If you want a reason to panic, other than global warming or unisex bathrooms, let me give you something that will, without a doubt, affect each and every person out there in the next decade.

There is a great shortage coming, not of .22 ammo, though that was terrible and luckily is over, but of something that each of us may need at one time or another in our lives.

Tradespeople. Yes, electricians, plumbers, carpenters, truck drivers. The days of apprentices and summer jobs that would lead to a life time career seem to be dwindling. When was the last time you saw a plumber with a young person that was learning how to do the job? When was the last time you tried to find someone to do a job, even a simple addition or adding an outlet, and were told, “Sorry, we are booked up right now.”

This is not going to end. This in time to panic people – this is time to reach down deep and contact everyone you know and beg that those high school kids start to pay attention and to learn, not just computer skills, but real life skills. What if your pipes bust from the cold? What happens when your outlet stops working and you can’t charge your smart phone? The time to panic is now.

Now on a different note, I plead with you young people, please don’t waste four years or more of your lives on a college career that won’t really take you anywhere. Is this harsh? Sure, but so is $100,000 college debt you will be trying to pay back while working as a cashier.

How about learning a trade first, then you can go to school to live out your dream as a British Lit major, plus you can make money to travel the world to understand what all those authors were writing about.

How will this great shortage affect you? Easy. In your pocket. If there are only three electricians instead of 20 you will pay higher prices – plain and simple. Supply and demand. If the framers hired to build your home learned from a u-tube video, you might want to buy a level.

We are a society of instant gratification and if people are no longer around to make sure the simple things, like cold air, hot water and toilets that flush, we are really going to be in a jam.

Remember knowledge is power, a tradesperson can’t be replaced by a phone app, and it’s time to worry or time to learn, it’s your choice.


Dorothy Royal is the owner of Surf City Guns and Ammo, mother of two wonderful children, ringmaster of a herd of miniature ponies and an avid member of the Surf City Writers Group and Topsail Book Club.