The journey from there to here

This has been an article I've long had floating around in my head, in response to one JU regular's quite ignorant accusation that I have the run of "bad luck" with jobs that they have with theirs. I haven't updated people on my personal life lately, because, frankly, I have been more than a little tired of some of the games for some time, but here goes:

When I started on JoeUser, I had just left the mine. The mine had never been my idea of a permanent job. I was working at the time in plumbing, a job from which, yes, I was fired. However, given that I have only been fired from two jobs in my entire life, and given that my unemployment was approved without appeal, I think it's fair to say that this was not a "just cause" firing. Part of the problem had been excessive absenteeism, again, a first for me, and only brought about because my wife was 60 miles away at the time due to premature labor with our son, and my transportation was extremely limited.

When that job let me go, though, I took the unemployment check as a good opportunity to move out of an area where we never intended to remain. My income was portable,  so I didn't need to worry about finding a job immediately. The Mojave Desert is not only hot, it is insanely, ungodly, and in all other ways hot, and not a place I wanted to spend a significant portion of my life, so we lit out of there and found few things more exhilerating than that last lingering look at the city in our rear view mirror.

You know part of the rest of the story. You know we got a good opportunity on a house out here and moved here. You know that I worked for two years as a paperboy. What you may not know is that my job with the paper paid double what the near-minimum wage jobs that prevailed in the area paid, and required about half the time commitment. Yeah, it meant keeping up a good car, but it was a good income, and I had a fair amount of time free.

I've never been one to stay down. Ever. We made good money off of that route, good enough to work our way back into a reliable car and for me to pay off my substantial remaining college debt so I could free up my transcripts and go back to school. And back to school I went. During the duration, of course, I had been running a campaign for State Representative on the Libertarian Party ticket. I finished with a respectable 15% of the vote, historic numbers for a third party candidate in this area.

I started with an ISP and have been there since. Not only have I been there, but I was recently promoted to supervise the PC Repair department. I will finish with my Associate Degree in December, at which time I will move straightaway to working on my Bachelor's Degree. At no point have I ever been not working.

While it may be tempting to confuse a short downturn in someone's life as a failure, it's more realistic to look at the big picture. In 20 years in the workforce, I have never been without work for more than six weeks, and only twice in that time had a hiatus of two weeks or more between jobs.

The thing is, I'm not one to stay down, and never will be. And while I have no idea what tomorrow will bring, experience tells me that I should manage to stay employed.

on Nov 09, 2007

Congrats Gideon, sounds like you've put up with a lot to get to where you are today! I agree that getting knocked down doesn't mean you're done for, it's all a matter of perspective, attitude and most importantly being REALISTIC about your situation. I've run into so many bright people over the years who were throwing their lives away in dead end jobs because they figured that since they were in a dead-end job, what was the point of trying to do any better? Many never seemed to grasp the concept that everything can be a stepping stone to something else, if done right. Say you're mopping floors at a grocery store. Unless you're also finishing your thesis on astrophysics on the side, chances are you won't be working for NASA anytime soon. But if that floor-mopper does a good enough job to get a good reference, he can then parlay that into a slightly better job. And so on and so forth, ideally. Obviously you have a wealth of work experience, so might I ask what the best and worst jobs you've ever had were?

For me, the worst was a toss up between construction site security and building pre-fab housing on an assembly line. Both because they were so mindless that you could literally feel your brains ooze out of your ears. The construction site security job was during college, I didn't have a car at the time so I had to take a network of interconnecting busses and trains to get to the site on the outskirts of the city- two hours one way, miss one bus and you can extend that by a half hour to an hour. Once finally at work, it was a 12 hour shift sitting in a concrete parkade that was shielded from the wind but otherwise exposed to the elements- in january, the temperatures were down around -30 celsius (-20 fahrenheit, I think?) so I spent those 12 hours rotating in front of the propane space heater like a hot dog, as one side would warm up while the other froze.

The fre-fab housing job I got shortly after I left the army- I didn't last long before quitting. Two blocks of wood would come down an assembly line. I would press them together in the right spot and shoot some nails in with the nail gun. Lather, rinse repeat. I would space out for hours on end, suddenly coming to just as I would be about to nail my hand to a block.

Both of these jobs weren't demanding in any sense, but I absolutely despised because they were soul crushing in their complete and utter lack of any mental activity.

