OT: Best job you've had

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Gunhippie
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OT: Best job you've had

#1

Post by Gunhippie »

Just a move to the positive to balance out the "worst job" thread.

I'll start.

I've been lucky, or maybe made some good decisions over the years. Lots of really hard physical labor, but some pretty good times, too.

Stream Surveys for the USFS on the Mt. Hood and Wallowa-Whitman NFs were pretty high up the list, but I did have USFS bureaucracy to deal with and far too much time in the office--and meetings.

I went from that to being an independent contractor for various agencies and NGOs. This was mostly botanical field work, looking for rare, threatened and endangered plants and mapping occurrences. I also spent time mapping invasive weeds and did a lot of forestry survey and range work.

I'd spend about ten days in the field--as long as my ice would last--camping and hiking all day long. I worked ten hour days for very good pay. Evenings I'd make a meal and lunch for the next day, then get out my laptop and get some office work done in the best of all offices. I learned to select campsites with evening shade and full morning sun to maximize my days. Over twenty years, I worked from Northern Cali to the Canada border of Washington, but the last decade or so saw me sticking closer to home and picking my jobs for the most pleasure.

Me in the office, ca. 2005:

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Of course, being the plant manager of a brewery and pub is no jail sentence, either!
Last edited by Gunhippie on Mon May 03, 2021 10:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
It's priceless until someone puts a price on it.
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Re: OT: Best job you've had

#2

Post by mksmth »

I've worked at the same company as an electrician for the last 22 years. my first real job. I was at gas station clerk before that right out of high school. It's been a great career and provided very well for my family and I don't regret it. 22 years is a long time to be doing the same thing and I do get tired of it sometimes.
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Re: OT: Best job you've had

#3

Post by Gunhippie »

A friend recently retired from his electrician/plumbing business. He has two grown kids and neither wanted to pick up the reins. He sold the business.

Plumbers and electricians are so in demand right now it's a problem. Most want to do new construction--understandably--so if you have a bad wire or busted pipe.....
Last edited by Gunhippie on Mon May 03, 2021 10:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
It's priceless until someone puts a price on it.
Walk a mile in a man's shoes before you criticize him--then you're a mile away, and he has no shoes.
Texan's last words: "Y'all--hold my beer--I wanta' try sumptin'."
Timm--Middle of nowhere, near the end of the road, Oregon.
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Re: OT: Best job you've had

#4

Post by mksmth »

It's bad here. I couldn't even get guys to work on a Saturday for double time. I end up having to do most of the troubleshooting calls because none want to learn how to do it.
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Re: OT: Best job you've had

#5

Post by kellyblues »

My 20 years at Frito lay. It was a great job. But they aren't in the habit of letting skilled trades people retire. At least not the ones that were there before the pension cut off date like I was. Everyone in that group is no longer employed there. But hands down the best job I've ever had. Hours, pay, vacation it was all up there.
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Re: OT: Best job you've had

#6

Post by TwoCanoes »

Parent and Girl Scout leader. When we decided to stop doing full-time day care, I got to be the parent who cut back at work and stayed home with the kids (two girls). I dropped to half-time, and we had the girls in part-time day care. I also got to have another little girl come to our house for after-school care since her single mom worked full-time. She came to our house until she got old enough to care for herself after school. This be-the-parent arrangement also allowed me the time to be a Girl Scout leader. Between the two troops (one for each daughter) we hiked hundreds of miles and paddled into the thousands of miles. TwoCanoe is the name the kids in the troop assigned to me.
Last edited by TwoCanoes on Mon May 03, 2021 11:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: OT: Best job you've had

#7

Post by Tgarner01 »

Only paying job I've ever had has been working at the shop with my father...I started out when I was considered not in the way... Then progressed into tool fetcher and floor sweeper... Then onto basic jobs that even a pre-teen could handle... When I got old enough to drive I was the parts boy when I wasn't in school (often skipped school to go to work) after graduation I stayed full time and have for the past 16 years... Now I own the business and dad has been demoted to answering the phone and chasing parts 😁

There's not many jobs where you can go to work and have fun but we certainly have done so. We usually have a couple large build projects we do every year... From cannons to hit n miss ice cream machines... Gatling guns to band mills... We're apt to build anything 😉

Now that I have a 3 year old mini me as my wife calls him I can see my interests moving more to his... He's already building things with his imagination and legos... About time to dig out my legos my mother has kept back for 25+ years 👍

