Have you heard stories about the ace pipe welder who could lift his welding helmet up and keep welding while he talked to you, never missing a beat?
I have heard a bunch of those stories. Even stories about guys who were so good they could look away while tig welding a root pass in a pipe.
I need to see whats going on when I weld...and even just seeing is more of a challenge than it used to be as I get older.
I have done plenty of welding with a mirror, plenty of left handed welding, hanging upside down while biting a leather sock hood to keep it on, but I have never intentionally lifted my helmet up and turned my head to talk to someone while making a weld.
This guy is laying the root pass in a weldolet with a 6010. It appears to be about a 4 inch weldolet cut into a 10 or 12 inch pipe. You can tell it’s the root pass because you can see the sparks inside the weldolet.
Honesty, when he lifts up his welding helmet, the arc does almost go out because he jams the rod in tight .
But hey, he’s got my full respect for not sticking the rod.
I like what he says…”I aint sayin I am a show off or anything, but you know…It is what it is.”
This for all the young men out there thinking about what to do with your life…
Let’s talk about skill...
When you have a sought after skill like welding, you have value.
I am not saying if you don’t have skill you don’t have value as a person. ..everyone has value as a person.
That’s not what I am talking about.
I am talking about having value to a boss, a company, or a team. The kind of value that commands respect.
Respect that makes the boss treat you like a grown ass man instead of a punk kid.
When you work as a bag boy at a grocery store, that’s not skill. (nothing against bag boys, because I was one) And you don’t get much respect for bagging groceries either. You can be replaced in about 30 seconds by the next kid that walks in the door.
But when you can pass a welding test, and then when you get hired, you can also pass a few hundred x-ray welds, you have serious respect.
You have it because you earned it.
You are valuable to the employer and unless your boss is just a big douche bag, he is going to treat you in a way to keep you around because he needs you. You make him look good.
I still remember learning to weld as a young man.
Before that, I was floundering. I got into lots of trouble as a teenager, then kind of straightened up but still didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life.
I went to college and felt like a fish out of water.
Then I went to welding school. Passing that first certification test and getting that first job was a big deal. I started to feel like a man instead of a kid.
Now that I am in my 50’s, I am realizing that is what really matters to most guys in the workplace…
To be treated like a grown ass man.
For the boss to leave you alone to do the job because he knows you will get it done and get it done right. It’s a good feeling when you have that.
But here is a piece of advice…Once you get skills and the respect, just don’t get too cocky, and run your mouth or you will ruin it. Don’t be like the football player T.O. and have all the skill in the world, but not much respect.
Video of Pipeline Welders out of local 798 Tulsa OK