Allan Ostenfeld

Legacy of Tradesmen: Plumber

We walk in this Earth with duty in mind, going through the ebb and flow of society, and being a piece of cogwheel inside a clockwork machine. We all have a role to play in today’s society as it was in the past, as soon as humans walked this Earth, that is how we function and survive.

Construction workers are what created your house, office, stores, and factories. Plumbers are what connect the lights throughout our country and gave us clean drinking water and even more! Yet not a lot of people give recognition to them, actually, people look down on plumbers, thinking it’s a low-end job for people who weren’t fortunate enough for school.

Around fifty years back and beyond, being a tradesman was a prideful thing. During the baby boomers era, everyone was skilled with their hands, perfecting their own craft, and honing their skills. A world of techniques, tricks, and methods. Not only the tradesman hold pride but also everybody else. Everybody else thought that there was a caliber you cannot reach to become a tradesman. Nowadays, a young person would rather work at McDonald's than to be a plumber or construction worker.

People aren’t seeing the true effects of plumbers, yet they shun them or pity them for having those skills and professions. If it weren’t for the plumbers there would be no lights around our country, you would deal with unclean water most of the time and every lavatory will just be a hot mess.

This manual labor force had an attitude. There was no bragging or bravado needed. They would do the most physically taxing task you had ever done in your entire life like it was nothing, and do it all day long only to jump to the next impossible task. They were the best at what they did and they knew it. There was “us” and then there was “everyone else”. Being a construction man, a tradesman, and a blue-collar worker is a very noble duty.

To them, sitting in an office filling out paperwork, taking deposit slips, or answering phones sounds horrible. Why would you do that when you could be doing meaningful work with your hands? What people sometimes fail to realize is that while the bankers and businessmen are making decisions on what to do with other people’s money for an investment, construction men are making make-or-break decisions with million-dollar pieces of equipment handling millions of dollars’ worth of material just about every second of every day.

Sadly, instead of treated like royalty, they are sometimes treated like dirt. Partly due to being humbled by manual labor, tradesmen become quiet and respectful human beings with a silent type of dignity. They know what it’s like to be hungry. They have literally worked until they’ve bled. They worked in blistering heat, as well as bone-chilling weather. Every day is a fight for them, they come home dirty, sweaty, and hurt. When other people see them at that state, they give them pity instead “poor guy, if he would have just stayed in school, he could have become a doctor.” If life were that easy, Karen…

Like I mentioned, everyone has a role to play, a place in the clockwork machine to operate. Maybe with this, people will realize, especially younger ones, that there is great pride in being part of the manual labor class.

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