At one of the factories I worked at, I was nicknamed Part-Time. The reason for that is much and many combined but ultimately, I was hurting. I had just gotten out of a job that made me work 34 days straight and my arms were tingling 24/7. I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t mow the yard without intense pain. To make matters worse, I was told by the health occupations staff at the factory that I should just take two Tylenol! Piss off! I am not going to put myself into a tragic situation over a coupla hundred bucks a week. Slavery was abolished in case they hadn’t heard.
To this day they suffer the tangible results of bad leadership. They should have just hired a seperate weekend shift and kept their people fresh. So from here an idea of a seed was planted in my mind.
After getting my next factory job lined up, I was able to rest on weekends, but because of my pride, my arms and shoulders still hurt painfully. Pride, I say, because I was proud enough that I had a couple months worth of expenses in the bank and I just quit the job I truly loved. Not the boss, I hated him towards the end. He had been stifling me and approaching life with a fatalist scarcity. I couldn’t grow. I wasn’t allowed to. I was imprisoned by my own design and pride got me there. I thought I could just simply quit and find a job in a week. That, dear friends, didn’t happen.
My wife looked at me shortly before our months expenses were gone and said, “Dear, Dave Ramsey said debt free and not income free.” She was right. My pride had led us to a very humbling corner. It is at the last week of money we had left that I went and found work at the terrible factory. Of course they would hire me. They wanted a warm body in a fresh seat to help their bottom line only. I decided to never be a number again. The idea takes shape.
I knew that I was not going to do this for very long and that I was like David in a land of foreigners against him. I wept. I woke up early to go to job interviews hours away, and still couldn’t get out of there. Then the next factory opened up with a need of more warm bodies. The nudging idea in my mind became a flame burning brightly and intense.
I hated life. My shoulders were still trembling in pain, and living off of pills and beer to numb it, I pushed forward for six months. In retrospect if I would have bought headphones and audio books I could have gone indefinitely to feed my family. But, I don’t really think, anything good would have happened that way either. I was screaming at the kids, disgruntled with the wife. Not good.
I decided there and then that I wasn’t going to have to worry about this crap again. I would find something part time that I loved, and work for someone I respected. Well, turns out, I instead ran into an abusive employment relationship yet again. It was doing what I loved until I screwed up. I was cutting meat and hated doing that and still do. I’m not a stand in one spot type person. My mind will eat me alive if I do. Three days a week, however, I was doing something I truly loved: butchering. I love the process because it’s so awesome. I do it and can have deep thoughts because I’m in tune with it. The terribly abusive boss told me one day to fix the rail, so I tried with no instruction to figure it out. Well, the fan blades were exposed and as I reached the pole for switching tracks on the rail up, the pole caught the blade and the boss just came unglued. I thought that was a piss poor way of leading. How can I get the right answers on the test by only guessing and no instructions. After that I was regimented to the rest of my days just standing in one spot and listening to the worst gossip ever. I was going mad, stir crazy and starting to rebel. In daily conversations, I would hear the coworkers talking about blowing up the heating and a/c guys house and I finally said, “You want me to google it for you?” They looked at me like I was going to bomb him. Me, I just wanted them to shut up! Why the place would even converse about this whole thing like that was beyond what I deemed right morally or otherwise. My idea started to grow.
I was excited for our upcoming baby to be born. In that time, we were busy, the wife was tired and driving two hours a day was getting to us. So one Wednesday night about 11 p.m. she had the pains of labor. We travel thirty minutes to the hospital and I call in to work. Nothing personal but my family is more important than a couple of dollars. The baby didn’t show up till late Thursday evening. Due to the excitement and joy, I called in for Friday. Monday I show back up and learn from the terrible boss that I’ve just been fired because I wouldn’t put work first. WOW! Really? Now picture, that this guy had been married for almost thirty years and never had kids and apparently was a dickhead forever. But wow! That’s cold! I left kinda shocked, kinda scared, kinda looking forward to what next! The day before we had just spent our thousand dollar savings to buy a van to haul all of us. Our poor little Escort holds all five of us but it’s tight and buckling kids in is a nightmare. Albeit, it is better than a 2011 Camry at ease of getting kids in. So there I was still recovering and went to another locker close by. He said I could work there but I’ve heard stories that he’s not an exceptional leader either. So I say well, since I just got fired, I’m going to go regroup and see you on Wednesday. (I’m fragile sometimes about somethings because of my background.)
In the next two hours I get a phone call from my current boss and he’s calling me and begging me to come help him out at his locker. It’s about minutes away so I say, “Let me think about it and I will get back to you.” After discussing this with my wife, we decide I will choose the one who called me who I would like to work for. He was saying that he would pay me by the animal and not by the hour. Fantastic! Glad I chose that one. But one downside remained. About two to three days a week, I had to cut meat to help out. This takes me back to crazy. I can’t physically do it without losing my mind. So eventually I fade myself out from that and now am happily working my two to three days a week and enjoying life and family again. My bills were low enough to make ends meet minus insurance without needing to work the insanity days cutting meat. Not only did the job of standing cutting meat not appeal to me, have you ever listened to the top hit stations of pop music? That is pure evil, dear friends.
My point is this. Here lately I’ve had to scrounge pennies and produce results with my back financially in a corner but it has taught me to start with nothing and use talents to produce something. I have helped at a lot of different things for cash to feed my family. If a person does these things, they shall not go hungry or homeless like I was in 2008.
1. Scour every paper daily you can read online- opportunities are there for someone to work an odd job here or there for a festival or something.
2. Craigslist.org- which provides another alternative to the paper. I have seen several opps for doing some work for dollars and been quick to jump on them.
3. Word of mouth- some people speak of a need someone has and if you listen close enough, you can spot the opp.
4. Check out festivals, carnivals and gatherings- these people need helpers alot of times and are short handed. They are great and interesting folks alot of times as well.
five. (the numeral is not working) Think about some opps you had previously not thought of- while at a festival, I noticed that if someone had some chrome polish and some rags they could go shine bikes up. This would work nicely with benefits and poker runs or Sturgis as well. Rough crowd, be gone before dark, for they party down and it’s sometimes a bit much for the conservative person to witness.
6. Learn some common sense and use it while at these things- you’re not there to complain or stand around. See what needs done and do it. Get out of the way if someone is coming at you with something heavy and see what they’re dragging and where. That way you can be on the ball grabbing the accessories they need and be on top of it.
7. Hook up with bands, dj’s, wedding planners, event coordinators- Learn to carry tables, amps, hook up speakers, Work on A/V equipment. They need help too and it could work out something awesome.
8. Teamwork- These things require a vast use of skills. When I was throwing trash into the garbage trucks one year at spring cleanup, I noticed that if the person was ready to lift the end of a couch, I would be there. If they were struggling to lift something I would be there. Get the hint>?
9. Shut up!- At the moment in time you are trying to help someone accomplish their goals, it’s not about you or your story. It’s about you filling a small role in their life. A life that will forget you if you are arrogant and cocky but remember you if you truly made their emotional transition i.e. a move a happy smooth and wonderful time. Think about it and put aside the arrogance.
Good luck. Don’t forget to be courteous, respectful, honest and thank them for allowing you to work. They didn’t have to. Don’t forget also to take the utmost care with their equipment, tables, stuff, etc. They may just have a need in the future you could help with.
What things have you done to produce some awesome income, without giving up your other duties? Opportunities abound. Enjoy them and their rewards.