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Re: OT: Best job you've had

#8

Post by Gavercronos »

Another Scout Camp staff here. Boy Scouts; went from the Kitchen bum to the Head Kook to the Camp Commissioner. For those that don't know, that last means if there's a task to accomplish and no one knows who's supposed to be responsible for it, it becomes mine. I am essentially the main problem solver for the place. Been doing Camp most summers since 2005. Hope to keep doing it most summers forever.
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Re: OT: Best job you've had

#9

Post by Hot_Diggity »

Best job(s) I ever had were all in the Marine Corps. It's hard to pin down a favorite. My Assistant Harbor Master/sailing instructor gig was probably the most fun, except for maybe dropping people out of aircraft. I'd take any of those jobs again, I'd just be a little more careful where I stepped.
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Re: OT: Best job you've had

#10

Post by 1hpycmpr »

That’s a tough one to decide. I’ve only had 5 jobs and the first 3 were just for the summer during my teenage years. 21 years at a mine and currently going on 21 years at the current job. Good times at all of them but if I had to pick my favorite job, it would have to be my current job. I work as a service technician repairing and testing equipment used in all kinds of applications from drinking/waste water plants to university research labs. It’s different everyday and somewhat challenging at times. Flexible schedule, great coworkers, good benefits, and an ample amount of vacation time. It’s my retirement job!
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Re: OT: Best job you've had

#11

Post by pumps »

I bounced around as a punk kid doing lots of job from driving a forklift, bartender, hod carrier, tie gang for the Union Pacific, food and beverage manager of a large hotel but I was a terrible drunk and drug user through all that time. It wasn't until I got sober for a few years, got married , had a kid and I was looking for something steady with benefits and a pension. I never EVER thought of being a firefighter and where did the last 31 years go? I've laughed, tried not to cry, seen a whole lot of death and destruction . I've gone home with my ribs hurting from laughing so long and hard at work. I've worked with some brave men and a few women. I've eaten the best meals I've ever had in the engine house-better than any restaurant. I've crawled into burning buildings and put the fire out. Not because I'm brave but because of the trust in my training , my equipment and the people I work with. What kid doesn't want to drive a firetruck? And so now when there are new kids around I try to share my knowledge and experience. I've never had a time when I thought I didn't want to go to work because I hate my job. It'll be over next May . I've spent my time in the barrel. I'm gonna sleep late ALL night long. Maybe grow a beard. When it snows I'll just look out the window and think about the poor guys out running calls on a bad day and smile.
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Re: OT: Best job you've had

#12

Post by Gunhippie »

Hot_Diggity wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 12:56 am Best job(s) I ever had were all in the Marine Corps. It's hard to pin down a favorite. My Assistant Harbor Master/sailing instructor gig was probably the most fun, except for maybe dropping people out of aircraft....
Did you let them have parachutes?

Toby--Can I come work for you? Sounds like more fun than what I do now, except for the free beer part.

Happy--Sounds like we need you to make a visit and talk about our water!

Pumps--I held some of the same really crappy jobs after dropping out of high school. Then I went to college and dropped out of that, too, after five years. Then I got more crappy jobs and finally got my head on fairly straight. The only firefighting I did was wilderness. No one to rescue but yourself and co-workers. Back then, anyway.
It's priceless until someone puts a price on it.
Walk a mile in a man's shoes before you criticize him--then you're a mile away, and he has no shoes.
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Re: OT: Best job you've had

#13

Post by Tgarner01 »

Gunhippie wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 1:53 am
Toby--Can I come work for you? Sounds like more fun than what I do now, except for the free beer part.
Timm how are you with a broom?... Seems I'm always behind in that department 😉 Of course you're always welcome to come freeload some coffee like the locals 👍
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Re: OT: Best job you've had

#14

Post by Gunhippie »

Broom? I hire people to use brooms!

OTOH, if you mean holding a broom up while drinking coffee....
It's priceless until someone puts a price on it.
Walk a mile in a man's shoes before you criticize him--then you're a mile away, and he has no shoes.
Texan's last words: "Y'all--hold my beer--I wanta' try sumptin'."
Timm--Middle of nowhere, near the end of the road, Oregon.
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Re: OT: Best job you've had

#15

Post by Tgarner01 »

Gunhippie wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 2:09 am Broom? I hire people to use brooms!

OTOH, if you mean holding a broom up while drinking coffee....
You would fit right in! Consider yourself hired 😁
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Re: OT: Best job you've had

#16

Post by Gunhippie »

I now work for Toby. Distantly. I'm leaning on a broom right now!

