trades. Racism and sexism.

An older couple across the street needed a Moen cartridge replaced in their bathroom. Got a quote for $250. A $15-20 part and 15 minutes of labor. I'm sorry. I respect the trades, but that's nuts. That's no less nuts than them wanting $250-400 for an annual checkup at the dentist.
 

RSteve

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I have a great-nephew who is a H.S. senior. He's a bright kid, father's a successful M.D., and the kid has said repeatedly that he does not want to go to college. His parents are disappointed because he is a smart, hard working kid. I have suggested that they visit some of the local trade schools to give the youngster some exposure to what skilled trades are available.
 

daveinlax

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I was a Union Heavy Equipment Operator for 35 years before I retired last November. It can be a boom/bust life and it can be very hard on your body but I was able to retire with boom time pension at 57. Now I’m working very part time in a pipe shop/cigar lounge and am not missing construction that much but I would go back to the right situation.
 

Ranger107

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PBS Newshour has been doing an interesting series on the trades. Covering several angles. Shortage. Incentives. College graduates changing direction and going into the trades. Racism and sexism.

An older couple across the street needed a Moen cartridge replaced in their bathroom. Got a quote for $250. A $15-20 part and 15 minutes of labor. I'm sorry. I respect the trades, but that's nuts. That's no less nuts than them wanting $250-400 for an annual checkup at the dentist.
Yes, total rip off. Moen, like Delta, has a lifetime warranty. You can get the parts for free. Have replaced 4 in my house in the last year. 10 minute job tops. I feel sorry for older folks who get ripped off by vendors. Had an elderly neighbor who had a keypad lock installed on her garage to laundry room door. Quit working. Lock company wanted $125 to come check it out. I went over, changed out the 9volt battery in less than 10 minutes. Voila! Working again.
 

Ranger107

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Have a friend who worked for the municipal water company in a suburb of San Francisco, don't remember the city. He wasn't a manager or even a supervisor, just a worker bee, and his retirement is 9K per month. Fing ridiculous.
 

Ranger107

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Reminds me of a funny story from years past. In HS had two older cousins, Wilton and Tommy. Will was the studious type, straight A's. Went right from HS to FL State. Got his bachelors, then Masters. Right into a teaching job at the school. Got his PhD and 2 years later, full professor. So after 10 years of school was probably making 30K a year. Remember this was early 70's. Tommy, who barely made it through HS, and only cared about fast cars and fast girls, got a job as an oiler/ laborer on a union crane crew in Jacksonville. He was very likeable, and the crane crew got him into an apprentice program. 2 years later he is a fully qualified crane operator, pulling down 70K a year. By the time Will got his profesorship Tommy was pulling down close to 100K per year. Yep union jobs back in the day paid very well.
 

RSteve

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I just got a phone call from the plumber with whom I was able to get an appointment. He's actually on his way! When my phone rang and I saw who it was I expected to hear, "I'm sorry, but I'm tied up on another job. I'll have to reschedule."
Not so!
"I'm 20 minutes away and I'll be at your house shortly."

In reality, this is a job I wouldn't have hesitated to do myself ten years ago. Now, I always anticipate the worst case scenario and that's what I don't want.
 

RSteve

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Have a friend who worked for the municipal water company in a suburb of San Francisco, don't remember the city. He wasn't a manager or even a supervisor, just a worker bee, and his retirement is 9K per month. Fing ridiculous.
I'm available to be adopted.
 

RSteve

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I just got a phone call from the plumber with whom I was able to get an appointment. He's actually on his way! When my phone rang and I saw who it was I expected to hear, "I'm sorry, but I'm tied up on another job. I'll have to reschedule."
Not so!
"I'm 20 minutes away and I'll be at your house shortly."
40 minutes, $203.00 and 100% worth the charge.
 
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