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secretariata
secretariata SuperDork
10/14/18 8:34 a.m.

Civil Engineer.

Dropped out of college after horrible first year in electrical/computer engineering.  Worked manual labor for a little while.  Enlisted in the Marine Corps as an electronics tech.  Got head on straight, had fun, injured back, weapon system to be discontinued.  Left USMC after 6 years and went back to college while working to survive.  Got degree in civil engineering and did one year towards MS degree to get the extra coursework so I could get a job as a structural engineer.  Met wife in college.  Went to work for consulting firm in transportation designing bridges, culverts, retaining walls and other miscellaneous structures for highway projects. 

2005 decided to leave consulting and work for the gubmint so we weren't 2 engineers in private sector if economy crashed.  Had several different jobs related to bridge design, supervising bridge designers, making bridge design policy, review of other engineers bridge designs, etc.  Now I'm a resource for the engineers on site during the construction of bridges.  I review and approve (or not) structural submittals from the contractor, requests to deviate from the plans or specifications, change orders over a set $ amount or with time extensions, repair procedures and materials for "mistakes", bridge demolition plans, etc.  I also provide guidance on interpretation of contract documents, application of pay reductions or rejection of substandard work, act as a final say on situations where the contractor and resident engineer can't come to an agreement, and perform acceptance inspections among a variety of other things.  I oversee about 25% of the bridges under construction in my state and have a lot of autonomy.  I really enjoy my current job and expect to be in it a long time.

frenchyd
frenchyd UltraDork
10/14/18 9:40 a.m.

In reply to mtn :

Dodged the draft by joining the Navy. ( draft notice arrived the day I reported to boot camp) 

Tested well enough to be accepted to the NESEP program and elected to enter the flight program.  Qualified by the skin of my teeth and absolute dedication.  Flew Grumman S2E’s  off Ticonderoga and Bennington during Vietnam. 

Got out and moved to Lake Minnetonka. Spent the next 35 years working up the sales ladder to Corporate/ National accounts, including using the corporate Lear to fly customers around. 

2008 happened and like 22 million others lost my job and career. Survived through my savings and cutting back until I bled.  

Now I drive a school bus sometimes as much as 18 hours a day!  Yes I know,  but there is a massive shortage of people willing to work for $20 an hour. 

spitfirebill
spitfirebill MegaDork
10/14/18 11:02 a.m.

I don’t recall if I ever responded in this thread, but I’m still doing the same thing now for 26 years, environmental site assessments.  I just passed 65 a couple of weeks ago, so I see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Getting up every day and going to work gets harder and harder.  

Antihero
Antihero Dork
10/14/18 11:48 a.m.
Marjorie Suddard said:
Antihero said:

I finish concrete, kinda fell into it because thats what my dad did.

This made me giggle. Am I the only one who sees life in slapstick?

Margie

You are not, i was hoping someone else would catch my sarcasm

CJ
CJ Reader
10/14/18 3:07 p.m.

Started college as a business major and added and added an environmental engineering major a couple of years later with the theory that I would be rich.  Didn't count on every core class conflicting between the majors.  Finally gave up on the engineering because I could finish a business degree (marketing) with an econ minor in a year.

Graduated, painted cars for a year, and then chased a girl to Alaska. Got a job as a trainee at a bank and ended up in Juneau and was running a branch after a couple of years.  Was interesting until they economy took a E36 M3.  Repossessing houses, cars, boats, and airplanes is not fun...  not fun at all. 

Left Juneau and moved back to far Northern California (note to the interested, San Francisco is not Northern California).  Looked for banking jobs for awhile and found nothing that didn't end up in SF - my personal idea of hell.

Brother was working on a teaching credential, so decided to work in a school and see if I liked it.  Went back to school and got my teaching credential - all of the calculus I took for engineering let me teach math in middle school.  Did (and loved) that for six years and ran a computer lab as well.  Installed the first twisted pair Ethernet network in the county while I was there.  With some encouragement, went back to school while still teaching and got the credential to be an administrator. 

Got a position as a principal at a small elementary school and after a couple of years, was doing my year-end evaluation with the superintendent.  He asked the "what do you see yourself doing in 5 years?" question.  Mentioned that the county eventually needed an IT guy.  A year later, I was the IT director.  Spent sixteen years there and retired three years ago.

Never used my marketing or econ degrees, but did OK in the end

minivan_racer
minivan_racer UberDork
10/18/18 9:38 p.m.