What's the benny package?
It's priceless until someone puts a price on it.
Walk a mile in a man's shoes before you criticize him--then you're a mile away, and he has no shoes.
Texan's last words: "Y'all--hold my beer--I wanta' try sumptin'."
Timm--Middle of nowhere, near the end of the road, Oregon.
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Re: OT: Best job you've had

#17

Post by Hot_Diggity »

Gunhippie wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 1:53 am
Hot_Diggity wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 12:56 am Best job(s) I ever had were all in the Marine Corps. It's hard to pin down a favorite. My Assistant Harbor Master/sailing instructor gig was probably the most fun, except for maybe dropping people out of aircraft....
Did you let them have parachutes?
Yup, and made sure their paperwork was all in order. I threw Marines out on HALO, HAHO and static line jumps. At higher elevation the fumes weren't too bad with the ramp down. Circling a drop zone at 800' it was like following a dozen badly tuned diesel busses. So bad I wanted to jump a couple times without a parachute.
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Re: OT: Best job you've had

#18

Post by outlawmws »

BEST job...

Probably the 12 years designing payloads and other electronics for satellites. Thin Film RF (microwave) Thick Film control circuits, All the packaging for the devices (Local collator stacks, 3 years on research and development for new micro Integrated circuits. )

I developed the entirety of the multi-layer printed circuit board effort (common on earth, making it work for space was a whole 'nother thing....), trained the design teams, developed the design rules so the things would live at least 21 years in space without any maintenance, (no failures allowed).

Most of this was in the commercial satellite communications space, but we also did many of the GOES weather satellites. I developed the technology to horizontally "stack" and bus as many as 10-16 boards in identical frames, then sorted out how to do each half of each board so it could be combined with any other half board in a new design (some CAD trickery that the PCB CAD tool MFG said was not possible - I figured it out anyway...)

In the Thick film area I developed a program to design printed resistors on the CAD system that were optimized (made as small as possible) AND would dissipate the heat reliably, so again no failures. This saved space and time on every design. That CAD program made it so any designer could get an optimized resistor in a couple of minutes (that calculating by hand took at least an hour - only two of us actually knew how to do it manually....)

I even did some of the preliminary design work for some of the power handling equipment on Space Station Freedom (Then trained the designers that took that effort over)

Man those were fun years.
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Re: OT: Best job you've had

#19

Post by smarti »

Being the father of my two amazing daughters, hands down. Not even close and I have had some great, rewarding, and well paying jobs. I wouldn't trade being their dad for anything. They are 25 and 23 now and still amaze me and make me proud regularly.
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Re: OT: Best job you've had

#20

Post by Tgarner01 »

Gunhippie wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 2:19 am What's the benny package?
I believe you have me at a disadvantage here Timm as I have not heard of this Benny package... Old and antiquated no doubt 😉
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Re: OT: Best job you've had

#21

Post by austin65uri »

I had many good ones over the years, but I guess the one that stands out would be three years stationed at the Marine Corps Mountain and Cold Weather Training facility off Sonora Pass Road in the Sierras back when I was in the service.
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Re: OT: Best job you've had

#22

Post by brucesheehe »

Being self-employed as a general dentist for 37 years. I retired 4 years ago - it does not seem that long to me.

I always considered my patients as friends and family. It was an honor to help them with their dental needs.

It was hard to retire, but I was so tired - weary - and it was so hard to get through the increased paperwork and regulations.

I would have to spend all day Sunday in the office with paperwork - insurance and regulatory. 70+ hours/week. Nothing was easy anymore - everything was a big effort. Enough was enough!

Office overhead went from 30% to 80% over the years. Computers, supplies, lab work, and digital imaging are so expensive. Dentistry became non-affordable for patients - and it was not my fault. I was just the messenger.

It was also getting harder to achieve perfection. Dentistry is switching from excellence to "that is good enough to last for 5 years". Switching from gold (that could last decades) to plastic with adhesives (quick and easy).

