It sure isn’t. No sirree.
Not a fun game at all… because it’s not a game. It is a full time job in itself and requires dedication and strong commitment. It’s important to keep your hopes and enthusiasms up; energy level regulated, especially when frustration sets in. If you are an adult and have job hunted before… you know all the mixed feelings and emotions that go with job hunting: excitement and anxiety, dread, impatience, frustration, anger, and feeling of rejection. All these feelings are too familiar to me…
As a military man’s wife, we moved several times – about every four years, on average. We’ve moved from three different countries: Philippines, United States, and Japan. In the United States alone, we’ve moved from five different states: South Carolina, Arkansas, Colorado, Nevada and Texas; and five different cities. I didn’t have to worry about a job in the Philippines, because I was a professional student. But when I came to the U.S., I have had to get a job in each one of these states, except Texas.
When I first came to the U.S…. I didn’t have any bankable work experience. Instead, I was over educated and therefore over qualified for most of the jobs I applied for. A bachelor’s degree and 2 years of graduate studies… but no work experience worked highly against me. Not only this… I think the worst part was that, I had no office skills. I couldn’t even type! So…I went to a trade school to learn office skills as suggested by my husband. And, I guess it was his way of getting me out of the house and socialize with other people so I can stay sane… He was like – you’re going a little crazy on me.
When I finally managed to land my first job, I was a nervous wreck. I was so anxious I couldn’t sleep on the night before I was to start on my very first job in the states. The following morning… on my way to work, I ran a stop sign and almost got hit by a big rig truck!
If you are young and new to the “business” of job hunting, it can even be more intimidating, especially if you are only in your teens and doing it alone…
Thank God our son is not doing it alone. We always tell him how lucky he is… He’s got parents who support him 100%. His mother is willing to drive wherever he needs to go, so he can focus and reserve his mental and physical energy for the real task at hand – filling out applications, interviews and weld test. His father…very responsible and the best anyone could have, who wholeheartedly finance his early journey into adulthood life: his schooling, board and lodging, job hunting process, and travel… up until he is able to support himself and stand on his own two feet…
I often ask my husband these questions:
“How do other kids do it, especially the ones who are fresh out of high school?”
“They’re just kids. I don’t think they are prepared to face the world, let alone find their place in life…?!”
But my husband answers me with these questions too:
“How did you do it, Tess?”
“Were your parents there with you when you looked for your first job?”
“They give you up at 13 years old!”
“You had to walk to school, under a hot blazing sun, so you could save a penny because your sister did not give you an allowance!”
“You are right. I did not do it. I fell flat on my face and failed. I made the wrong decisions which affected the rest of my life.” I’d answer him almost teary eyed.
“But I didn’t give up. And in the midst of all those wrong decisions, I got lucky along the way… And then I met you… finished college, and even went to graduate school. Yes… All thanks to you…” I’d quip. Teary eyed.
Other parents would think we are over protecting him; we are babying him too much. How is he ever going to learn? They’d say.
It’s OK… because we rather have him learn from us, and through our examples, than learn from his peers. Because the problem with most young adults is that… they listen to their friends for advice because their parents are too busy to pay attention to them. They do things based on their friends’ advice… friends their own age! Who, really… are not capable of giving advice. It is the case of the “blind… leading the blind.”
I certainly do not claim to be a great mother. Far from it. I can be immature most times. It’s his dad that deserves most of the credit. He keeps me in line… to do the right thing and I often don’t. I was treated like shit by my sister – half sister, and my parents certainly did not care that much about me. Yeah… I’m bitter about it… just a little, when I’m reminded…
We know a lot of people, but we don’t know a single person, whose parents were there all the way to support their children. I don’t even have to venture far to find examples. My own sister – half sister’s kids are left to their own device. But this would be a novel in itself. Her men, her family, her kids, their lives…
So… what’s all this talk about job hunting anyway? What’s the point?
Well… Ramon graduated two weeks early from Tulsa Welding School, with a 4.0 GPA, and with Perfect Attendance. And in the same week he finished, he had his first job interview in Forth Worth with a large staffing company. And then the following week, which was last week, he’s got his first promising job lead – a private company in Dallas who is very interested in his work. He is just now playing the waiting game… and practicing his patience.
He decided he wants to work in the Dallas – Fort Worth area as a TIG Welder – a more specialized type of welder.
In welding, there are different types and processes, and TIG or GTAW is the type of weld used with stainless steel, aluminum, magnesium and copper alloys. This type of weld is primarily used with food service and kitchen equipment, aerospace components, surgical and pharmaceutical components, automotive exhaust and nuclear piping components.
He fell in love with this type of welding because of its versatility; it’s clean and quality finish; and he’d be working under a more controlled and better working environment. As I’m finding out, TIG welding is usually reserved for the person who has been welding for the company for a long time, sort of a reward. And the fact that in normal cases, it takes 3 or more years to get the “hand-eye coordination and control” needed to TIG weld. Control with precision is the name of the game. Ramon has picked up the TIG welding skills in a very short time. He can weld as wells as the person who’s got years of experience. Call it a gift. Or maybe it’s a talent. He jokes that his secret is playing video games since he was 2 years old.