 

moparman76_69 said:

Satellite installation/service. Installed for 3 years, service for 3 years. I come to your house and fix your satellite TV. Very little day to day supervision is perfect for me and the technology moves fast enough to keep me interested. I seem to have a knack for understand how things work and use it to my advantage. I moved from small town, MS to Pascagoula, MS in 05 and responded to a newspaper ad for satellite installers and here I am.

moparman76_69 said:

I'm still at the same place that I was on page 1 Only then it seemed I still enjoyed it.

Well, I quit that job on my Anniversary (gift to myself/from the wife) since my wife graduated this past December.  I currently work at a retail job at a store we've all been too while I figure some things out.  I'm more than likely going to go get welding certs so I can start fabrication in earnest.

Mndsm
Mndsm MegaDork
10/18/18 9:41 p.m.

I accidentally got a job at a hardware store. I'm enjoying it, but man it can drag sometimes. And I feel stupid as E36 M3 most of those times. 

bmw88rider
bmw88rider SuperDork
10/18/18 11:03 p.m.

Well, I'm now a national account manager overseeing one of our largest global distributors. Never would have guessed coming out of high school that I'd be is sales for over 15 years now but I have been. It was a gamble back a long time ago that paid off now in spades. I've got a great salary and I want to bust my butt for the next decade or so and then find a nice job to coast into retirement. 

 

I started out of all places working locomotives. It was the "family" business of sort at the time. I was doing warranty and field service mods on them. I wanted to get away from family and ended up just taking a job in IT just to get away from that. 

 

No complaints at all. Love my journey till now. 

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH MegaDork
10/19/18 8:22 a.m.

I'm still doing the same thing at the same place as page 1, but things'll change within the next year, maybe even this evening. I can't be sure it'll be an upward career move but I'm confident I'll be better off at the end of it.

Toyman01
Toyman01 MegaDork
10/19/18 9:03 a.m.
Toyman01 said:

Sales, service and installation of automatic pedestrian doors, like you see in grocery stores and hospitals. We also do a lot of ADA door operators and access control systems. Presently self employed. It keeps me busy and pays the bills. I've been doing this for about 6 years.

No college for me, I hated school with a burning passion. I even bailed before I finished HS. So far, I haven't missed it. In the last 25 years I've done everything from run a shovel to run a retail store. I ended up in the door industry by answering a help wanted add 10 years ago. I ended up working for myself because I got tired of the corporate bull crap that comes from working at a large company. They were pissing off customers faster than I could find them.

Here's one of my jobs. Sold it and installed it. This one is at a McLeod Medical Center satellite office in Florence, SC.

 

So, 7 years later finds me doing the same thing. Still self employed but with a few more employees than we had back then. I'll never be rich, but we are keeping 5 families fed and reasonably comfortable. 

P3PPY
P3PPY Reader
10/19/18 10:43 a.m.

web dev, application administrator.

I was out on the road driving for a big parcel delivery company when I got a call for an IT job offer. I said, and I quote, "No thanks, I already have a job I don't like." It was snowy and icy out and after almost wrecking the van twice in the next minute I yelled out, "OKAY LORD I'LL TAKE THE JOB!!"

It turns out I really like helping people and am pretty good at fixing things.

 

Tony Sestito
Tony Sestito PowerDork
10/19/18 1:21 p.m.

I scrolled through this massive thread and didn't see a post by me, so here it goes (WORD CASTLE INCOMING, SORRY):

I started working at age 10 as a paperboy after my neighbor transferred it to me when he moved away. I used to go with him on the route all the time, which was fun. It was a good way to get a few bucks in my pocket and get some exercise. I did that for 5 years and quit to work at a small mom-and-pop grocery store that catered to the rich people in my town. I learned a lot of life lessons there while being introduced to dealing with the general public. I first got my taste of management from this place as well. I worked there for about 5 years and quit when they wouldn't give me the day off to attend my grandmother's funeral. At that point, I was also working 2 days a week in the parts department of a Chevy/Hyundai dealer, which was WAY more interesting than dealing with crazy people looking for the perfect carton of eggs (Ever see Clerks? Yeah, those people are REAL). My stay at the dealer was short lived, as my dad had an opening at the landscaping supply warehouse where he worked as a driver, and that paid $2 more an hour. I worked there for a summer and then found a part time gig slinging parts at Autozone. My buddy Greg worked there, and he liked it, so I was interested on going there. After what was probably the most insane job interview I have ever had (two corporate goons from their Tennessee HQ did the grilling and were freaking INTENSE), I was in. Yeah!