I turned my old office into a Coleman museum, art studio, and fly-tying workshop. I look forward to going there for several hours most days. Many times, an old patient will stop in and we will chew the fat over coffee.
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Re: OT: Best job you've had

#23

Post by xvz12 »

Best job? I spent 8 years working for a pharmacy that catered to nursing homes & hospice care, would deliver 'hurry up' & one-off deliveries all around the Treasure Valley.....using my motorcycle. Got paid to ride my motorcycle, would average 30,000 miles a summer on it. Getting paid good money to ride my motorcycle, it doesn't get much better than that. Unfortunately, the business was eventually bought out by a larger company, & they went a different direction on the deliveries.
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Re: OT: Best job you've had

#24

Post by Dmacp »

my best job was that of a machinist for the Planes of Fame Air Museum. The most interesting, and the most rewarding.
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Re: OT: Best job you've had

#25

Post by Kgam1020 »

When I was 11-13 years old I worked at my dads hobby shop on summer vacations and school breaks. I worked on the radio controlled counter. Helping customers with their RC car,truck,boat or plane repairs and sales. My dad would bring home a broken Rc car and I would repair it. Replacing a stripped spur gear or broken A-arms. You name it. When mechanical speed controls went out and electronic speed controls took over I even installed and programmed them. I have been in the RC hobby since I was 7 or so and I still love running my cars with me 9yr old son.

When I turned 14 I wanted to get into woodworking. I got a job with a family friend who is a local contractor. I was the grunt for a while, fetching lumber, carrying shingles to the roof, cleaning up at the end of the day. We built a lot of and pretty much all of our own trim work in my bosses shop, we even designed and built custom cabinetry and built-in's. From there I was hooked. I worked for him for 14 years. When I was 28 I got a job at a local university in the carpentry department. For the last 5 or so years I am the head of the carpentry department and I have two guys that work with me.
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Re: OT: Best job you've had

#26

Post by 74HARLEY »

Best job, probably the one I have now. It's still heavy, dirty, hot and occasionally frustrating but it's the people that make it worthwhile.
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Re: OT: Best job you've had

#27

Post by Kansas_John »

Best job for me was as a government contractor working for the National Air and Space museum. Not everybody gets to handle spacesuits, Eddie Rickenbacker’s WWI uniform, and survival rations that belonged to Charles Lindbergh. I got filthy moving around Apollo droge parachutes and helped rescue things when a snow storm collapsed one of the off-site storage buildings.

The job paid well but I had to wait on the annual funding which is nerve racking. No paid vacation, retirement, insurance or sick leave. If I wasn’t working, I wasn’t earning. That part blew.
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Re: OT: Best job you've had

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Post by arizonacamper »

Best job I had and still have is being a dad and especially a grandad.
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Re: OT: Best job you've had

#29

Post by Gunhippie »

Kansas_John wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 7:46 pm ....

The job paid well but I had to wait on the annual funding which is nerve racking. No paid vacation, retirement, insurance or sick leave. If I wasn’t working, I wasn’t earning. That part blew.
That, in a capsule, is being a contractor for the US gummint!

I'd be sitting on pins and needles this time of year waiting to hear if I had work for the season. Then five jobs would all come in at once. Or not. Everything really fell through during the recession of '08 and never picked up at the pace it had been before.
It's priceless until someone puts a price on it.
Walk a mile in a man's shoes before you criticize him--then you're a mile away, and he has no shoes.
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Re: OT: Best job you've had

#30

Post by Murff »

As a young lad of 8 years old, I was blessed to have lived in a neighborhood just across the reiver from a large Boeing Aircraft plant. I sold newspapers after school to employees as their shifts ended and they exited the shops. This lead to a 34 year career working first for the Seattle P-I and then the Seattle Times, when both newspapers entered into a Joint Operating Agreement. For 12 of my 19 years at the Times, I had a nice day job. In 2000, the Times decided to make their afternoon daily a morning daily

At nearly age 50, I found it difficult to adjust to working nights, as I had at the P-I many years before, when I was a much younger man. So, after two years of working nights, I qualified for an early Teamster Pension. This pension wasn't enough to live on and pay medical insurance but it did allow me to take a job at a Toyota Forklift dealership and become a versatile employee as a shipper, receiver and delivery driver working a day shift. This job lasted almost 9 years before the Great Recession ended my career there. This job was the best as I was able to hunt for Coleman items and use someone else's gas and vehicle!

Too early to retire, I found a job after about 10 months of unemployent that was a delivery driver for a General Motors accessory ware house delivering Chevrolet and GMC dealers on a daily schedule. It was less that a great job becasue the immediate manager was an idiot. (Maybe "idiot" is a bit harsh. So leat's call him a moron!)

So, I retired at 62.5 and have been that way for over 7 years.

What I miss the most from these jobs were the great people I worked with!

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