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Response to Ikonoklast (Reply #27)

Mon Dec 26, 2011, 12:56 PM

35. big deal, I worked a temp job at a door plant

Working a night shift, sometimes ten hour days. Three of us started Sunday night. By Monday there were two and by Wednesday, only me. Then after they chose not to hire me as a non-temp, I quit and the temp service made me work another 3 days so they could find a replacement. One night another temp started on the other side of the line, where they hung the door frames. He worked about three hours until break time, then walked out to his car and never came back.

I found that to be pretty brutal work, but I'd have stuck with it if they'd hired me. I swear though, I was hitting the wall on those ten hour shifts and had to shower before I went to bed to soothe my aching muscles. That job only paid about $9 or $10 an hour, I was making perhaps $7 an hour as a temp. Not $150,000 a year - less than $25,000 a year even with some overtime.

There was a foundry in a small town where I lived. Brutish place to work, but it did not pay that well. I worked at the satellite dish factory on the night shift. It was hot, dirty, noisy. I got $5.40 an hour to run the drill presses. Guys on the paint line there dealt with even more dirt and heat and didn't make much better money than me, if any. (I never asked Tim what he made. That factory paid a piece rate, but how do you figure piece rate on a paint line?)

After they laid me off, I worked seven weeks as a temp making industrial motor controls. That factory paid about $2 an hour more than the satellite dish factory (still only about $7 or $8 an hour in 1995 although some of the people who had been there a long time were making $10 or $11 an hour). That place was air conditioned!! And quiet! And clean! And paid more than the satellite dish factory.

Lots of people are doing backbreaking and dangerous work for a lot less than $50,000 a year to say nothing of $150,000. For a time I worked seven days a week as a janitor for a sports bar. True that was only part time, but it was six or seven hours a day, starting at two in the morning every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. $5.50 an hour and no benefits.

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