So I Got A Job In A Covid World

David Trammel's picture

So I needed to get a part time job. The pandemic had run down my "build it for retirement" fund to the point I needed some additional income besides the $1200 I'm getting with Social Security. Its at a local version of the big box hardware store (like Home Depot but not Home Depot). Since I had put on my resume/application that I could drive a forklift and was experienced in unloading semi-trailers, they put me back in Receiving. Big mistake! way too hard for this 64 year old. At the end of the week I let them know I needed to be reassigned to a different department.

Now here is where things got different from my before pandemic employment, they did with no real fuss.

Its been my experience that companies will try and subtly pressure you to stick with the position they hired you at. With things like "Well try it one more week". This time it was, OK. I'm now in morning stocking, which is both easier on my body and better for me time wise (Was 3 days or 8 hours, now its 4 days of 5 hours).

Pay is amazing, $15 US an hour. No benefits but you expect that from part time. They do offer of all things Dental Insurance. Why they did that and not health insurance confused me until I realized that Medicare doesn't offer dental. I wonder what the percentage of retirees they have in their workforce.

Covid related, the company has a "Please wear a mask" on the door. Its Missouri and Covid is pretty bad here. I'd say 90% are wearing a mask.

mountainmoma's picture

The part time work sounds great. Hope the basement remodel is going well

David Trammel's picture

The basement remodel is going well, though much slower and more expensive than I first planned. I should have started last year but didn't. I'm old enough now to be familiar with my faults, and one is a tendency to procrastinate. Should be moved in the end of October now that I'm spending some time working. The extra income will come in handy to finish out the job.

I'm trying to finish up a blog post as an introduction to using metal wall studding for Green Wizards. I think a lot of people are going to be adding living spaces to their homes in the next decade, as things collapse more, and I'm totally impressed with the ease and flexibility of metal studs for an average DIYer to use.

The big hang up is that I have to have the bedroom almost entirely finished, and that includes painting, before I can move in. Normally I would be fine living in the middle of a half build room but I now have two cats. Acquired during the pandemic through the animal rescue I volunteer at. I have to be able to close a room off to keep them from darting out the door when I bring in supplies.

Not having the shed in the back yard means I'm working around all of my sister's stuff, 90% of it being garden items she bought at garage sales. She's the type who sees a cool DIY garden feature, a planter made from an old chair or decorative thing made from a bowling ball and ceramic tile and then buys the parts to make it herself but then never makes it. We're having a garage sale ourselves at the end of September, where I hope we can get rid of a lot of that stuff, and of my cast offs as well.

Justin Patrick Moore's picture

Good luck on your new job and your remodel David.

I just got forklift training at my job a few months ago. The situation the past few years is that there are a lot of jobs they never hire anyone to fill. Yet now, their are more openings that they can't fill, so they've been giving raises & other incentives. Which makes sense because there are more of us doing a lot of different duties.

So I do my cataloging desk work, but then when skids of books need to be moved, I do some forklifting, and then I'll label books, and then do some more work on the catalog end of things.

It seems like this juggling of duties is going to be standard in a lot of places I'd imagine, especially as the Great Resignation continues.

David Trammel's picture

You are certainly right that there are job skill sets which too few people know any more. Personally I feel its Business's fault. There was a time when most companies, at least any of size had apprentice programs to train new workers and actively recruited young people to join their workforce.

Now it feels like even fast food places want you to have a college degree or years of experience in the field. The out sourcing of worker training to colleges has become a dead end failure though. People believed the hype and bought all in on higher learning. Now they are left with massive student debt and few real world skills to get them a job.

I see posts on social media all the time, parents whose children are almost out of high school and seeking college, and my reply to every one I see is a big shout of "DON"T GO!" I feel like 9 out of 10 kids now should be looking at the skilled trades like electrician, plumber or auto mechanic over college. That work force is essential to keeping civilization running and is rapidly greying out. I'm trained as a machine operator and I saw where our median age of such workers is in their 40s. Its resource depletion of a different type but one no less worrisome.

That said, I have always tried to be open to any and all training a company I worked for would give me. Fork lift training is a big addition to any resume, its literally something almost every manufacturing or warehouse company needs.

You are right I think, there's going to be the need for workers to fill many hats in the coming decades. The pandemic and the lock downs showed many people that the implied contract between companies and workers is a lie. That businesses will drop you like a hot rock if it suits their bottom line. Many workers no longer want to live the fantasy and they aren't coming back. For those who choose to keep a foot in the system, the advantage will be to those who make themselves as valuable a commodity as they can.

My father gave me a piece of advice, one among many, I keep always in mind. He said "Find the job no one wants to do at a company. Learn how to do that job well, then if it comes time the company has to let some people go, YOU won't be one."

My last job before my retirement, tried offering me a bunch of options, part time work, more limited job duties to make it easier on me, when I told them I was retiring, just because there were several reoccurring jobs we did that I was the only one who could do them. If my body would have handled it I probably would have stay longer.

This brings up a second piece of advice my father gave me, "Never stay at a job you do not like to do."

Resilience isn't just for the garden. Being able to walk away from a situation, and know you will be ok is important in many things.