Friday, July 24, 2009

My life is becoming a mess

I had it all planned out some 20 years ago. I figured 15 or so years in haz mat then get some type of teaching certificate and finish out doing haz mat instruction until retirement. Not happening. In looking at the number of major haz mat companies dwindling, they're down to about 12 in this area, the prospects for even getting back to work are slim. Those companies that have survived aren't working right now. The union is looking into starting training for "green jobs" but if the training for bio and chemical attacks is any indication I'm screwed. It took five years for them to get the money to develop a program for that. Gee don't you just feel safer now? It was just two years ago that I was doing some of the hardest nastyist work one could do and now nothing. I got moved up the list of worker wannabes but there's still a large number ahead of me and most of them do concrete type work, something I know little about unless it's the removal with full enclosure. Maybe I could write a book about the horror stories or as we call them war stories. There's been some pretty weird experiences happen over the years. Might make for interesting reading. I don't know.
The want ads look ever so promising. Let's see there's beverage server. Naah! I don't think I'd look good in a bikini. Newspaper subscription sales? Nope unless they offer free buggy whips with each subscription. Pygalgia suggested tatoo removal. Here let me take that teddy bear off your butt for you. No I think the state requires a doc to use the lazer.
I think the hard part of all this is what it does to one's psyche. It tends to drain motivation especially when you know there's nothing out there. The more you dig and hunt the more you realize how bad it really is. And for those out there who think they're cozy safe in their jobs, don't because you just might be next and you won't see it coming.

Keep your drums upright...

10 comments:

Tom Harper said...

Good luck. It sucks that the most needed job skill out there is reciting "would you like fries with that?" over and over.

I'm retired now, but my last few years at my job, I was pretty much relegated to clerical tasks. More and more of my computer skills (word processing and other computer programs) were no longer needed. I was fortunate not to be laid off; instead I was relegated to the mail room. And I finally understood clearly where the term "going postal" came from.

Prior to that I had actually liked my job. It wasn't anything high-ranking and that was fine with me. I had computer skills that I enjoyed using. The mail room sucked; nothing but mindless papershuffling tasks, and asswipe supervisors who insisted on each piece of paper (and there were jillions of them) being moved out of the in-box by the end of the day, regardless of whether it went to the right place or not. I felt bad about all the hundreds of documents that got "lost" or misfiled, but what can you do.

End of rant. Again, good luck.

Holte Ender said...

I can identify with what you are feeling. We moved to Georgia, a career move for my wife, a career ender for me.

Several years later, bad economy etc. I am 62 and pretty much done.

My wife says "just get used to the idea that you are retired, stop telling people you are unemployed and enjoy it." She is right. Fortunately we still have health coverage.

Write that book.

BBC said...

I guess I got really lucky because I got to retirement age before the shit hit the fan. And I get by just fine on my little bit of SS money.

For years I was a master mechanic and made decent money, but not likely as much as you got used to making, and spending.

But after moving here in 98 I switched to whatever would pay me ten to fifteen bucks an hour and just worked enough to get by.

But then I've never cared much about money and empire building anyway.

These days I just look forward to my next camping trip.

S.W. Anderson said...

Demeur, I wonder if you could cross train into being a work site/industrial health and safety inspector — the kind insurance companies require a good many businesses to hire, to help avoid lawsuits and problems with environmental agencies. Your background with hazardous materials would seem to me to be a strong qualification for that work.

Ditto for state, county and local governments. A city or county inspector in my area discovered an auto painting and chrome plating business had dumped a horrendous amount and assortment of really bad stuff on its property for years. The fines were big, but the cleanup was bigger. Any chance of getting on as an inspector at some level of goverment in your area?

Another thing. Hospitals and some scientific and industrial operations send their radioactive waste materials somewhere. That means they need qualified people to make sure the materials are properly packaged, stored and eventually transported. Might there be work for you in some aspect of that?

For that matter, isn't fairly large-scale cleanup work still going on at Hanford?

Just a few thoughts. I hope one will help.

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