Sunday, January 23, 2011

When The Unemployment Started To Run Out

Not All Who Wander Are Lost 

Towards the end of summer when I was down to only a couple of weeks left of unemployment benefits,  I got a job at a local sawmill.  In a larger sawmill it would have been called working on the green chain.  As this mill only had 4 workers, the owner who was the sawyer, a guy that operated the Cary-Lift (which moved the logs and all the wood from the end of the mill) and debarker, the guy who took the pieces after they came off the main saw and either sent them down the line or ran them thru the edger to trim them into boards.  Then there was my position, I got to deal with all the pieces at the end of the line.  The slabs got put into a rack where they would be bundled, the boards would be stacked after being trimmed to cut out bad areas, the railroad ties would sometimes have to be cut to length then pushed off the end of the line into a pile.  All in all it was hard work.  I was paid a little over minimum wage which at the time was under $2.  I don't remember exactly what my wage was, I seem to remember that maybe it started at $2 and eventually was up to $2.25.

One thing about this job is it was close to home, only a mile away.  I could go home for lunch and most days did.

Then just before "Deer Hunting Season" there was an extension to unemployment passed and I asked for and was given a lay-off.  That way I was able to go deer hunting while drawing unemployment.  I got a 13 week extension and drew it thru the winter.  Over a 2 year period I drew a years worth of unemployment as there was the original 26 weeks and two 13 week extensions.

 Me on the left and my friend dressed in monkey suits for his wedding.

Above is a picture of me and a friend taken before my friend's wedding.  We drove to the courthouse where the wedding was to take place in my truck which was covered with mud as I didn't have time to wash it in between getting stuck out in the woods and going to the wedding.  This happened at the time I was working at the sawmill or on unemployment. 


Nan said...
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Nan said...

Too bad you didn't have a photo of the sawmill. My memory is that it was a pretty typical small mill in that there wasn't much of a building around it.