At Mr. Brickie's last union meeting he was unemployed and looking for work. A nice member told him that US Steel was hiring for refractory work. A little history. Before Mr. Brickie started his apprenticeship he randomly met someone who did refractory work. This guy described it as very lucrative but difficult. Everyone he has talked about it with since has also called it … [Read more...] about I Don’t Know What Day It Is #NightShift
It’s been quite a long time, hasn’t it? October 9th would have made three months! Well there was something going on I couldn’t really talk about. I wanted to share it very much but couldn’t. We were closely guarding a secret. I spent months scouring the internet for advice anonymously. Read books I could get my hands on even though our local library had only one and … [Read more...] about The Secret We’ve Been Keeping
Marathons aren't just the ones you run with your body, you know? Some marathons are mental tests of strength and stamina. We are in the home stretch of one of those marathons. Five and a half years ago my husband, Mr. Brickie, was hired on as a Union Bricklayer Apprentice. The apprentice scale started at 40% and you would move up in 10% increments every time you worked 750 … [Read more...] about The Home Stretch
Mr. Brickie finally started working! He was laid off again two weeks later. Laid off so fast, in fact, that I was able to go online and file his bi-weekly unemployment certification on the normal day. He won't get paid for the two weeks he worked (of course) but it means if he doesn't work for another two weeks we'll have something come in to go toward bills in the … [Read more...] about Luck and Circumstance and I Have a Monetary Confession
I think I was more silent this winter than usual because this year is such a game-changer in terms of how it could possibly end. Mr. Brickie will become a journeyman and, at that time, everything changes. He becomes eligible to work for the union, he is allowed to go wherever he chooses (as an apprentice, he has to stay within the area of his training center), and he could be … [Read more...] about It wasn’t a five-year plan after all!