Hmmm… I’m glad I encouraged him to play video games at an early age… I’m thinking to myself.
No matter your skills, you’re still at the mercy of people who don’t know you at all, to give you a chance to prove how great you are. This is the part of job hunting that SUCKS! And it can dampen someone’s spirit. I wish he didn’t have to go through this, but for someone who is new to the industry and have yet to build “connections” there is no avoiding it… At least Ramon knows this, and he is willing to start at the bottom. Pay his dues, hone his skills and build contacts.
True. Not everyone goes through this. The graduates whose family, relatives, and friends are already in the industry; their paths has already been paved for them…
The school seemed to over promise the students at the very beginning. Enticing them with how easy it is to find a welding job and how handsomely it pays. And I think they are right – there are plenty of MIG welding and shutdown jobs out there. And money is the biggest draw for most of the welding students at TWS. When I attended Ramon’s orientation, only him and another kid was there to study welding because they love it. The rest of the class was there for the MONEY. And who can blame them. Most people work to pay the bills.
Yes, the money is there. The money is good for welders especially for the ones who are willing to perform grueling labor. Work 10 – 12 hours, 6 – 7 days a week; must be willing to travel different cities and states, and stay in rinky dink motels. These jobs are not for the faint of heart. These jobs are for people who want to make a lot of money, over a short period of time, and at whatever cost. These jobs are called “shutdowns” and “new constructions” and pay very well… between $16 to $38 an hour.
But I learned from my son that… YES, there is good money in “shutdown jobs.” But he said:
“But you know mom… they don’t pay you for nothing. You work your asses off to get paid that much money, and there is a lot of risk involved. Depending on what type of “shutdowns” you are working on… you’d be exposed to chemicals and hazardous materials. In some cases, you’d be working next to an ex-felons. And your body gets beat up. You get worked like an animal. I like the money… but I’d also like to be alive and healthy to spend it. I enjoy welding and would like to weld for the rest of my life. Not just five years. “Shutdowns” are something people do short term and retire. I don’t want to retire. So… shutdowns” are going to be my very last resort.”
After all the driving and shuttling back and forth between two states – Oklahoma and Texas and four cities: Tulsa, Abilene, Dallas and Fort Worth, I managed to cook this dish while we were home, resting in Abilene for a few days…
I was extremely tired after 8 hours of driving in the Dallas – Fort Worth and back to Abilene. So I wanted to cook something quick and easy when I get home. Besides, my husband would appreciate a good, home cooked meal.
I decided to cook Roasted Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloins, Wasabi Mashed Potatoes, and Brown Gravy.
I usually make my own chicken stock and gravy from scratch. But today, I didn’t have time. So I went to the store and bought Swanson chicken stock, and McCormick Brown Gravy. I took a short cut.
Roasted Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloins:
2 pork tenderloins (about 1½ pound each)
Fennel and Coriander Spice Rub – see recipe below
8 thick slices bacon
Remove the white shiny film off the tenderloins and pat it lightly with paper towels to dry off excess water.
Generously sprinkle fennel and coriander spice rub on the tenderloins – sprinkle spices on all sides and press lightly. Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Wrap each pork tenderloin with 4 slices of bacon, securing the bacon with toothpick.
Place bacon wrapped pork tenderloins in a heavy duty baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, and roast for 1 hour in a preheated oven at 375°F.
Serve with the Wasabi Mashed Potatoes with brown gravy.
Fennel and Coriander Spice Rub:
1 TBSP. ground fennel seeds
1 TBSP. ground coriander seeds
2 tsps. kosher salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
Combine and sprinkle on pork tenderloins.
Wasabi Mashed Potatoes:
6 medium size potatoes – peeled and washed
4 cloves garlic – unpeeled
3 TBSPs. butter
½ – ¾ cup chicken stock
½ – ¾ tsp. kosher salt or to taste
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 – 3 tsps. S & B wasabi paste or according to taste
Slice potatoes into ½ inch thick. Place in a large pot and cover with cold tap water. Also add the cloves of garlic. Add 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt or 2 teaspoons kosher salt, and bring the potatoes to a boil. (To keep the water from over boiling, add 1 tablespoon of butter to the boiling water.) Boil potatoes for about 30 minutes or until tender.
Remove the garlic and pull the skin off. Set them aside.
Strain potatoes and place in a large bowl. Add the garlic, and butter, and mash the potatoes. And then add the kosher salt, black pepper, chicken stock. Fold in the wasabi paste.
Serve with brown gravy.
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons butter
3 McCormick Brown Gravy packets
3 cups chicken stock (I used store bought)
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
In a medium size sauce pan, melt butter and sauté minced garlic until light golden brown, over medium heat. Add the brown gravy packets and slowly whisk in the chicken stock. Keep whisking until gravy mix is totally dissolve and mixture comes to a boil. Season as necessary.
Drizzle over gravy and pork tenderloins.
Enjoy and Happy Cooking!