I've talked about my experiences there at great length more than a few times, but I'll summarize it: It poisoned my soul and gave me disdain for my fellow humans that I am still working out of my system to this very day. Everything bad about society on a whole was seen by my eyes while working there. Desperation, misdirected anger, confusion, ignorance, inebriation, and more were things I saw on a daily basis from both customers AND fellow coworkers. Despite this endless cycle of malignancy, I found some good in working there. I met some good people and learned some hard lessons about how things work in the real world. After subjecting myself to this horrible anthropological experiment for 5 years, I finished college and applied to a local financial giant that was the springboard for many careers from local friends and family members. I remember dancing in the alternator aisle when I got the call with the job offer! What I wasn't prepared for was nearly 10 years of entrapment in dead-end corporate HELL. 

I started at the big finance place in the summer of 2006 as a Portfolio Accountant. At first, things were great! I wasn't dealing with the public, and I had some buddies that worked there as well so we had a good time. I picked it up real quick, and was on the fast path to promotion. Then, out of nowhere, our boss packed her stuff up in a box and left. For good. This caused all sorts of havoc, and my team was never the same. Furthermore, that promotion I was going for was given to the business head's buddy off the street. I had over a year of experience, and this guy was selling real estate. WTF. After that, they sent me to another team where the situation was not great. I was promoted, but then almost immediately demoted when I had to cover for some kid that went to JAIL FOR 6 MONTHS IN ANOTHER STATE (apparently that's not grounds for firing someone at that place) and missed out on all the training I needed to keep my promotion. During this time, the market started collapsing (recession, baby!) and the company decided that they were going to close our building, so I found another job internally at a different office further away from home. 

When this thread started, I was at this stage in my career. That job was crazy hard. I was one of 10 people in a company of 20,000+ people that had this job function. I had trouble at first, but eventually figured it out. I had a decent boss and one of the guys on the team ended up being eerily similar to me and we became good friends. The team was really close for a while and worked hard, but things got weird. After a few years, I found out that three of the women on the team were basically stalking me and a few of the other team members through our social media accounts. We reported it to HR and blocked them, but HR said it was outside of work and not a problem. Then, they stopped talking to us altogether. One of the women told her husband a bunch of lies about a coworker and the dude showed up to threaten my friend. Then, another one of them decided to go insane on the floor, throw stuff at me, and call me all sorts of obscenities. I went to HR, they did nothing. Then, it happened again; went to HR, and somehow I got in trouble for getting yelled at and stuff thrown at me. All the while, the soul crushing commute consumed 3+ hours of my life a day, and I became a complete mess. Also, again, I was strung along with the promise of promotion with no result. I was getting underpaid and things were not good at home because of that. I went without a raise for 5 YEARS, even though I had great reviews; "market instability" was always the excuse. And on top of all that, they were making cuts every 3rd Wednesday of the month for years, laying people off unceremoniously and inhumanely. Security would make the rounds, and every conference room got a box of tissues for when people started crying. They got especially layoff heavy during the holidays, which was a nice touch. 

I reached my breaking point after about 5 years of this. I was done being treated like trash, and started seeking out other employment.

At first, I looked internally. I had an interview where I absolutely nailed it. The hiring manager and I immediately hit it off, and he basically told me the job was mine. Then, a month passed and I noticed the position had been filled. I emailed the manager, and he said he couldn't comment. I then asked my new manager (the old one had enough as well and quit!) and he said my position was locked and I was not allowed to seek promotion or transfer internally. Being one of 10 people that knows how to do a job is great to a fault. That was the fault; I was stuck there forever. 

BERK. 

A few weeks before, my buddy Greg also had enough of his job at the financial giant and left to work for a small company closer to home in their IT department. He loved the place, and I was jealous. Mere hours after I learned the news that I was stuck in a poop sandwich, he calls me and tells me a coworker just got spectacularly canned and there was an opening. I sent along my resume, got an interview, and got the hell out of that corporate berkshow and never looked back. After nearly 15 years of constant disappointment, I FINALLY HAD A DECENT JOB. surprise I've been at this place 3 years next month, and while it's had its ups and downs, I love it. It's closer to home (I cut 2+hrs time off my commute!!!) and the people here are great. I have a real voice in what we do, and we really get things done. I also get face time with the CEO on a regular basis. THE CEO! I saw the CEO at the old place exactly once amid his entourage of hired goon security, and if you looked at him the wrong way, you were GONE. Needless to say, I plan on staying here a long time. It's family owned, and I feel like part of a great team here.