The best jobs I ever had were (not counting present employment)

Dishwasher and cook at a steakhouse- I think EVERYONE should spend at least part of their life working in a restaurant to get a bit of perspective. I thought it was fun actually, you were on your feet and zooming around just to get orders out in time. 

The army- I was a radio operator, tried for infantry and armour but my unassisted eyesight was too poor. As a radop though, I was in a forward deployed CP and sometimes they would throw a radio on your back and send you out with the infantry anyway!!!

on Nov 10, 2007
Who has been talking shit about your work history?

A good man always makes sure his family is well provided for, and you are no different.
on Nov 10, 2007
Bingo, LW. The spousal unit.

I would have responded when it was said, but my response would have been far less than kind.
on Nov 10, 2007
Gid -

I'm glad you decided to wait and, instead of using the opportunity to put someone down, wrote a nice, uplifting post about who YOU are.
on Nov 10, 2007
I know of many people that do not learn the life's lesson you have.  There is no limit to what you can do with that attitude and drive.  Best of luck in all future endeavors Gid.
on Nov 10, 2007
Make all the assumptions you want, but I haven't been on JU all week because I've been putting some 14 hour days in. Ziggy may have accidentally posted under my name when he was using my computer. You can take that up with him.
on Nov 10, 2007
Wow. I thought reading comprehension was a required subject for teachers. I said this comment was made some time ago but I didn't reply then because my comment would have been rather rude.

But the truth is, you DID pretty bluntly make a comparison between my work history and ziggy's, Marcie.

Now, you can choose to do one of two things: recognize this is my blog and let it die, or keep at it, in which case I have zero problem telling you exactly what I think of you.

It's your call.
on Nov 10, 2007
And if it was made some time ago, and I'm not even remotely active, why do you continue to mull it over?

Who would've thought a retard like me could do this to you?

Whatever. You're more of a person than I'll ever be, obviously.
on Nov 10, 2007
OK, bitch, it's on. You were warned.

First of all, you have asked me to stay off your blog and I have thus far respected that. I had no problem with your initial comment, which was why it was accompanied by the warning, as you were simply responding to the fact that you were mentioned in the comments.

However, you were not a substantial part of the article, it was not about you, and it most definitely did not flame you.

I am tired of putting up with your serious mental illnesses on here, Marcie. Want to know why everyone was copying your blog at the old school and passing it around? Because they feel the same way as I do; that if a teacher is as seriously mentally screwed up as you, they shouldn't be within 500 feet of children, much less teaching them!

Your life is one continual whine after another! You are the most pathetic individual I have ever come across, because you live your life in the negative when there are other choices. You don't even like me, why the hell bother coming onto my blog? Are you that much of a glutton for punishment that you HAVE to keep coming back?

I made the article for several reasons: One, it is MY fucking blog! You got that, you bloated psychotic sow? Two, because I haven't updated people much on the personal front, and there are people who are interested. Three, because that cesspool that passes for a brain of yours thought it clever to try to build yourself and ziggy up by putting me down and it merited a defense, and initially I tried to avoid going into a long expose on what exactly I think of you. Four, because it, again, is MY blog!

Now, leave me alone and get back to the pen. There's a boar out there with blueballs that's been waiting for your sorry ass all day!

(Note to any admin that may read this: I warned her!)
on Nov 10, 2007
Seriously, we had this conversation about jobs like TWO months ago.

You have my sympathies if you have so little going on in your life that you dwell on this shit.


*strokes your all-powerful ego*'

You're just fucking great.

*pulls her porker ass (that lost five pounds this past week, mind you) off your pathetic blog. Because, IT IS YOUR BLOG*

on Nov 10, 2007
Wow, 5 pounds. That's half a percent off of that half ton frame!

God, Marcie, you are the pitiful one, with your compulsive need to respond despite the fact I have made it patently clear I don't WANT you here.

Did you miss the part about my updating people on my personal life or is your education that pathetic? How the hell do you teach kids, when your own reading comprehension is so pathetic?
on Nov 10, 2007
If I was really here to stir things up, I would've left already to somewhere where there wasn't such competition. Because,

~Nobody does it better... makes me feel bad for the rest (of the 'net)... nobody does it, half as good as you... baby you're the best~
on Nov 11, 2007
Nothin' wrong with a little competition, Jythier, and I do recognize talent when I see it. You just need a little finesse, that's all. Use a small stick, and a small stir...and don't be impatient, coming back to stir and stir again. Just wait for the ripples...knowing they get larger as they move away from the center.

Maybe my patience will grow with experience.