Enemies of Liberty are ruthless. To own your Liberty, you'd better come harder than your enemies..

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Plumbing, as to Third World America...

When running our HVAC company, I hired several young men (and women) from one of the larger HVAC trade schools in the country.  These kids usually graduated High School, then instead of going to college, they chose to go to a trade school for a year (which was charging $21,000 per year at that time) and graduate with a "certificate" declaring them prepared to enter the HVAC trade with skills and knowledge far advanced over the average apprentice.

When these kids arrived in my shop, we found that the 'school' included very little hands-on skill development.  Not a single one of them had ever touched a torch, for instance.  Not one could locate the proper place to apply gauges on a simple residential machine, much less understand the gauges.  Not one had been instructed in basic safety procedures to prevent them from catching a face-full of flame when working on a gas or oil furnace that may be malfunctioning.  In a nutshell, they were robbed by this 'trade school', because I have to tell you, if you can't solder or braze two copper pipes together, or simply protect your eyebrows from a furnace, your value in a working HVAC shop is zero.

H and I are traveling, and in theme with my above paragraph I just need to share another discovery that reveals the decline in America.


Basic plumbing is relatively simple.  There are 4 key rules needed for anyone who wants to call himself a 'Plumber'.  (Real plumbers will get the joke and grin.)

Rules for being a 'Professional Plumber':

1: Hot on the left
2: Cold on the right
3: Sh*t flows down hill
4: Never eat the last bite of your sandwich

That's it.  If you remember those four rules, you can earn a good living as a plumber (and avoid a mouth-full of feces at lunchtime.  ;)

Now, seriously: In the last two places we crashed for the night - national hotel/motel chains - at least one plumbing fixture was plumbed incorrectly.  This may not seem like a big deal.  But consider this - when national chains hire 'professionals' to do work, and those professionals either have not been taught the basics of their trade, or worse, perhaps know the basics but choose not to do the job properly, consider the devolution of standards that is on display.  Now consider this: When a 'plumber' puts the hot water supply on the wrong side of the device, you might get a surprise and a little discomfort.  Your child may be scalded.  What if he tapped hot water to fill your bidet?  What if, by either incompetence or neglect, he plumbs your home in such a manner to allow backflow to contaminate your fresh water supply?

What if your 'electrician' is applying the same standards to wiring hidden in your walls?  What if the carpenter is applying the same standards to the staircase or deck that your children use every day?

Now consider this sort of shabby work in a national chain, at different properties several hundred miles apart (indicating it wasn't just an isolated incident involving one plumber - but a devolving work standard within the profession) and the corporate chain does not have quality control mechanisms in place (or worse, don't have quality control people who have a clue what they should be doing!) to catch such workmanship (or even worse - doesn't care!) - the conclusion that we are devolving into a nation of unskilled, incompetent people willing to endure standards that are nearing third world status, is unavoidable.

This post isn't big-think.  It is simply observations and conclusions over many years that support a broader narrative.  America is devolving because the vast majority of people living among us no longer aspire to standards of a first world nation.  Pride and self respect are rapidly losing their place in society among our Countrymen.  Entropy is on display.

And it is only to be fixed when people are no longer given the necessities of life, and must go forth and earn in a competitive and unrestricted environment.  Only then will the individual improve his game.  Only then will he be rewarded for doing better work.  It's called the Free Market.  I know I am preaching to the choir - but I just had to preach for a bit.

The men and women who built this country into the dominant power on Earth in just a century or two were aggressive, hardcore survivalists who worked hard and smart to ensure they had the necessities of life.  Men built railroads not because they were born with an undying desire to move products from A to B more efficiently.  They built railroads to earn money, to ensure they would have the necessities of life until they died - with some left over for their loved ones.

The worst part of it all?  Understanding that we have not even come close to bottoming out in this country, yet.  The majority of people will not 'get it' until they are faced with a standard of living equal to Somalia or Yemen.

The saddest part of it all, at least for me?

Knowing that I will probably watch us hit bottom in my lifetime.



  1. A point:

    Most hotels are franchised....Built by contractors to the owners specs (they have to meet some specifications as to room size and furnishings, etc, but most specs are called out on blueprints to meet local codes) It's not the chain that makes sure that local and state (and federal, when it comes to Life Safety, like fire protection and alarms and such) are met, but rather the local building inspector and the owner.

