There are two interesting things about Irwin’s “National Tradesman Day” slated for the 16th of this month. The first is the obvious declaration of a national “day” that, sadly, will mostly only be observed by Irwin. The other is the fact that we even need a Tradesman day. But before you work up a righteous indignation, let me explain.
The U.S. was built, in large part, by the hands of our tradesmen and workers. These are professions that keep us operating and keep our quality of life better than it’s ever been on a day-to-day basis. From the house you live in to the road you drive on, these hard-working people make all of that possible. In the last generation or so professions like plumber, electrician, HVAC, carpenter, mechanic, and general contractor have fallen out of vogue. For many parents today it’s four years of college (or more) for their child and a white-collar job, or your kid is considered some kind of failure.
Trade skills are not equivalent to ditch digging. These aren’t fallback jobs that need to be considered only because “The world needs (insert tradesman job here) too.” They are noble professions that are vital to our continued functionality. For anyone who doesn’t think so, try going without power or water or your vehicle for a little while and see how long you make it. Your Facebook page will seem less important after a day or two, I promise.
It’s rather annoying that as a country we have “progressed” so far that the knowledge and professionalism required to be a quality tradesmen requires a day to recognize and bring awareness to something that should be readily apparent to anyone willing to look.
Irwin’s recognition on the 16th is of course a shade self-serving, as these are their customers and Irwin exists largely to supply tools to these individuals. Then again, who the hell else, other than Mike Rowe, puts the spotlight on our tradesmen?
National Tradesman Day by Irwin [Website]