Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Blue Collar Polymath

Work is going really well. At this point, I've got most of my skills down. I do a good job at just about whatever is handed to me. That which I enjoy most is when there are tiny, almost imperceptible flaws in the wood. Scratches, dints, putty marks and such. I'm assembling an arsenal of tricks to correct these flaws, leaving a flawless and beautiful surface; to the untrained eye, at least.

But it's not difficult to envision a day when I'll get to the point where I've learned all about finishing that I can learn. Or most of it. At that point, what to do?

Either, I'll move on to another department at Superior Woodcraft, and do fabrication of the cabinets. That is something I would welcome. In fact, if that's not possible, I'll look for another job doing cabinetry, a job where I can learn fabrication.

And this got me thinking. What then? Hmmmm. While my father is alive and I'm here taking care of him, my expenses are minimal, so I'll be able to afford taking lower-paying jobs. The current job has many attributes, but lush salaries are not among them. I could make the same at half the jobs in the paper.

So why not branch out? Stone masonry, construction, roofing, concrete, window installation... the possibilities--for entry-level jobs in building trades--are almost endless. And all the while I'll be building up a set of skills. In five years, I should be able to do quite a lot. Maybe I could build my house from the ground up, jack of all trades that I am.

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