It is interesting who we value in times of crisis. I am a salesperson. I happen to sell supplies and equipment within the plumbing and heating trade, but I am not “essential”, nor is my job critical to the well-being of others, other than my family. For as long as I can remember, people that work in the trades have been viewed by many as second class citizens because they may not hold a college degree or they were not interested that is considered “prestigious”.
Here we are, in the midst of the largest crisis since World War II. People are working from home, some are not working at all and many that are working are wondering how much longer they can. A group that is not concerned about the status of their work is Plumbers. They are listed as “essential” not once, but twice. Let that sink in. I have nothing but respect for our first responders and medical professionals but without heat, hot and running water, we cannot successfully perform those key jobs to the standard we are used to.
Plumbers are not considered heroes, yet they walk into strangers’ houses, unaware of any dangers a home that may have; without knowing if that person could be impacted by COVID-19. They work long hours and weekends. Plumbers are so much more than faucet fixers drain un-cloggers. They use more science and math than most of us do in our jobs. They don’t use spreadsheets to calculate a math problem, they use tape measures and their craftiness. They problem-solve; fitting things in spaces they should not be able to fit.
I write this because I want my kids who are about to graduate high school to appreciate the men and women in the plumbing trade and consider that this is a path with tremendous honor, pride and success. Thank you to all the plumbers and those that support these plumbers and their ability to get their jobs done!
Thank you to all the healthcare workers, pharmacists, grocery store workers, take-out restaurant employees, and tradesmen. These are some of the people risking their own health to keep us safe, warm and with running, hot water. Heroes don’t always wear capes.