Working Class Hero
This recession has really played havoc on the new construction business, that’s no secret. Being an elevator mechanic, this 100% affected Keith’s career. A few weeks ago, his old job called and asked him to come back. This is the place he’d worked for almost 18 years, who’d initially laid him off several months after we’d started dating back in ’09. The company that had since ‘picked him up’ (I use that term extremely loosely) would only work him for short tenures, which was when they got in a crunch and really needed him. Then BAM – it would be dude, we don’t need you to come in tomorrow. Actually uh, maybe not for another month or two. (cough-cough… shady) Even though he offered them a good working notice, when Keith informed Shady Place he was leaving for full-time working status again, the guy actually copped an attitude about it. Like a dog that didn’t want the bone but didn’t want any other dog to have it either. Go figure.
Thought I’d share several pictures he took of the silo his team is currently working on. All work is outdoors so they’re in the element for sure, but he thinks it’s super-cool. So do I.
It’s over 400 feet up, and if you enlarge the picture below you can actually see the Charlotte skyline in the center. I’m just not a real big fan of the splintering wood.
He said this job is unusual because of the man-made catwalk around it and the makeshift elevator on the outside they have to ride up each morning in the dark. Up high the wind is double to triple what it is on the ground. This structure differs from skyscrapers and other taller buildings he’s worked on in the past in that there really isn’t a retreat indoors. The picture of the center steel above reminded me of a scene from the movie Shawshank Redemption, where as they retarred the roof, old Andy Dufresne bargained for his ‘coworkers’ to have three cold beers apiece.
Friday night Keith told me about an opportunity that he put his name in the hat for, so to speak. It would be for a two-year stint in the Bahamas, for a new resort that’s going up – so he would be there for the long-haul. He won’t know immediately whether he is chosen, but I so totally would’ve have put my name in for it too. I mean, if you don’t have small children at home or some other commitment that needs honoring, how could you resist? The pay would be outstanding and well – there’s a lot of perks to it, as well as disadvantages. If his name does get picked… we’ll just go from there.
As of current – he’s just happy as a lark to have his old job back. 🙂
The Comfortability Factor
An instance happened the other day that I’m unable to shake. I decided to share it with all of you.
Two days ago, the word came for my guy to go back to work. He’s been laid off for several months now – the economy’s really played hell on new construction. Being a mechanic, they have mandatory ‘helpers’ and work together as a team. Needing to start the job immediately, his BA gave him the opportunity to call other laid-off helpers he’s worked with in the past, thereby assuring a good pick for the job. Of all the ones he called – only one was interested in working again. One.
The replies were all along the same line: ‘Uh, I’ll pass on this one, man.’
Are you serious? So you’ve been laid off for HOW long now and a good job comes around and ‘you’ll pass’? Are you really doing that great on unemployment? And is this unemployment check guaranteed to last until the next job opportunity comes beating at your door again?
Sorry… I just don’t get it.
So the next time you see those hefty unemployment numbers on the news, remember this little story. Something tells me the numbers that shift in this particular direction would astound us all.