(First Published: Jun 01, 2007)
This is the continuation of my employment history tale of woe. Just shy of tearing the boss’ head off at the snack food distribution company, I decided the better move would be to quit.
I was on a Quixotic mission to defeat the beast with two heads; boring, unsatisfying days on one neck and not enough pay to give me the life I wanted on the other.
The two monsters came from the same body. A body built of complacency and silent despair.
It was a monster most can’t escape. I was no exception for a number of years to come.
Let’s see where the wind took me next:
- Furniture Mover
This was the number one most physically brutal job I ever held. The warehouse was immense and business was booming. Sixteen hour days filled with racing all over the sate and flying from the truck to the homes with furniture in hand. Flying! My back got destroyed in the process. I lasted three months. I left with a newfound appreciation for the guys who do this for a living.
- Concrete Bridge Superstructure Mftg. Plant Mechanic
Another miracle worker job. We made 100 ton beams for bridges with prestressed steel cabling inside. I slogged through three feet of half frozen mud all winter, worked three stories high in a man lift in blizzards, and sucked dust all summer. I repaired everything imaginable: buildings, huge machinery, underground steam/air/gas/water/electrical/phone systems, tools, vehicles, on and on and on. I quit one hour before they had a chance to fire me. This was my big nine month employment stretch. A record for me.
- Water Treatment System Sales
I learned enough here to fear all untreated water. That, by the way, is pretty much ALL water in your life. It was a great product but I wasn’t up to being a high ticket sales guy.
- Meter Reader for Power Company
A relatively easy job. I stayed just long enough to learn how it was done.
- Day Laborer
This happened a few times. Some jobs were for one day. Some a few weeks. This is a desperation move. A survival gambit. These were usually very low points in my life.
- Magnesium Plant Worker
1000 pound logs of mag were loaded into an oven, which ran at 900 degrees F. The oven extruded the softened product through a die and we cut the result into useable lengths. I worked next to the oven all day. For quite a few years this would be my last factory job. “Factory” equals slow death in my book.
- Frito Lay Merchandiser
I drove all over the state to three new stores each week. Superstores. I restocked the shelves in each store twice a day. Hundreds of thousands of bags of chips and bottles of dip passed through my hands each day. Hundreds of thousands! For only three stores! Frito usually had both sides of an entire aisle for themselves. Like a city block length of space. People eat too much chips!
- Hazardous Waste Cleanup Tech
I worked all through the summer in three layers of clothing on Superfund sites in CO. I made a LOT of money but the work was excruciatingly boring. Heat exhaustion and the avoidance thereof, became my life. I would go through two gallons of water and Gatorade a day. I saw things at some of these sites that would freak you out if you knew the truth.
- Door to Door Knockoff Perfume Sales
Do I really even have to detail anything here? Three days and I split.
Over two years, tens of thousands of dollars lost that I didn’t have in the first place, a newfound ability to drive away close friends and family who didn’t agree with “the Plan”, and 0 dollars in profit, I escaped. And that was just what it was – an escape. These 2+ years are worth a book all by themselves. I will say that I learned some lessons that helped me to see the bigger picture in life and there were some very good people involved but oh me oh my! I was happy to quit this venture.
That’s enough for now I think. One more installment will wrap this up.
So, yeah. This was my deal for so many years.
I never found this magical creature. Well, not during these years. I have since found what I’ve always been looking for. But it took a lot more years beyond what you just read above.
I went through an unbelievably painful metamorphosis to even open my mind to a larger life in the first place
That was why I stayed at Dyno for five years after the Marines. I thought that was as good as it could get.
I was earning a slightly above average level of pay compared to most in my area and I had the chance to earn even higher with promotions.
But I was stuck in Low Aspirations City.
I distinctly remember telling my first wife during this time to “Forget about the big house on the hill with the three cars! It ain’t happenin’! We’re at the highest we can go! Deal with it!”
That was about 15 years ago.
Now? I can hardly believe I was ever in a state of mind so defeatingly complacent to have ever thought such a statement to be true.
I aim to have what I want for a life and so should you
We all want something different and it doesn’t have anything to do with money. It’s about a life well spent. Money works its own self out if you’re following your heart.
The photographer of this post’s featured photo: Uriel Soberanes