And as many of you know, back in 2015, I started freelance writing. After reading car magazines for years, I always dreamed of being the writer and not just the reader. I went to college and majored in History, and learned valuable skills on how to write in my time there. I wrote for myself, but never shared it with anyone else because I was afraid to. After feeling worthless for years at all those jobs, I didn't want to deal with the rejection. That started to change around 2014. While down at the $2014 Challenge, I had a conversation out by the pool with none other than David S. Wallens. I befriended David on the night of our midnight Jeep XJ-R Turbo Parking Lot Thrash during the $2010 Challenge when I was the de facto host to the gathering crowd while the guys wrenched on the car. What I didn't know then was how that night, entertaining a bunch of people while my friends were fabbing up turbo plumbing by flashlight in a hotel parking lot,  would change my life forever. 

Back to that conversation in 2014: David and I talked about a bunch of stuff, but I always circled back to the question, "How can I become a writer?". The answer is simple: just write! Wait for the right moment, and stick yourself out there. So I did. The moment we arrived back home, I started with chronicling all the stupid automotive mishaps my friends and I got into when we were younger. It was a lot of fun. 

Then, the moment! We had a photo shoot with BangShift.com, and one Brian Lohnes. He was a local guy and we had been growing up in parallel, doing the same things and going to the same places just minutes apart for years. He got a break years ago writing for Hot Rod Magazine and David Freiburger, and never forgot how cool that feeling was. I asked if I could send a story his way and he agreed. I shot him over "The Monte Story", which is my favorite story to tell new car guys I meet. He loved it, and threw it up on the site. Check it out if you want! This is also the origin story for GRM'er Pseudosport's name, so there's that.

Since then, I became a regular contributor to BangShift, I've written stories right here for the fine folks at GRM (talk about a dream come true!), and I'm a contributor on my friend's video game site SmashJT.Com. I've had to take some time away from this for the past few months due to my wife being ill, but I'll be back at it soon. wink

pheller
pheller UltimaDork
10/19/18 1:56 p.m.

When I get anxiety about the future of my career, whether I've made "good choices" in my work life and whether I should worry about tomorrow or 5 years from now, I always come back to this thread. 

It helps remind me that 5 years in corporate America is a long time, and that more and more people aren't feeling so constrained in needing to work for the same employer their entire lives. 

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
10/19/18 3:16 p.m.

This thread is how old now? That's impossible. 

Still a stay at home dad. Jettisoned one kid off to college. Three to go. I have a LOT more cars than I did when I first responded to this. 

Wally
Wally MegaDork
10/23/18 7:54 p.m.

About a year 18 months ago I took a promotion.  i'm in the same office as a Road Operations Superintendent. A fancy name for managing bus routes.  Basically my primary job is to oversee the operators and dispatchers on bus routes in lower Manhattan, respond to serious incidents, injuries ect, and investigate customer complaints.  I lucked into working mornings by taking the assistant house mouse job.  No one wanted it because in addition to everything else that goes on you pick up a lot of the office administration tasks, preparing detours, reviewing paperwork, keeping track of equipment repairs, and going to meetings.  It's not my first choice either but i figured i'd rather learn it than go back to working nights.  The money isn't working out as well as i'd hoped, and there are a lot of 10+ hour days but it (usually) beats digging ditches. 

NGTD
NGTD UberDork
10/23/18 9:59 p.m.
NGTD said:

I am an Electrical Engineer, however I did mostly mechanical and civil work. Like a lot of Engineers, I have moved in to working in Management.

I am currently the Director of Facilities in a Community College. My department manages Caretaking, Security, Maintenance, Parking and a bunch of other stuff.

Well how time flies.

Jan 30/18, I was let go due to a reorganization, yeah whatever.

I managed to get a job at another College about 4 hrs away. Had to leave the kids with my now ex-wife and move.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
10/23/18 11:04 p.m.

Well, things have changed a bit since I originally posted in this thread.

