Toll booth collectors, travel agents, secretaries, stenographers are not exactly growth careers for young people. Technology has made those careers obsolete. Other jobs are no longer useful, because we replace items — rather than repair them — because the cost of the item has become so cheap thanks to globalization. Is anybody a vacuum cleaner repair man anymore?
But there are some old school jobs that seem to be holding strong.
Yesterday, I dropped off two pairs of shoes at the town’s cobbler. An old pair needed a new heel. A new pair needed stretching. Three guys were in the back hammering away in a cluttered space with shoe boxes piled sky high. I paid in cash and was given a red ticket stub to pick up the shoes in two days.
This business seems to be doing well. There are some cobblers in my state who make in six figures, though the average is around $48K. With all the cheap shoes at Target and Kohl’s, why aren’t these guys going the way of vacuum cleaner repairmen?
Wealthy people spend a lot of money on their shoes. Steve said that some guys in his office wear $500 shoes. And everybody hates breaking in new pairs of shoes. I have one pair of shoes that pre-dates my first child; they are so comfortable that I get them reheeled every five years. Also, middle-of-the-road shoes don’t go out of style. A loafer is a loafer.
(More to come)