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  • "Oh, you must make a lot of money?"

    I don't know about you guys South of the Border, but the perception that Plumbers make a lot of money seems to stick to us real good up here. And well, I think I'm paid descent for an apprentice, I wouldn't say the average plumber or plumber apprentice where I live makes exceptional or "a lot" of money. But enough, if you know what you're doing, to live comofortably and somewhere in the middle class.

    So I've heard this expression a few times when I tell someone, sorry, some girl, I am a plumber. "Oh, so you must make a lot of money?"
    I just look at them and laugh. I'm a young buck too (25) and so I get the "eye" from some of them. I recall being at a wedding with my girlfriend back in Christmas. And this girl, a cousin of the bride around my age give or take a few years, is sitting accross from us. She sort of knows my girlfriend but doesn't know me or what I do. So we all get to talking, the typical get to knows you's over dinner. And she asks me straight up what I do for a living. I said "I'm a plumber." And the famous words "Oh, you must make a lot of money?" come out of her mouth. I just kind of laugh and shake answering the question off.

    OK, that's fine - but the entire rest of the night, despite the fact my girlfriend was sitting right beside me, she was giving me the quickie eye. God I wish I was younger - I might have gone for it. LOL.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Scott K:
    I don't know about you guys South of the Border, but the perception that Plumbers make a lot of money seems to stick to us real good up here. And well, I think I'm paid descent for an apprentice, I wouldn't say the average plumber or plumber apprentice where I live makes exceptional or "a lot" of money. But enough, if you know what you're doing, to live comofortably and somewhere in the middle class.

    So I've heard this expression a few times when I tell someone, sorry, some girl, I am a plumber. "Oh, so you must make a lot of money?"
    I just look at them and laugh. I'm a young buck too (25) and so I get the "eye" from some of them. I recall being at a wedding with my girlfriend back in Christmas. And this girl, a cousin of the bride around my age give or take a few years, is sitting accross from us. She sort of knows my girlfriend but doesn't know me or what I do. So we all get to talking, the typical get to knows you's over dinner. And she asks me straight up what I do for a living. I said "I'm a plumber." And the famous words "Oh, you must make a lot of money?" come out of her mouth. I just kind of laugh and shake answering the question off.

    OK, that's fine - but the entire rest of the night, despite the fact my girlfriend was sitting right beside me, she was giving me the quickie eye. God I wish I was younger - I might have gone for it. LOL.
    Scott,

    You are young, go with it.

    All kidding aside,

    The reason people think that is they only deal with plumbers when they have a problem. They only see fixtures, they don't see the layout and piping that goes into a building. They think they flush a toilet, and the **** (this will be censored) magically disappears.

    They see the bill and explode. They say, "I could have done that". I myself don't work in the service and repair side, but I understand it. If you can do it, do it and save the money. If you called a plumber, you didn't know how to do it so pay the bill.

    I myself am kind of usual because I both went to college, and learned a trade. In my opinion it took more knowledge to be a plumber, than to get a college degree. But we live in an age that is biaseds against blue collar workers.

    For my money I think a trade can be more valuable than a college education, because I can go anywhere in the world and be a plumber.

    the dog
    the dog

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    • #3
      scott, every now and then a new client will ask about the bill pricing. they already know what i charge hourly. i explain to them that a plumber that is flat rate is much more expensive than i.
      i then take it 1 more step if needed. i compare our trade to lets say a lawyer. a person who averages $200-$500 an hour plus charges for phone time and everything else. a lawyer typically has a 4 year collage education plus 2-3 years of law school. they have an office with a phone, computer, fax, coping machine. some fancy stationary and possibly a small library. now with internet, the library is dated.
      now for myself or any plumber in business. 4 years as an apprentice. now 5 years. an office and a warehouse with more inventory than any hardware store. more tools and equipment than most rental yards. my conclusion is either i don't charge enough, or lawyers are way overpaid. just about any trade or occupation has employees that are worth more than they are paid, or are paid more than they are worth.

      rick.

