Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Experience? We Got No Stinkin' Experience!

After four years of college, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that employers were lined up just waiting for me to offer myself as the ideal employee - educated - fun -interesting - adaptable - hard working - family man - actually an ideal catch! Guess what?

I had quit my job at the Nazarene Book Store (shipping & receiving plus janitorial) two weeks before graduation. Too much going on with the end of the school year and my college days. Now here I am with diploma in hand and out giving these companies a crack at hiring me. I was married to Ann and we had a two month old son, Rick.

EVERYWHERE I went they wanted that nasty old "Experience". After lots of interviews I got an opportunity to sell my skills and personality to C. F. Braun & Company in Alhambra. They were builders of refinery plants, asphalt plants, etc all over the globe. Very nice brick buildings with individual offices and apparently doing very nicely. I interviewed with the manager of a department that secured bids and submitted them on equipment being part of the company bid for a major project. They bid on any job over $25 million. They wanted someone to develop a system of files of various items they were needing so the buyers could review and make their selection.

I'm their man! But all of the sudden the manager said "we are looking for someone with experience and you don't qualify for this job". That did it! With nothing to lose I got out of my chair and banged my fist on his beautiful wood desk and looking him in the eye said emphatically "how do you get experience? Everyone wants it -- how do you get it?"

His next statement came out differently than I expected. He asked me if I could start on Monday! I found out that they paid once a month and that was last week! So I had three more weeks of no money for my family at a time that was critical for us.

I had my own private office with a glass door. Worked very hard for $350 a month and nine months after I was hired I found out the economics of this type of work. When they lose a job that they bid on, layoffs were the next step. Since I was the last one hired on this staff, I was first to go. They brought someone in from another department and gave me one day to train him. With one week severance pay, I was once again on my own but with one secret ability --experience!

I went to a competitor called Fluor Corporation in Maywood and was hired in the Expediting Department (because of my experience). It was our job to get the purchased materials to the jobsite on time. The job that C. F. Braun & Company lost, Fluor got. Unfortunately this job only lasted 11 months and I was once again out of work. But with "more experience".

See my posting on "50 Years Ago Today" which tells of my next job which became my career of 37 years and how "experience" helped me get $5 more a month than people hired without experience. Whoopteedoo!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Finally got around to catching up on your blog. Lots of interesting "experiences" throughout your life. xox Nancy