    The chains are only interested in furnishing, operations, cleanliness (sometimes) and service....not on construction details or quality.

  2. We have noticed for years that some motels,hotels,property management places around the country employ people that may say they can fix problems, repair broken, worn fixtures. Some care about what they do, and do a great job, but sometimes their hands are tied on what kind of work they are told to do and the cost of the repairs that need to be done.
    After doing all my own work for years, living off grid in the desert and the woods,we have been traveling again to see family. We noticed it hasn't changed on the quality of work being done. Hot , cold lines are where ever you can find them. Maybe sinks, tubs drain, maybe not. Lights work most of time, if they have a light bulb in them. Electrical outlets worn out, don't make contact.
    We can't wait to get back in the woods

  3. Shitty workmanship.....shit ty drawings and specifications.....low bid wins the job. No one wants to pay for quality, end of story. America is getting what it deserves.....open the border, we need more cheap unskilled labor. Hell even the architectural firms are using cheap slave labor....because the owners and or clients refuse to pay the standard 10% for A&E and services, yet the owners and or end user will make claim that the architects are over designing the project to inflate the % based fee, just like DC .......we are hosed as a nation! Just finishing up 10,000 SF restaurant, as the senior PM for the company I had to go out to the field to help my superintendent build the project because the A&E was deplorable. I was able to keep things lean and clean only because of my extensive construction background......I was able to deliver the margin only because I built a ground up as I would a renovation.....out of order!

    Bill Nye

  4. I hear you, Sammy. Same thing in trucking. Few have any pride in what they do anymore. Most drivers look (and act) like shit. Mechanics aren't much better. It's gotten so bad that when something breaks (and I know how to fix it), I fix it myself rather than wait forever for a service call and get a half-assed job done on my equipment.

  5. Handyman by trade. You know it's bad when the grandkids on trips play,"Hey grandpa look at this!!!", when we check into our room.

  6. Good point B, but it's still the hotel's responsibility. You own it, it's your responsibility...all the way up to your very life.

    Not sure why you find that last sad, K. Once you hit bottom, there's only one direction to go. Your lifetime? Ha; it may be before you see an ocean again.

    1. My point is that the chain doesn't "Own it" they merely (sorta) manage it.

  7. Jim..... with the current AIA document's, good luck with getting the the dot not feather to pay. Lawyers are loyal to the cash flow. Again, it is indeed a border issue..... legal or illegal, understanding I am marching ahead of the parade...... most patriots are frothing at the Suck about the goat fuckers and the sparklies from within our own 2nd meat heads, throw in a
    smidgen of the nagger's want to kill us and need not forget about the distraction of the storm troopers, balance issue if you ask me...consider "flank" Understand the importance of Che and Owens and even the meat head aspect of the starving Mot chimps. YES complicated! Yet the universe exists because of good and evil......can't have one without the other. ..after all they are brothers. We are evil and we are good.....murder is wrong yet killing is ok.

  8. Hey Kerodin,


    I agree with you one hundred percent.

    Things have gotten crappier and crappier since the 1970's. I remember when good textiles were made in South Carolina and not Vietnam, Commie China.

    It will continue to decline just as Rome, Egypt and all the rest have declined and fallen. History is a bitch.

    Funny thing is that because of the 'one child rule in China' and the preference for boys instead of girls. There will be some real, real social issues with China in future years. They are experiencing what is called 'Little Emperors" in China too with all the spoiled one child families and that leads to my belief that China will experience its own decline in time and they will fold back into the hermit kingdom they were for the past three thousand years.

    I say again. History's a bitch.

  9. The trades are being destroyed by cheap labor. Slaves will not be allowed to earn, only invaders on a cash basis so that the owner of the company may make a pile of $$ FRN's and the GOV can garner new debtbux obligations and voters. It is sadly so.

    1. "The trades are being destroyed by cheap labor."

      That's a fair summation but it misses the CAUSE. The cause is the same as every other cause in the human realm---CHOICE,

      Go look at Zoomie's comment and notice how his rig is NOT being destroyed and most importantly, notice WHY.

  10. Just my two cents. The worst workmanship in a hotel is usually the handicap rooms and their bathrooms. I can't tell you how many grab bars have came off the wall in my hand or shower seat collapse when I slide on to them and no, I'm not that big. When your life depends on craftsmanship, pride in one's work, professionalism, it's scary to think how far America has fallen,


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