Since I was laid off in May, I have been earning my living primarily through using these tools. It is a different feeling to get up in the morning and not know exactly what challenges face you. My last position was as an inspector of widgets. secret military widgets, but widgets none the less. I knew what to expect from work that day, the next week, the next month. Thousands of parts that I would do the same thing to. There was a certain mental freedom in that. I was allowed to listen to music and I took full advantage of that by burning through all the audio books and podcasts I could get my hands on. But at the end of the day, it was tedious, monotonous work. The job before that, I was doing paperwork, day in and day out.
But now, each day is different. Sometimes I’m a plumber. Other days I’m up on a roof stripping shingles. Some days I’m pouring concrete to repair a footing for a house foundation. Or demolishing a bathroom, building a back stoop (pictured above), painting, installing blown-cellulose insulation, running electrical, or a hundred other things. While the pay isn’t great, and there are no benefits like health insurance or 401K, I love the variety, the satisfaction of actually building something with your own two hands, and the flexible schedule so that I can still stay at home some days and play with my sons before they get too old to horse around on the living room rug.
So that’s what I’ve been up to in this recession. What about you?