Sunday, September 5, 2010

Work; 9-5-10

Village life is filled with many idiosyncrasies (if that is the correct word; right now I'll go with it 'cause I really don't have the time to look it up); the concept of "work", or "working" among them.

Some village residents have "regular jobs". You know, typical employment that resembles what you find elsewhere; going to work year-round,  long term, etc. But most work only seasonally, or even not at all. Sounds kinda weird, but there are people I know who basically just don't work.

Others will seek work every year during the summer season; usually in construction or firefighting.

And then there are those who will only work if the right conditions exist. By "right conditions" I mean:

-a job that essentially comes to them, so they don't have to go looking for it,
-a job that pays well, especially in relation to effort required,
-a job that requires little in the way of skills or previous employment history,
and, quite often,
-a job compatible with a substance using lifestyle.

This summer our community has a lot of "work".

The city water / sewer system is being expanded. Our dump is getting something of a facelift. Most of the homes are being improved and made more energy efficient. And our runway will be getting an overhaul.

So there is a lot of "work" this year. Even people "who never work" have jobs, or at least, they had jobs. The last round of U.A.s (drug testing) knocked out a number of workers. Plus there are always those who work until they get a paycheck or two, then hit the liquor store and never return.

It always amazes me how people can take employment for granted. Relatively good paying jobs (18-25 dollars an hour) available for people with little or no skills, and an employment history to match, can end up unfilled before the project is completed. Incredible!

I was basically the last person to get a job. That was by design. I always try to give others the opportunity first; those who really need to work. Then, if no one wants to take advantage of it, I consider the possibility. I have a part-time job already (I got that one years ago because no one wanted it).

So right now a lot of people in this small, remote village are "working". Some have already quit. Some have been fired. Some will quit or get fired in the coming weeks. And some will hang in there until the very end, when the opportunity to earn much needed cash has gone. Those will be the smart ones; the ones who appreciate the opportunity to work.