note: The title was supposed to be "Be grateful for... what you don't get?". I don't know why it changed when I posted it.
Maybe my first "real" geology job -- as in intern at PG&E -- wasn't the right fit for me. Or perhaps environmental cleanup work wasn't the right fit for me at all. I've got a big mouth but I wouldn't have thought that the consequences of that could be so dramatic. PG&E getting sued, me get laid off.. and years later a movie being made about the woman involved with the lawsuit...
Of course had I kept my mouth shut, and had that worked out.. I would have made more money -- but I would have had to travel quite a bit. And would I have been able to weather the recession as a geologist? Probably not. After the PG&E job I went to work for a little geology firm -- and our branch office got closed. So when I saw an add in the paper advertising "Make up to $1500 a week hauling tomatoes. And get your commercial drivers license for free." I became a truck driver. At least a seasonal one. And truck driving turned out to be the "fall back job" to end all fall back jobs. No matter where I lived I could always get a job as a truck driver if nothing else worked out. I hauled equipment around, I drove cross country -- "over-the-road", I did local pickup and delivery, and line-to-line.
I tried a number of the building trades. I worked as a carpenter, I worked as a cement finisher, I worked as a landscape installer, I worked as an electrician.. But none of those "worked out". They tended to be short term. You finish the house that you're building and you get laid-off until the guy you were working for gets another job. People are always getting hired and laid-off in the trades. And I didn't make it as an electrician. Sure I was good and fast and I got the top grades in the trade school -- but I didn't get along well with that "type". And being a little bitter I would say that construction workers as a whole are the bottom of the bottom..
I ended up hauling garbage in a "big truck" (Professional slang for a "semi-truck"). It turned out to an extremely stable regular job.
With the recession came the housing collapse and I began searching for foreclosures. I bid on house after house -- only to get outbid time after time. Then I found a house that I really liked -- and I bid on it and I got it!!! Boy am I happy that I didn't get any of those first houses I bid on!
And then there were women in my life that I could have married. Like the girl I dated when I went to Sac State -- who later took off with her "girlfriend" and moved to Australia....
I don't know if I dare get into this topic much deeper. I'll just leave it by saying I am truly grateful for what I didn't get! There's almost a little sadness in that too...
Maybe this is just one of life's peculiar truths that you learn as you get older?
Edited by southern california guy, 04 February 2012 - 02:05 PM.