When I wrote the original post in this thread, I had been working at an employer I liked, with coworkers that were great and all was hunky dory until a bigger competitor bought the company. My then manager (who is still a friend) quit, his replacement quit and I (again) ended up managing a development team while also still writing code. At that point I remembered why Noah only let animals on board and why I just don't like being a manager that much. Not to mention that things were going nowhere, so I joined an automated trading company as a software developer. That was a new company that presented itself well, but, well, other than that it wasn't a great experience so I left after a year.

At that point I knew I wanted to make best use of my strengths (software development) without getting stuck in a position that would be vulnerable to cheap labour from third world countries. Via an acquaintance of mine, I ended up as a traveling consultant for a database company. It's pretty interesting as you get to see how the sausage is made in a lot of different places and I can make good use of my development skills plus sysadmin/DBA skills I acquired over time. The travel is getting a little old after about two years in this job, but I like the company and the people I work with.

 

Hungary Bill
Hungary Bill PowerDork
10/25/18 6:20 a.m.
Hungary Bill said:

I'm 30yo and working as an Avionics Technician. Blame it on the ASVAB. :)

But I've gotta say I couldn't imagine doing anything else and enjoying it this much (well, unless Flying Miata is hiring again). Currently working for Boeing on a C-17 contract in Hungary.

Still going through college though (never did get a degree...) we'll hope Electrical Engineering will offer some new opportunities.

Just turned 37... wow!

Well, first:  I feel I should fill in some of the blanks I left in my previous post:


RE ASVAB:  I joined the navy because I partied myself homeless by the time I was 19 (I was working at a car wash in Auburn, WA circa spring of 2001), I had 2 felonies on my record from 2-years prior (also partying) so jobs were slim pickins at best.  We'd pay the local homless guys to buy us beer.  Weed and other stuff was easier to get.  When I got the 72-hour eviction notice I went to the Navy recruiter, but he couldnt get me in for 2 weeks so I had to lie to my grandmother to let me stay with her.  I figured this was damn close to rock bottom, so I kept indoors and out of trouble until I was off to boot camp.

Re "Avionics technician":  I had no idea what I wanted to be so I told the recruiter "cook, or whatever".  I took the asvab at MEPS and when he saw the scores at he took me to the parking garage for "a talk".  He basically said (in a very stern manner) "listen you little E36 M3.  You're smart enough to know you're berkeleying up.  When we go to the detailer you tell him 'you dont know what you want' and I better not hear a god damn thing about 'cook or whatever'".  So I kept my mouth shut and the detailer just picked out three related jobs that worked with my score (aviation electricians mate, aviation propulsion mechanic, and avionics technician).  I took the one with the biggest bonus ($40K for college for the avionics technician, vs $5k in cash for the electricians mate).

RE "C-17's in Hungary": I never told my family about the eviction or the felonies so they all thought I was a pretty darn good kid and we had a nice close relationship.  After I got out of the Navy I really didn't know where to go so I just followed a buddy to Kerrville, Texas.  After a month at his place I wandered into san antonio with $108 in my bank and a mostly full tank of gas in my 1977 Chevrolet Scottsdale 4-wheel-drive.  I saw a move in special at an apartment that I knew I couldnt afford but for a whoppin $99 I got my move in and first month paid.  The office lady noticed I had no furniture (none, none at all) so I lied and told her a roomate had recently skipped town with all my stuff leaving only the things I had in my bedroom.  She said if I helped clean out the apartments when people left, I could keep whatever was left behind.  So I did, and ended up with a washer, dreyer, and an old old recliner (amongst other various bits and bobs) 

Not knowing the area I drove around until I saw a place called "The Forum" and applied at a TGI fridays and a sports clothing store.  Both called me back but the manager at TGI fridays, I could tell, was an awesome guy.  I told him about the felonies and he basically said "no one is going to check.  just do your work and no one has to know" so I did.  I started off bussing tables, then got moved to the "host" position when they got rid of bussers...  (imagine that.  in my 4-years with the Navy I had gone to war, provided relief aid to indonesia after the tsunami, and was a damn good troubleshooter of aircraft avionics and here I am opening a door for $4 an hour).  I worked my ass off for that manager though, and donated blood plasma twice a week to pay for gas to school (UTSA.  I can still see the scars on my arm, good reminder when things get tough).  Eventually I was a waiter, and then a bar tender, and then I was making enough I didnt have to donate blood anymore.  (Fun fact:  For my first finals, I didnt have enough gas to get to school and no money to buy any more.  I set off anyway and made it 3/4 of the way, and thumbed it in from there.  i finished that semester with a 3.6GPA and was able to bum $5 from a friend to get my truck home)

