Saturday, June 4, 2016

4. Work

Where was I? Oh yeah. 

Hand on the door to the college; My dad is with me, telling me he will pay for my first year and… my mouth opens and out comes "Dad, I don’t think I can take another 4 years of school right now, I need a break!"

Dad said "If you don’t go to school, you’ve got to get a job."

Yep, I’ll just work for a year maybe two then go to school. Yeah, right! Off to work I go.  1 year a butcher, 2 years a plastics extruder operator, 2 years food processing line worker, 1 year grounds and marina caretaker, 1 year computer software sales rep.

Then walking into the employment office looking for something new and out comes a man who asks if I can weld, if am I looking for work, and finally "When can you start?"
I said it will take about an hour to get my boots! 

After 3 days of bending over a band saw doing the most boring job I have ever done, he hired me full-time and started to teach me to be a tool and die maker.
15 years later I was still working as a tool and die maker. Studying die theory, metallurgy, blue prints and working on everything. Cars parts, ice-cream making machines, and even parts for nuclear power plants.

Work my way up from apprentice, to department head of a small shop, to foreman of a seven person jobbing shop where I spend most of my time troubleshooting and telling others how to fix various tooling problems.
Things are going great, I met the love of my life, have two great kids, became the leader of our local cub scouts group, bought a house, a camper trailer. All the joys of modern life.

July 13th 1991 I met this beautiful lady. One week later, I told her “she was the women I was going to marry”. She said ….
“Your right” and we got married 3 months later.  This October 2016 will be 25 very fast years together. She is still a beautiful lady and my best friend.

One day, I am putting up a swing set in the back yard for my kids and wham. Out goes my back. I can’t walk; I see chiropractors, massage therapist and doctors, no relief.

There is a reason they don’t do all those surgeries to fix club foot anymore, apparently it wrecks your back. After two years of suffering, I finally get to see a back surgeon, one of the best in Ontario and possibly North America, and he says "I can fuse your back but you will never be a tool and die maker again but the pain will be much better and you will be able to walk."

 So I get the surgery May 1, 2002, 5 days before my 37th birthday.  As I am waking up they find out this guy is also extremely allergic to morphine and cannot have anymore or it will kill him.  At the time I thought this was the most pain I would ever experience.

It hurt so bad I could not even open my hand to release the morphine pump, and legally the medical staff couldn't do it for me either! They did try some Percodan on me instead, but that's for another time.

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