Saturday, August 8, 2009

Work, economy, preps, pickles, and gunpowder

Today marks 6 months to the day that I got layed off from work. I search every single day on every job listing website that I know of, and there is nothing. I have seen ONE ad for work in my trade in this whole time, and it was from a guy I know who started his own business. This particlar person couldn't pay me enough to work for him. He's a liar, a thief, and always looking for a lawsuit to get rich quick. I'm sure his only reasons behind starting his own business were 1-so he didn't have to do the physical labor, and 2-to make more money. I wouldn't trust this guy any further than I could throw him.
I look through each and every ad, looking for something in my trade or something that I can and would do. One today was for a job packaging and shipping horse tack. Loading and unloading trucks, sorting and listing merchandise, keeping inventory, ordering, taking orders, etc.........all for $8 an hour. I talked to someone months ago about a job listing for a horse ranch. Feeding, cleaning stalls, building maintenance, mowing, fence repair, etc; for $9 an hour. I don't expect to make my usual over $20 an hour doing this kind of work, but what quality of employee are they going to get for that money, plus, how is anyone expected to live on that? I can flip burgers for that measly amount at the local BK.
TOday I got a call from an old co-worker that I keep in touch with from time to time. He was a field supervisor for a fairly large company that did not only sprinkler work, but plumbing, mechanical and HVAC. The company wasn't making the profit margin that they had in past years, so of course, being greedy owners as they all are, they took it out on the employees. Cornbread ( I gave him that nickname lol) had a $7 pay cut, and they took away his company van. This is the guy who has taken no more than 4 vacation days in the past 2 years. He was one of those gung-ho company men, but that didn't matter. He was salary and gladly worked 60 hours, getting paid for 40, with no complaints at all. Now he is at home recovering from a knee surgery, one that he held off on for 6 months because of work schedule even though he was told to do it ASAP. He's no longer the smiling faced company man that he was, he is unhappy and left feeling used and abused. Now that he isn't the star child of the company anymore, he's worried that he too may face the chopping block of a layoff that many of his co-workers have in the past 6-8 months. Add greedy people to the rotten economy and lack of construction work, and this is what happens. The little guy loses.
Everyone I know in the same trade is layed off now but a handfull of guys at the last company I worked for and one guy and the one I left last year. Everyone else that I know of chooses between out of state work or a layoff. The material houses are barely making it, and the fabrication places are down to skeleton crews. Fitters, welders, office people, and drivers are all in the same boat now. It's awful out there, and shows no sign of getting better anytime soon. Even buildings I have installed pipe in over the last 5 years are now sitting vacant. One large auto thermostat company lost their major contract to a chinese company not 2 years after we did a large warehouse and production facility addition. A large appliance company moved their plant to Mexico. A small freight expediting company that was booming not 2 years ago is now selling the building that I worked on that is not quite a year and a half old. A major book distributor lost their main contract to a foreign company, forcing them to close a 3 year old warehouse. A shopping mall that I did many retro-fits in is now closed. A big, giant, vacant 2 story shopping mall. It's not just us guys in construction, it's everywhere. The only places I know of that I have worked on that are doing well are the big ugly china-marts, but I won't go there in this blog. I wish I knew what to do, but I have no idea.

I've decided on a few things to try for extra income though. First I want to make a chicken coop and a chicken tractor and see if they sell. Those things are rediculously priced through catalogs and websites, and more and more I see people starting their own flocks of chickens around here. It's worth a try, and if by chance they don't sell, well...we can always use it as an excuse to get more birds or put some at my uncles or my folks place. Second, I'm going to make a few walking staffs and wands to try selling at the local pagan stores. It's not like I don't have an ample supply of wood, lol. The orchard next door is always losing something, plus I have some trees that need trimmed. Those staffs are selling for $40 and up, and the wands for $10 and up. They're flippin' sticks with some leather and pretty stones for gods sake! I can do that in my sleep. No I'm not going to make my fortune selling chicken houses or walking staffs, but any extra income would be beneficial, even *IF* I manage to find work. I have no problems taking someones money that wants to pay big bucks for a purdy stick, lol.
In other happenings, Lisa has been doing a lot of canning the past 2 days. Last night she canned another 21 quarts of green beans, taking the total so far to 40, and today she canned 18 pints of bread and butter pickles. There will be more to do tomorrow when we get more pickling spice, and I'm sure more later in the week when this sunny weather arrives. (make that IF it arrives) The pantry is starting to look full again, and in fact so full that I am going to have to convert the closet in the spare room to another pantry. We do have storage open downstairs in the prep supply room, but we'd both rather keep as much up here as possible. We'll just have to wait and see how it goes, we may have no choice. That room will be getting a major cleaning and overhaul this week, and I'll have to check some items that we have neglected keeping track of. (strike anywhere matches, propane fuel,batteries, etc) I did have a nice inventory sheet for all of those items, but I just got lazy and didn't mark off items as they were used. It's time to get re-organized in a big way. Winter is fast approaching, and I want everything ready for that always just-in-case cold weather power outage. I do have most things ready that I want, though I still haven't gotten that camp toilet that I wanted to. It's not a real necessity in our preps, but I would like to have one handy in case of emergency so I don't have to worry about using stored water for flushing a toilet. Plus, I still want to do some primitive camping sometime again, and that would be a bonus to have.
Tomrrow I am going to that civil war reinactment again with my uncle. We planned on today but the forecast called for storms, so we decided to try for tomorrow instead. We never got the storms, but it did rain off an on all day. Both of us want to see the people and the battle reinactment again, but not bad enough that we would stand in the rain to watch. Umbrella are out of the question because...well...its a guy thing. Umbrellas are teste shrinkers like golf clubs, mini vans and deck shoes where I come from. We'll just go tomorrow lol. I'll actually remember the camera this time and get some pics of the battle and the buildings, especially the church that I talked about in a post long ago.(the one my same uncle helped move to this location in the 60's) For now I am sitting in the scent of pickles, but tomorrow it's the scent of black powder.........oh yea!


Jen said...

I know exactly what your feeling about the job thing. Ive called everywhere I've known to call to see if they're hiring any instrument fitters. Same answer I've applied for several medical positions and have only got ONE interview from all the resume`s I've submitted. It is scary and aggravating.
Im glad to see you and Lisa are stocking up on the canning and other provisions for the upcoming winter. I too need to get in gear and get the cabin closed in but sometimes it is hard trying to get so much done in this heat.
A man I met not too long ago is putting his chickens up for sale. They are beautiful chickens..all hens and great layers and lay delicious eggs as i have had some! Two are Barred Rocks and the other two are Buff Orpingtons. I would really like the chickens but i need a coop. Im headed to the cabin in another hour or so and if I get a chance I may start puttin' one together as I have enough scrap material. Really gotta git on that cabin though and try to do as much as I can. Broke down and bought another exterior panel to close the framing. But thats the last one Im buying. I will have a lil bit left so maybe i will save it for the coop.
I hope a job turns out for you soon. Have fun at the civil war re-enactment.

wine production said...

Hi I liked your information is very interesting ... these blogs about such interesting topics and I think I should love to offer more of these items as excellent ... thanks for the post

Blog Archive