I was reading an article in Deco Magazine, which I believe is through the PDCA (Painting and Decorating Contractors of America), which I use to be a member of (one of the businesses I own is a painting company). The article was talking about the decline of craftsmanship and stated, ”Probably the single biggest factor causing this decline has been a deterioration of our mentoring process in the trades.”
Well, as a painting contractor and as someone that has been in the trades for about ten years, I strongly disagree with this statement. From my experience mentoring has diminished but not to the degree he goes on to talk about. For example, there are more trade organizations, like the PDCA, around today versus 50 or 60 years ago and these organizations provide mentoring and extended learning.
In addition, again from my experience, I have seen and found numerous mentors; and I can’t just think I’ve been lucky in doing so. My mentors have included guys I use to work for as well as other people in other trades that have been able to pass on tremendous advice and knowledge.
So what is the largest cause in declining craftsmanship? It’s quite simple, we live in a time where everyone has unmanageable deadlines and expectations. What’s the first thing to disappear if you expect someone to rush? Craftsmanship, of course, and this is true in any trade or business around the globe. When you have high expectations, yet you aren’t willing to allow someone the time to perform, you’re asking for poor quality and bad attitudes.
If you expect craftsmanship, you have to allow a reasonable amount of time to provide that. But again, we live in a time where time is money, hurry, I want to move in by this date, or whatever excuse fits your scenario. I’m also thinking that, especially in this economy, consumers often times forget that you get what you pay for; so hiring unlicensed or unqualified people will also lead to an obvious decline in craftsmanship.
All the above reasons are far more responsible for the decline than what Mario Guertin (author of the article I read) states. So no offense to Mr. Guertin (President of Painting in Partnership Inc. and President of PDCA Craftsmanship Forum) but I think his statement just isn’t so. Your thoughts?