So I'm sitting in my computer room, watching a movie online. Stalingrad as a matter of fact, a movie I have a copy of on BluRay, still it was there, online and I needn't do anything except clicky-clicky in a couple of spots.
Also, my computer chair (even as torn up as it is) is most conducive to my comfort and the heeling process. (Odd how those staples still feel like they're there. I know they're not, but...)
Anyhoo, right about the time the Germans are plotting to attack the house in which the heroes of the movie are situated, the cell phone rings. Well, it doesn't really ring, it plays a wee tune which tickles my fancy.
So I answered, it was my oil company. Seems their technician was outside wondering if anyone was home. Why yes, I was.
So down to the main deck I went and greeted the fellow who was here to check and clean my boiler. (I used to, and sometimes still slip, call it a "furnace." Another oil company guy corrected me on that. Old habit I suppose.)
I asked the guy if he minded me hanging around as these type of evolutions fascinate me. I enjoy seeing how things work. He had no problem with that. A most interesting discussion we had.
He's a local guy, went to college a long time ago, then went to a trade school to actually have a marketable, usable skill. Which he now has.
Seems that his is a dying trade. The MBA types who run his company are all about streamlining things and being more efficient. When the guys who actually install, fix and clean things get disgruntled and go elsewhere (which seems to happen a lot more than I realized) the white collar crowd doesn't seem to think it's a big deal.
My boiler guy told me that unless the big shots figure out a way to make boilers install and fix themselves, they are going to be in dire straits in another few years.
First of all, it's dirty work. Cleaning out an old, oil-fired boiler is nasty. Leaves one smelling of oil and the grit which gets into the hands just won't come out. Not when you do it day in and day out. Yeah, they wear gloves, kinda like medical gloves only black, but that grit and oil still gets everywhere.
My guy blew out a disk in his lower back some years ago, the doctors wanted to put him down as 100% disabled. He said no. He wants to show people that he can pull his weight, that he can still do the job. He's quite a guy.
He's pushing 50 but could pass for late 30s. Personable and smart. His only flaw that I could see was that he likes jumping out of perfectly good airplanes. (Truth be told I have a few friends who are into that kind of thing. I may have to try it some day. Maybe, and if I do there had better be a bucket o' Guinness for me to pitch into when I land. Perhaps fresh underwear might be called for as well.)
He said he'd thought about going into the Air Force back in the day. But the family business called and he felt obligated. Family first dontcha know.
I tell you, the guy was a real American. Works hard and doesn't ask for all that much.
Some folks think that everyone should have a college degree. Why? If you desire to be knowledgeable about 17th Century French poetry well go for it. Just don't expect to find gainful employment in that field or expect someone else to pay for it.
There are thousands of jobs out there which pay really well. No, you're not going to be sitting in an air conditioned office and work 9 to 5. Yes, you're going to get dirty and sometimes the hours will suck.
I know, I've been there and done that. It was satisfying and taught me a lot of good lessons. It didn't seem so noble and wondrous at the time but it paid pretty good. It was also work which had to be done. No one else was going to do it.
There are a lot of jobs like that. Jobs which many Americans don't seem to want to do anymore. Jeebers, we can't all be
My boiler guy, he might smell kinda like heating oil but he was truly a breath of fresh air.
A hard working, honest American.
My kinda people.