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      • #4
        Plumber Rick that is why I am on track to become a lawyer. Not a spineless yellow suit, but rather a patent litigation lawyer for a major corporation. The salary range is about 120k starting. All in need is to finish 1 more year of undergrad and go to law school, so yes they are over paid, but their balls are on the line tp perform so that a company doesn't lose a hundred million dollars on a patenet that another company stole. The stakes are higher....

        Comment


        • #5
          Scott,

          One of my standard replies to that line runs something like; "Well my school counseler said I had the apttitude to be a brain surgeon or a plumber, so I decided to go where the money was and its been "downhill" ever since". It usually gets a good laugh and the subjsct gets dropped.

          I sure wish I was 25 years young again. I can hardly remember what it was like. Have fun and enjoy it.
          Work hard, Play hard, Sleep easy.

          Comment


          • #6
            My two most recent "expensive" dealings (not counting buying another home) have been with a plumber and a lawyer.

            My Dad was a "jack of all trades" and yes, we did some plumbing together, so I have more than a basic understanding. I don't recall that he was a "master plumber". After I moved out of the house, he joined the local union and became a "steam fitter" in his last 15 year's of work. I'm not exactly sure where that falls in the scheme of things, but he was definitely one smart and very hardworking guy.

            Now, with a little knowledge and experience under my belt, I know that when I call my local plumber he's going to charge me about $50/hr or so. He's worth every dime. For anyone who can do that stuff, I can only 'salute' your skill and resolve. Personally, I HATE plumbing! I can illustrate, write, know computers rather well, can teach, know photography (including developing), have done drywall, electrical, carpentry, concrete work, and even laid blocks. I've designed, built, reviewed, and taught; and have made or saved money doing all of it... But when it comes to plumbing: where's the phone! I have yet to see a single job where I should have, could have, or would have been able to do it myself! It takes more skill and patience and knowledge of "back then" than I could ever muster. So, if the price is anywhere close to reasonable, I don't question it. God bless every plumber, you all have my great respect!

            Now lawyers, that's another story. Even when they're on your side, you can't be sure. Slicker than politicians, too often arrogant, never return phone calls, and never quite seem to have a handle on time. And yes, $200 an hour, for boning up on the law that covers your particulars, and inclusive of all conversations, even if it was mostly rehashing what we last talked about or where he's going next weekend. Sometimes I think I'd get quicker results if I called a couple of plumbers and had them visit those folks that I'm trying to get my lawyer to deal with. (Don't forget to bring your wrenches!)

            Highly respectful,

            CWS

            Comment


            • #7
              CW, You should be very proud of your father. Steamfitters occupy a very important segment of the piping trades. Their welding skills must be top notch, the best on the planet. There is an encyclopedia of knowledge these guys have to carry in their heads.

              As this nation reconsiders its stand on nuclear energy it will be the Steamfitters leading the way. If I practiced and improved my novice welding skills every day, I might become as good as these guys in another 30 years.
              Work hard, Play hard, Sleep easy.

              Comment


              • #8
                Plumber,

                Thanks for the kind words. My Dad's been gone a few years now, but I never knew a more hardworking guy. He was a WWII vet, never graduated high school, but the man could do just about anything and was never afraid to get "his hands dirty". He was the kind of guy who'd stop on the road and spend whatever time he needed to help someone out.

                He worked on many of the big construction jobs, out of the Binghamton, NY local. Even the nuclear plant near Johnstown, PA.

                Thanks,

                CWS

                Comment


                • #9
                  Years ago I saw a cartoon in the paper where a husband arrives home to see a plumbing repair truck in his driveway. His comment as he got out of his car was "Oh my gosh I hope she's having an affair".

                  Mark

                  [ 09-17-2005, 03:12 AM: Message edited by: ToUtahNow ]
                  "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                  I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

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