This is a huge part of my frustration with McCain – he promotes the idea that Americans, as a group, consider ourselves to be “above” certain jobs. We don’t want to pick lettuce for $12 an hour, but a whole lot of us would, in fact, do it for $50. But now that meme has been extended from the agricultural to the construction sectors to include roofing. Are you kidding me? Roofing?
Here’s a little newsflash for the elites: Not everybody wants to go to college. Some people are simply not scholars. They don’t enjoy reading and studying, and the idea of a lifetime at a desk or trapped in a cube is genuinely distasteful to them. They don’t want to work with computers or to manage employees. Many people want to get out of high school and start making money. And they want to work at a job that will eventually allow them to support a family. Seriously, those people do exist. I’m not making this up. Roofing, and just about every job in the construction field, provides those jobs.
I also wonder, what, exactly, is so bad about roofing? I’ve shingled several roofs, and am about to help shingle my own in the fall. I don’t enjoy being outside, sweating, in the hottest part of the summer (although I’ve done it; helping put a church roof on in July), but in the spring and fall it’s actually very pleasant and satisfying work. It’s useful, necessary, and you can see and take satisfaction in exactly how much you’ve accomplished, unlike many office jobs I’ve held. It’s also, now that we have nail guns, a good deal less strenuous than it used to be. So can someone tell me exactly what’s so bad about being a roofer that Americans would not want to do it?