Today a week ago i set up shop at my local annual swap meet. I was next to a guy who like myself made a small sacrifice to get there when it was still dark. This guy looked young like me so we got talking. I couldn't help but ask what he does and why he wants so much for the tools he was selling.
He was a retired panel beater at age 27. He said he left while he could and the prices he wanted for his snap on tools were actually quite reasonable. He left the proffession as it simply wasn't earning enough money to support his wife and kid in the modern day. As we talked he mouthed off all the different places he worked,(which explained how he knew all the people that came to chat with him) in search for better money. I was shocked to hear that after 3 years at trade school and as a slave apprentice plus 4 years fully qualified, i was earning more then he did and i only work friday through sunday.
He now packs boxes at a meat factory earning a third more then he did before. It was sad to see someone give up a proffession that i considered essential in the automotive culture. I missed the shot but two other local panel beaters came to talk to him and talk about their work, unlike him they were still employed panelbeaters except they were well above 60 years of age.
I hope this is not a common story.