Call waiting is both a blessing and a curse; many find it the height of rudeness to be asked to “Hold on a moment” or “I’ll call you right back” because the other person has a more important phone call coming in. And I can’t say I don’t share that feeling.

Among my business partners, the rule is that we don’t blow each other off unless it’s a call from a customer or a kid that’s trying to come in. This based on the premise that “The customer always comes first”, and if a kid is calling, it may be something urgent.

There is however, I notice, one exception to this rule that we all both adhere to and understand: The Tradesman (read: roofer, plumber, electrician, landscaper, stonemason, appliance repair person, etc.). I have noted that when work is either needed or being done on a house (just about all the time), the one person whose call you always take is from The Tradesman. That’s because these guys (and girls on rare occasions), are a) So hard to find in the first place, b) Almost impossible to get a hold of, and c) A host of other technicians are waiting on “the one” to get their work done in the domino principle of A needs to be done before B and C can procede.

My mother used to exhort me to become a doctor. When I would say that I had no such interest and wanted to be a psychologist, her immediate retort was, “Then you might as well become a candle-lighter in the church” (this being in her cultural view perhaps the lowest job on the economic totem-pole).

I’ve been telling my own son for years to become a plumber or electrician; hey, in Canada doctors are free (a at least for now), but plumbers and electricians cost big money! Unfortunately, he hasn’t listened, insisting instead on going to university.