Keith is going back to work!!! Yay!
This job he got came as a total surprise and not even one he applied for. He had applied for the Union Pacific job and was waiting on applying for anything else until after he interviewed last month. While waiting, he got two phone calls from two different temp agencies about a pump mechanic job. Now, Keith used to be a pump mechanic, but hasn't been in that field for 5 years, so he told both of these temp agencies that he was waiting on an interview for the railroad and didn't think he'd be qualified anyway for the mechanic job since it had been so long since he'd worked on them. So, pump mechanic job is put aside and the interview for the railroad obviously didn't go well enough for them to hire him for the one position open. Discouraged and feeling old and unwanted, Keith put in some applications with other places, never hearing back from any of them. He also put in an application with Genesee and Wyoming railroad, who recently bought out the local San Joaquin Valley Railroad. He didn't think he would hear from them, though, since he isn't trained as a conductor and doesn't have a conductor's card. Well, then out of the blue last Wednesday, late in the day, a time of day when the phone rings we figure it's someone wanting to sell us something, here it is the railroad calling for a pre-interview over the phone for a conductor training class to start April 1st. The woman said that if they wanted to interview further, someone would be calling.
So, all excited and hoping someone will call for the second interview, Keith's hopes are back up again. And while he was on the phone with the railroad, a temp agency was trying to call him about a welder position, having found his resume on Caljobs. So, he goes to find out about the welder position, which is in a little shop just down the road from us and where he would be standing in one spot welding drill bits back together for the oilfields. It doesn't sound like too bad of a job, and he is way overqualified for it, but the company is tired of young guys working for a while then leaving for a better job in the oilfields. They are extremely busy right now and are working 10 hour days through the week and 8 hour days on Saturdays, so lots of overtime pay. They offered a reasonable hourly, less than what Keith really wanted, but with overtime and close enough to the house where he wouldn't be spending hardly anything on gas, he was seriously considering taking the job and asked if he could think about it and let them know by the end of the week, hoping that the railroad would call for an interview in the meantime.
No phone call from the railroad, but he does get a phone call from one of the same temp agencies that called about the pump mechanic job, having been unable to fill it in the weeks since they first called. So, what the heck, he will go see about the pump mechanic job since he hasn't told the drill bit shop yes or no yet. And the drill bit job sounds incredibly boring and he really doesn't want to be a full time welder anymore anyway.
And, guess what, the pump mechanic job is perfect! It's a small shop that was recently bought out by a German pump company that makes way more than just oilfield pumps, pumps for waste treatment and power plants and all kinds of other stuff, and they are getting ready to move up the road to a brand new much bigger shop where they can expand and sell and fix even more pumps. And to top it all off, one of the bosses he worked under at KBA, his old pump mechanic job, now works for this company and remembered Keith and recommended him to the owner and all the other people who decide on who to hire. Even though he hasn't fixed pumps in 5 years, they are willing to train him to get him back up to speed.
So, after interviewing and touring the shop, they tell him they will all get together and decide, but things look good, and then a few hours later he gets a phone call and an email with an offer. And what an offer it is! Only 25c less an hour than what he was making at Savage, good benefits, close to home (just 4 miles away and only 7 when they move to the new place) and they really really want his experience and knowledge! Yes!
So, he calls the other temp agency about the welder job and declines that one and this morning he is on his way to fill out paperwork and take a drug test and he starts the new job on Monday!
Apparently, pump mechanics are a dying breed, with young kids not going into that field, and training for that type of job not really being offered anywhere, so finding a qualified guy for this job was not easy. Also, finding a qualified guy who can pass a drug test and/or doesn't have a bunch of DUI's on his driving record around these parts is even harder. I don't know if it's just a Bakersfield thing or what, but the people here really like to do drugs and drive drunk and they don't seem to realize that doing that on a regular basis really screws up their chances of getting a job. Everyone drug tests nowadays, and most places check your DMV report, too.
Big load off of both of our minds, and Keith feels much better about himself now, after getting so discouraged that nobody seemed to want an older guy despite all of his experience.
It will be very strange (and also kind of nice) to have him gone all day again after almost four months of him being underfoot. Plus I have to start making him lunches again, but I think I can put up with that! I'm sure the cats will be all weirded out for a while, they've also gotten used to him being home all day. They won't know what to do with themselves, either!
Now, knock on wood that I didn't jinx anything by writing about the new job before he actually starts!