Friday, August 6, 2010

On Leaky Faucets and Hissing Philosophers

Some words to ponder.

"The society which scorns excellence in plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exaulted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy... neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water."
Dr. John W. Gardner


Shana said...

My mom (has a college degree) has told us many times that if you want to gaurantee that a child will have a steady parnoseh and one that pays well, let him train to be a plumber, and let him train to be a good plumber. Given what one hour of work in my house cost me in June, and given that the plumber was fully booked up and I had to wait three days, this guy is not poor. Also given that fewer and fewer men (or women) have any idea of how to fix anything in their homes, those plumbers are not going to be without customers.

But the statement is correct in that people don't value the work of plumbers enough--it's not a yichusdik enough job for many. Sad commentary on our snobbiness.

Miami Al said...

Been doing some light work around the house... plumbing is my least favorite "job around the house."

When I consulted a book, it tried to make it seem easy, "plumbing is easy, just remember s*** flows downhill, and payday is Friday." :)

OTOH, plumbing involves twisting into small spaces, using tools by hand not sight, etc., etc. It's not a good career for an overweight guy with no exercise that eats nothing by high fat high carbohydrate foods and wants no exercise.

Good plumbers do not go hungry. Good plumbers earn a nice living. Good plumbers with a head for sales and business make well into 6 figures. Good plumbers with a REAL head for business have multiple plumbers under them and make plenty of money.

But it's a lower status job than office work, because you're dealing with fecal matter and it's flowing.

A top notch plumber makes more than most lawyers and some medical fields, but who wants their daughter to marry a plumber instead of a doctor/lawyer.

Profk_offspring said...

This reminds me of a story I heard from the best chemistry adjunct I had in college. He had a Ph.D. and was doing high-level work for NASA. He had a friend who was a plumber. When the six-figure-salary plumber found out how much my professor was making, he was horrified--and happy he became a plumber.

I'm a pragmatist. After watching what people have to pay out for plumbing emergencies, I'd have absolutely no problem with dating a plumber. I know a lot of lawyers out of work...not so much plumbers.