Friday, December 4, 2009

Everybody is an Expert!

        Education, training, serving an apprenticeship, all of these valuable tools are being cast aside for that pursuit called impatience or "I know everything there is to know...without knowing anything at all ". As a young man I realized that higher education or knowing how to perform a building trade skill was going to be mandatory to reach my goals of material possessions, ie. home,car,etc. I was very fortunate to have a uncle who beside from being very bright, was also a General Building Contractor. From the age of 10 years old, I worked for him during the summer and holiday vacations. I worked as hard as a young man could work. You see my uncle had a son my age,and to be very honest, my cousin was lazy. I would finish my day working for 'uncle',and know that my mother would get a call that evening from 'uncle', gushing about how hard I had worked that day. That made me feel very good. My efforts were recognized, which inspired me to push myself even harder the next opportunity I had to work.
        I had decided that upon graduation from high school that I would enter the Carpenters apprenticeship program. The criteria was simple, earn as you learn. My experience working for my uncle served me well. On job sites,apprentice's like myself were teamed with a journeyman carpenter. The competition was fierce. When a journeyman carpenter is making better that $35.00 per hour, there is no time for foolishness.I learned early on that you made a practice of never being late for work, unless you planned to find a new job. You took great pains to ensure that the tools,materials and miscellaneous hardware were present at starting time. Not 5 minutes after starting time. These efforts paid off. I was awarded my journeyman carpenters union card.
        My point is simple.By following the rules of the apprenticeship program, by paying my dues,by working hard, I EARNED my journeyman Carpenters card. That card allows me to work anywhere in the United States as a respected Craftsman. There was no cutting corners, no cheating, just honest hard work that at the end of the day you can feel good about. You can have respect for your craft and the people you work with, and I became an expert!   'Walls'