By: T F Stern
T F Stern’s Rantings
The Associated Locksmiths of America sends an email out on Thursdays with links to various articles related to the Security Industry as a whole with an occasional article on locksmith work. This afternoon there was an interesting post, Framework For Locksmithing Apprenticeship, offering a standardized national model program which was approved by Dr Steffan George, Development Director of the Master Locksmiths Association (MLA) and leading employers.
“The launch of the apprenticeship framework is a very positive moment for the MLA and the industry as a whole. This is the culmination of years of research and collaborative effort. The framework is an important step after the development of a nationally recognized locksmithing qualification, which we hope will have a significant impact on the regulation of the industry as well as providing locksmith companies with the pathway and funding to take on and develop new talent.”
In keeping with the solemnity of this move, Church Lady from the old Saturday Night Live show will offer my opinion, “Well isn’t that special.” I’d include a wav.file but we’re on a tight budget so you’ll have to remember Dana Carvey’s sarcasm filled voice when uttering that remark.
An apprenticeship requires a one on one relationship between the locksmith and a person who desires to learn the skills required of a locksmith through hands on training. The lessons taught and learned are based on observed moments by the senior locksmith, moments which can be expanded upon; but only in that moment and certainly not by some crafted national agenda to crank out sustainable locksmiths according to standards set up by a bunch of well meaning overseers.
Texas licensed locksmiths have their hands tied behind their backs because of over regulation by the state. Taking on an apprentice has added expenses, other than miss cut keys that end up in the recycling bucket; apprentices have to be licensed at not a small cost. The days when you could take a young person under your wing, train them in the shop in various tasks related to locksmith work, let them practice on customer’s property; all that went by the wayside when the state decided it knew what was best for society’s safety.
The same folks who screwed up the locksmith industry by encouraging/demanding states license the locksmith industry; you got it, the Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA) and their willing accomplices at the Master Locksmiths Association (MLA) with folks like Dr Steffan George at the front of the procession.
I love seeing folks with letters in the locksmith business, RL, CML and Dr by a person’s name; gives me goose bumps. I have letters by my name as well, GSP. Folks take for granted it means something to other locksmiths, it doesn’t.
T.F. Stern, GSP
I started my apprenticeship while still a full time police officer in Houston, Texas. The owner’s daughter, Patti, an accomplished locksmith in her own right, used to kid me when I got the easy jobs. She tended to lean a bit left in her political ideology, so I was tagged as a Gravy Sucking Pig (GSP); now you know.
I’m surprised someone hasn’t suggested locksmiths have their state license numbers tattooed on part of their anatomy. (Gosh, but I wanted to say which part of the anatomy and held back since some of my readers might not have appreciated the visual impact.) When the public called you out to unlock their car in the middle of August with temperatures that let you fry an egg on the hood of a car they would see your state issued tattoo clearly and know they had a professional. Where’s that tattoo supposed to be applied?
Some folks want everything regulated, like having all the traffic lights green before they leave home for work; sorry, that’s just not the way it was meant to be. Living in a free society requires an acknowledgement of certain risks. Even worse, these self appointed watch dogs are willing to sacrifice everyone else’s liberties in order to “guarantee” society will be safe from fly by night operators and folks who lack essential skills in the locksmith industry.
“Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither” Ben Franklin
“Those who sacrifice the liberties of others believing they know what’s best for society are called Socialists.” (My own modification, hope you like it.)
We have a constitutional republic here in America; I know that really annoys some of you elitists who are so much smarter than the rest of us yokels. If you want to impress me with your abilities to guarantee society will have no problems then get on an airplane and go to some country where your skills will be better appreciated; but get the heck out of my business and stop telling me what’s best for me.
This article has been cross-posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government & The American Constitution.”