But after 2-years of being broke college student I dropped out and went back to work in avionics.  A few repair facilities in the area all paid about $20/hour mostly tax free (they called it "per diem") to work on commercial aircraft.  I met my now wife at one of those facilities, but overall I felt like I was living high on the hog.  That hog, it turned out, was a bit "hollow".  I got laid off the day before I was going to propose to Mrs. Hungary and had to apply at TGI fridays again, (different Fridays, but I ran into that same manager... "whatever you need, any position in the house" were his first words to me) that got us through the recession (oh yeah, Mrs. Hungary said "yes" to a proposal from an unemployed waiter).  Eventually I got a call from my Aunt "boeing is hiring in Hungary, they're having trouble getting resumes.  Does this sound like something you can do?".  Mrs. Hungary and I figured we didn't have anything to lose so I lied on the application and said I had C-17 experience (and no felonies).

3-months later I got an interview and of course  they called me on my C-17 bluff so I panicked "well your cockpit is from a DC-10 and I've got x experience on those, your engines are from a 757 and I've got x experience on those" (and so on) and I thought I'd never get the job (but you know how that went).  When the offer came from HR, I got a nice little reminder "Mr. Hungary?  Check 'yes' to that box next time..."  (yes ma'am, sorry.)

 

So now we skip ahead to just after my previous post:

During our stay overseas the mandatory 10-years had passed and I was finally eligible to have my record cleared (and I did).  We decided we had enough fun and ti was time to move back to the states.  So in 2013 we decided to settle down and buy the house of our dreams in Tacoma (it was everything we could have wanted.  And cheap too!).  With our savings from Hungary we were able to drop about 30% of the total price as the down payment and away we went.  Still working avionics (C-17 mods and recovery this time) we bought and sold a few cars until I wheeled and dealed my way into my dream garage:

Dream garage ='s


1982 Alfa Romeo GTV6

1984 Toyota 4-Runner

1987 Toyota 4x4

and a 2007 Saab 9-3 Aero wagon (sport Kombi)

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand....Hated it!!!! 

I hated my job, I hated the crime (we lived in a damn nice neighborhood, but all around our area was trouble), we hated our inability to travel (to foreign countries), the list of "hate" was long.  Perhaps worse was the fact that I finished my degree but wasn't getting hired anywhere (232 resumes sent to positions throughout the company, and got nothing but rejection letters.  A few apps to the city went unanswered and I even applied at Flying Miata once :P  The engineering office in OUR BUILDING even took an brand stinking new, never seen a jet before intern over my application). 

Mrs Hungary was fighting dozens upon dozens of other applicants over jobs that barely paid minimum wage (it was AWFUL!).  When she finally got one in her favorite field (assisted living for developmentally disabled people), her boss would move her to a new location just as soon as she'd develop a good working relationship with her clients.

One day in 2015 we had enough (oh boy did we have enough).  We put pen to paper and when the papers were done flying we had a "10 year plan" to be debt free, own a house in a foreign country, have one year's salary in savings, and be in a job we both like.  June of next year we'll be 3-years in, and so far we are NAILING it (save a few times when we spent a little more than we should have)

We sold our dream house and garage (we kept the dream friends) and took a chance with a position overseas (Kuwait this time).  We got damn lucky when the engineer that was here left 6-months after I arrived (and guess who got to fill that role!).  We're saving money again, traveling again... ok, it's not all rainbows and unicorn farts, we do have our complaints, but with just over 7 years to go in "the 10-year plan" we've got light at the end of the tunnel

Moving on to the future, the goal now is: "Own an ice-cream shop in Spain".  That may change.  But here's hoping 7 years from now this thread will still be around and I'll have some good news to report. wink

 

pheller
pheller UltimaDork
10/25/18 5:45 p.m.

Wow I didn't realize Hungary Bill was because you were living in Hungary. I guess I always thought it was because your were Hungry. DERP. 

So should you be Kuwait Bill now? 

I gotta say, it's pretty rad that you're unluckiness has allowed you to be as lucky as you've been. I wish I could just up and find a job in another country. One of the perks of being (ex)military, I suppose. 

Gary
Gary SuperDork
10/25/18 8:29 p.m.

