My blue collar adventure

Discussion in 'The GatorTail Pub' started by StrangeGator, Dec 31, 2013.

  1. StrangeGator
    Offline

    StrangeGator Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    28,009
    Likes Received:
    456
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Chicago
    Ratings Received:
    +1,306
    It's been a little tough in the Strange household the last year or so. My wife is doing well and I'm very excited about the startup enterprise I'm involved with, but we're still bootstrapped and the majority of my salary is deferred until we're fully funded or profitable. Six weeks ago, I took a job with UPS at their air freight facility at O'Hare, working from around 3:00 am to 7:00 or 8:00 am. For some late career professionals, especially those with post grad educations, this could be a head-shot to the ego, but I jumped into this with enthusiasm and I've had a blast. My work team is a mixed bag of young gang bangers, old Teamsters and professionals like myself, looking for extra income and/or benefits. Most of all, they're just a great bunch of people. There's obviously none of the cut-throat corporate BS. We actually look after each other. That's important given the hazards of the work environment. I sprained my wrist the second week on the job. We're outside on a raised metal grid covering about an acre alongside the O'Hare runway. We move cargo containers offloaded from jumbo jets across the surface and into waiting tractor trailers. It's been an unusually cold December, mostly single digits, but three or four days with ambient temps just below zero and wind chills of 20 below. I've never worn so many layers in my life. It's just really exhilarating working around jets, pushing tons of freight, looking inside these containers at all the crazy expensive stuff people ship. We even handle money and jewelry. A couple of times I've had to handle the "money can" which entails slinging big bags full of money and boxes of jewelry from a freight container into a Brinks truck.

    This was supposed to be a seasonal job, but they called me yesterday and told me they were asking a few of the seasonal people to come back as permanent employees and my supervisors had recommended me. The money is crap, it's 20 hours a week and the sleep schedule is playing hell with my mental health, but I was really thrilled to be selected and I accepted the offer. I'll be a Teamster, which is sort of weird, but the health benefits are better than what I get from my wife's job (She works for Human. Go figure!) There's always a lull in business right after the holidays, so I don't start back until February. In the mean time, I'm going to invest in some proper cold weather work gear.

    I finally feel like a real Chicagoan.
    • Like Like x 3
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
  2. gatordavisl
    Offline

    gatordavisl Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2007
    Messages:
    11,574
    Likes Received:
    541
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Ratings Received:
    +2,162
    Good for you, Strange! Sounds like you're having fun in the gig and since it's part-time, you don't get too over-worked or jaded. When I taught school, I took some summer gigs that would be considered a step back, but were still great fun. The best was working as a musician at Busch Gardens, Tampa. Started as a summer gig, but I stayed on during the school year and worked some weekends/holidays. Not great pay, but like you said, great people and plenty of fun. Good luck braving the temps! If you view the "snow" thread, you will see that I'm quite familiar. ;)
    • Like Like x 1
  3. mh2os
    Offline

    mh2os VIP Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    4,377
    Likes Received:
    1,830
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Grapevine, TX
    Ratings Received:
    +1,961
    love the way you embrassed the gig; not the way many wouldv'e done it. Sounds like it is working out. Keep on keeping on.
  4. StrangeGator
    Offline

    StrangeGator Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    28,009
    Likes Received:
    456
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Chicago
    Ratings Received:
    +1,306
    Step back? Dude, you were living the dream. I'd drop everything to be a professional musician. I'm hoping to put enough extra money away to buy a drum kit this summer, assuming we're ready to move and have a basement. Haven't played in over 30 years, but have been going to a studio space in the city to practice a few times a month.

    Am I turning into a Chicagoan, or just reverting to adolescence?
    • Like Like x 1
    • Funny Funny x 1
  5. StrangeGator
    Offline

    StrangeGator Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    28,009
    Likes Received:
    456
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Chicago
    Ratings Received:
    +1,306
    I remember the snow thread. I'll probably go back to it today. We're getting our first big storm starting this afternoon and going on till mid morning. We'll be driving through the thick of it, getting up at three to drive to Atlanta. The worst is always the stretch in NE Indiana right below the lake. Salt trucks and plows will be out in full force, but so will the drunks.
  6. vaxcardinal
    Offline

    vaxcardinal Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2007
    Messages:
    3,708
    Likes Received:
    493
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Ratings Received:
    +742
    get yourself some under armor cold weather gear
  7. gatordavisl
    Offline

    gatordavisl Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2007
    Messages:
    11,574
    Likes Received:
    541
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Ratings Received:
    +2,162
    Strange - I have many connections to Chicago. Two cousins live in town and one in DeKalb. Lived in Moline before moving to Naples at age 13. Wife and I visit chitown whenever possible. During one trip a few years ago, couz took me to the Green Mill for a jazz set. Ended up hearing and meeting Alfonso Ponticelli, one of the world's best gypsy jazz artists. Your symphony ain't too bad either. ;) Now we've relocated from Gainesville to another midwestern town at the southwest tip of a great lake. Similar to Chicago geographically, but further north and colder!
    So now we're visiting family for the holidays. Guess where? Atlanta. Geez. Must be following each other around! So keep bangin' away on the drum kit. It's awesome that you're doing that. Happy new year!
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2013
  8. gatordavisl
    Offline

    gatordavisl Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2007
    Messages:
    11,574
    Likes Received:
    541
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Ratings Received:
    +2,162
    Well it was fun because I didn't do it full time. The regulars were playing the same show 5x/day. The most exciting time was when we got to learn the holiday show. New tunes/costumes/choreography. Otherwise, it could become tedious to the point that you're searching for any little "fresh" nuance to break up the monotony. Do you play drums with any other musicians? Keep it up, as playing music is one of the best things you can do for yourself. But you didn't need me to tell you that! :)
  9. g8orbill
    Offline

    g8orbill Gators VIP Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    72,234
    Likes Received:
    4,920
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Clermont, Fl
    Ratings Received:
    +10,445
    congrats
  10. mamag8ter
    Online

    mamag8ter VIP Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    13,766
    Likes Received:
    3,267
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Ratings Received:
    +5,280
    It is very important to like what you do. Don't ever put yourself down for doing honest work. I have a cleaning service which has been very goo to me. I never let people talk down to me.
  11. asuragator
    Offline

    asuragator Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2009
    Messages:
    20,531
    Likes Received:
    4,090
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Ratings Received:
    +6,082
    Congrats Strange! Just take this job where it leads you. You never know what might come of it.

Share This Page