Tuesday, 25 July 2017
Why Is That, Anyways?
My neighbour is a top flight tin basher and is a big wheel at a small local HVAC company. He did the duct work on my house when it was built 20 years ago.
We often banter back and forth over the fence and one day we were chatting about the trades - specifically, some local politico wank wanted the trades de-certified. After all, there is no real trade work around anymore, right? Your mechanic at the local garage will use a computer to diagnose your car. That's in addition to the self diagnostics your car's own microprocessor does. For HVAC, most houses made today are of a 'cookie cutter' design. You don't need to know all the ins-and-outs of tin bashing, all you gotta know is how to do the ductwork for a couple different house designs and you're good to go! Residential Electricians? Fah - you can probably wire your own house after reading a DIY book. Seriously. Instrumentation? Fah! Everything's microprocessor based! Pull the PC board and replace it and you're off to the races! The mechanical aspects of that trade are rudimentary.
My neighbour's objection was pretty much obvious: what happens to your HVAC installer when he runs into a new design - or an old one? What happens when he is put into a situation where he has to think his way through it? That is the difference between a tradesman and some de-certified installer. There was a small war to decertify the trades up here years ago and thank God it was won and over before the morons did it. Our trades people are still respected professionals as they should be.
It used to be the trades were guarantees of employment and something you could always 'fall back on' in tough times. They certainly aren't anymore; up here in Alberta we have a whole passle of unemployed tradesmen as well as professionals and technicals. We are all getting hit by the recession.
Oh well, we are Albertans, and the oilfield booms and busts. We survived the last ones, we will survive this one.