Degradation of Craftwork in America
Tuesday, January 10, 2012 at 9:26PM
Metergod in Craftsmen, Journeymen, Masters, Values of Craftwork

Enjoy reading "The Degradation of the American Machinist" by Terry D. Coffman. A well written expression of observations and frustrations about the growing degradation of quality in craft work.  It draws attention to the lack of respect that comes from those who do not understand or appreciate the skills that took a lifetime to hone. This article is written by a Master Machinist on being a Master Machinist and this perspective could easily be applied to any craft that requires an apprenticeship to become a 'master' or 'journeyman' craftsman.

I wish we could Thank Terry personally, perhaps one day he will see his article here and contact us. It's an all too often shared perspective among the "Masters" and "Journeymen" as you can see by the responses from a few of the 20 or so metering friends whom I sent this article to. (You too are welcome, even invited, to post your comments after reading). 

“The story of the machinist really struck a chord with me. What was once a prized and much valued trade is now going by the wayside and being replaced by the computer. This is happening in almost every trade. However the value of a good kind a caring instructor cannot be replaced.”

“Sadly, it sounds kind of like us. They keep dumbing everything down, I feel bad for the young guys.”

“I read the article on the machinist trade they are trying to do this with most of the skilled trades.  We saw it when they did the AMR project here. They claimed they were trained. What a bunch of monkey boys they were. They damaged a lot of customer equipment. They did not know what bypass links were, I could go on and on.”

“Thanks for the story Brad – That’s well worth reading!”

“…it also says much about a philosophy that sells out America for a quick buck.  Hopefully we can bring manufacturing back without lowering wages and benefits to third world standards.”

“Sad but true. We don't repair very many meters anymore. We mainly replace them. We have become a disposable society. If it doesn't work, throw it away and buy something new. Retirement is looking better all the time.”

“Wow … this is so true !!!”

“I really like the machinist story. It seems to be applicable more and more as we move forward.”

“Thanks for the article on the state of craft work in America, I enjoyed reading it!  I have always admired your passion for our trade and if there is such thing as a Master Meterman, you are it in my opinion!”

“So true, our meters are built on the border of Mexico.  Welcome to ‘Made in America’.”

“Thanks for the article, so true.” 

Article originally appeared on Harris Institute of Technical Training (http://metergod.com/).
See website for complete article licensing information.