Backbone of America deserves a round of beer

April 10, 2013
By: Vicki Bell

As content manager for, one of my job duties is to moderate comments left for articles on the site. This is an interesting task. Some comments are blatant promotions, complete with links, for companies that want to use this opportunity to hawk their products. While you have to give them credit for exploring all marketing possibilities, they are wasting their time in this particular endeavor. Their comments are deleted.

Some comments contain questions, and others offer good feedback about the topic. Every now and then, I run across one that makes me smile and just plain feel good. Such was the case when I read Christopher W.’s comment to the article “Welders on welding.”

Published in 2010, “Welders on welding” focused on thoughts from “Welding Wire” readers about their welding careers. The article noted that welding was No. 5 on the worst jobs list for that year. (It dropped to No. 7 in 2011 and completely out of the top 10 in 2012.)

The comments from “Welding Wire” readers were overwhelmingly positive regarding their career choices. Understandable. But it was refreshing to read similar comments from a welding student, comments that gave me a glimmer of hope for our future workforce—provided there are more out there like him.

Christopher wrote, “I am a current college student in my first year of an associates in science for welding fabrication theory, and I can say that so far, I really like it. I could not imagine sitting behind a desk pushing papers, or (working on) spreadsheets, or whatever else people do behind a desk.

“I could not believe that all the most undesirable fields of professions (on the 2010 list) were all manual labor jobs. It just leads me to believe that this current generation, which I have to say that I am admittedly embarrassed that I am a part of, as I am 28, is lazy. They would rather push paper work and have a so-called safe job, then to take pride building something from scratch and be able to say that they were proud of their work.

“While I don't know much about this field, I could never be embarrassed to say that I am a manual laborer and sweat for my paycheck. I am currently a paver by profession hoping to be a welder after I complete my schooling.

“The way I look at it is if it wasn't for manual labor, there would be no roads, no buildings, no cars, and very little else for the people who believe that they are above sweating for their check. And I think that the men and women who are the backbone of America deserve a round of beer for their hard work.”

I couldn’t agree more.

And Christopher, you might be surprised—as I was—to see the most recent (2012) worst job list: In descending order, beginning with No. 10—Broadcaster; Butcher; Dishwasher; Meter Reader; Waiter/Waitress; Reporter (Newspaper); Oil Rig Worker; Enlisted Military Soldier; Dairy Farmer; and Lumberjack. Only three of these made the 10 worst list in 2010: Lumberjack; Dairy Farmer; and Meter Reader.

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Vicki Bell

Vicki Bell

FMA Communications Inc.
2135 Point Blvd
Elgin, IL 60123
Phone: 815-227-8209