I was still a working stiff when this thread started. Now I'm retired. Other than just getting old, this is how I got here: Got out of HS in the sixties, and by the early seventies I was working as a machinist/toolmaker and welder, and going to school nights studying engineering. I'd been interested in cars and racing since around eight, and figured being a machinist and welder would help me achieve my goal of building my own race cars. And I was good at machining and welding. Finally got the engineering degree in '74 but needed more 'scarole and went to work as a mfg. engineer developing process plans and CNC programs (NC in those days). In the late seventies I needed more 'scarole again and transitioned to the commercial side of business. I spent the next 35 years in technical sales, product management, and marketing for machine tool and industrial measuring machine manufacturers. Never did get around to building my own race cars, but I have no regrets. I had an interesting and fun (at times) career. A great advantage to doing what I did was the ability to do quite a bit of travel, domestic and European. I've been in a lot of automotive and aircraft manufacturing plants "creating solutions" to their manufacturing problems (i.e., promoting and selling products). On business trips to Germany I drove the Nurburgring (VW Turbo Golf that belonged to our German subsidiary), and saw vintage races there as well. I also saw a track day at Hockenheim. In England I saw vintage races at Brands Hatch and a track day at Thruxton. I've been in the huge Fiat plant outside Turin, Italy several times, as well as Giugiaro's Italdesign facility (recently acquired by VW Group).

This is extremely abbreviated and leaves a lot of great (my opinion) stuff out. But I don't want it to seem like I'm bragging. I was just fortunate to have had a great, lucky career.

You'd think being retired would be boring after all that, but I don't miss the stress. And after four years of retirement I still manage to keep busy every day (which includes writing this diatribe!). My wife Annie retired two years ago, and now I'm even busier. 

Gary
Gary SuperDork
10/25/18 9:24 p.m.

So after my previous somewhat brief diatribe of my life, I thought it'd be appropriate to discuss how I think it affected where I am today and maybe impart a little wisdom, for what it's worth. Annie and I are in a great place. We lived well north of the "thin green line" (https://millennialmoney.com/the-thin-green-line-review/). My other hobby besides cars was investing and the stock market. So, while I had a few duds in the market, I did make a few good investments. And that helped. Pay yourself first. Invest in the future. Be consistent in your investments. And above all ... to all of you so-called "grassroots enthusiasts" ... do not have a backyard full of projects. That is "funds wasted." Invest your money in your future. Learn finances. Learn how markets work. Take control of your future. You like cars. I do too. But understand what is important to your future. Jeez ... don't spend your last dollar on the next project car. You'll die a pauper. Instead, start now. Save. Invest. Create wealth. You can still be a car enthusiast. Now I'm enjoying other things in life as well, because I can afford it, and I planned for it. If I want to buy a 356 or Pagoda, I could. Take heed. Your finances are within your own control.

Hungary Bill
Hungary Bill PowerDork
10/28/18 12:20 a.m.
pheller said:

Wow I didn't realize Hungary Bill was because you were living in Hungary. I guess I always thought it was because your were Hungry. DERP. 

So should you be Kuwait Bill now? 

I gotta say, it's pretty rad that you're unluckiness has allowed you to be as lucky as you've been. I wish I could just up and find a job in another country. One of the perks of being (ex)military, I suppose. 

 

Yeah, I couldnt come up with a good "grassroots name" so I just used where I was living at the time (On previous boards, I'd usually sign up as "Hillbilly" or something similar, but you lot are a daunting group when viewed from the outside and I wanted something a bit more "mature" to get me in the door).  It kind of works since my metabolism travels at the speed of light.  I'm always eating and I've been stuck at 150lbs since my sophomore year of high school.

Depending on lifestyle and profession, there are TONS of overseas gigs if you're interested.  Aviation is kind of the "easy button" (planes are everywhere, so it opens a lot of doors), but program management and the medical field all have opportunities in foreign countries.  If you're young and want to travel I'd say teaching English as a second language would be the way to go, the downside is it doesnt pay a whole heck of a lot (1000 euro a month, I think?).

NATO usually has a good variety of opportunities, and the pay is tax free.  Very hard to break into though:  https://www.nspa.nato.int/en/employment/employment.htm

 

Tony:

You and I have VERY similar experiences.  Service industry and corporate hell.  Both were a big factor in our "Ice Cream Shop in Spain" idea.  When it came down to it, I just wanted to be able to make a decision, and to see people be happy.  Forget the money, forget bureaucracy , forget everything I hate about corporate life.

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