I am leaving behind a lot of hard work…but, I cant help but feel that I wasted my time. I know that in hindsight…40 yrs from now, I will have a very clear picture of all the great things I got out of the last three years of my work life…but right now it looks a bit hazy.
Let me break it down for you. I bought a house, good investment. Then I took my spare money and invested it in building a rental suite in the basement, good investment. I also had spent a couple thousand dollars when they were pouring the basement so that they would add a separate entrance to the basement, good investment. Then everyday after work I sat in the basement watching YouTube videos on how to- tile a bathroom, install linoleum flooring, install a kitchent, hang doors, install laminate flooring, install shelves etc…, good investment. I bought my dad a plane ticket to fly up and help me work on the project, good investment. I put all my spare money into increasing the value of my house while my friends were buying new quads and campers with their extra cash, good investment. The problem was that when the markets crashed it meant that after all my work, my house was now worth an estimated 20,000 dollars LESS than what I had into it. Pretty cool, basically the lesson learned is that a good investment opportunity is just that, an opportunity..not a guarantee.
During this time I was putting in 3 years towards getting my CGSB lvl 2 tickets. That certified me to work with Radiation, inspecting welds and castings (with the opportunity to work on inspecting airplanes as well). My boss felt that it was best for me to own my own tickets. I dont totally agree with him, at least as far as how he defined the process of getting to that point. If my name is on the ticket and I did the work, then I would in every sense of the word “own my own tickets”. You are the bottom end of the totem pole, making the Least amount of money in the industry, yet you have to come up with $10,000 to pay for your tickets. When I was in my courses, all of my fellow students….every single one of them, had their courses paid for. Most of them also had their hotels and food paid for. Some of them were paid an hourly wage to be in the program, since they were employed and it was part of their training. So it seems that most (All) of the industry would agree with me, but that’s besides the point.
I was working towards Franchising. There is a 90% dropout/failure rate in this program. In November 2008 I finally recieved all the tickets necessary to start up your own business and franchise under a large companies License number (Way too expensive and difficult to get approved by the Government to have your own Radiation License, and the liability is THROUGH the roof!). The deal was that I would work for 2,000 hrs for the guy who got me into the program, and then I would cut loose on my own. 16 days after recieving my tickets, I started to have some pretty severe physical symptoms. Then I spent an entire winter on call, 24 hours a day…7 days a week. And I BARELY got any work. So the bills got harder to pay, and i spent more and more time in the doctors office. I had most of my blood taken out of my body, one little innocent looking tube at a time. On May 9th I was finally told that I would no longer be able to work at my job in canada. bummer.
Then my boss put his hand through a table-saw. So he really needed me to stay and cover all his work for him or he would lose the few contracts that he did have. The problem was that there was no work available. So I stayed on, committed full-time. I skipped a lot of family stuff and just stayed in a small town. Only I didnt get any calls, just like i told him that there was no work in my area all winter (he didnt believe me) there was also no work during the summer. I paid all my bills with a Mastercard, and used up the equity that I had access to in my home (the bank thinks its worth more than it is). Then when I told my boss that I had to leave in July he got really upset. He told me that my character was a disappointment, because i hadnt stayed on to work the full 2000 hours that I had told him I would work prior to branching out on my own. hmm…someday i might write him a letter.
SO..i left a job that paid me $30 an hour reg, $45 an hour OT…only it actually worked out to more because I got paid a minimum of 4 hours for every call out. When its working at a fulltime rate you end up getting paid about 16hrs worth of work for about 11 hours of actual work. Also, anything after 3pm is considered an OT hour. Once i franchised though, that hourly rate was triple digits..not a bad payout.
Now i have nothing to show for all that, living on the floor in California, sharing 400 sq feet with two guys. My wife and 4 month old boy are living in canada while we wait for their paperwork to come through for them to immigrate to the States (looks like it could be up to 10 months). And i am starting up a business from scratch. awesome. (its called Soccer Shots..look us up at soccershots.org Orange County)