The Transition, Pt. 2

An empty apartment, 4 walls and a bed. It’s been over a year now since I moved 300 miles South of where my daughter lives, yet I can still see the same old plain 4 walls and “couch” as the day I moved in. It’s a small apartment, what I dubbed the converted hotel room, but with a kitchenette. It was a hard sacrifice then, leaving everything that I came to know as being familiar. But it was a needed sacrifice, or at least that’s what I’ve trained myself to believe over the weeks. I moved for a job, a great job it turned out. Things were a little rocky at first, but they settled down nicely. The three of us got into a rhythm and kept it going despite all the issues we encountered. That’s pretty much the name of the game in the industry, adapting. You never knew when the phone would ring with an overly desperate, worried that his life is at risk contractor needing this changed or that added in. But we went with the flow. We quickly all agreed that we hated the phone calls as it meant everything stopped moving forward for those few hours as we had to regroup. We were questioned almost 4 times a day some weeks about how and why we came to the conclusions we did. It was almost unbearable at times with the stress we put ourselves through, but we did it anyway.

Double checking your work sounds easy enough right? Wrong. At least in our field. You see, we’re drafters, computer-aided drafters. We manage to create a massive amount of work in a very short time. And that time is spent forgetting what you just finished and focusing on the next stage.  Sure we went back and fixed mistakes that we noticed as we progressed, but that’s different. We knew exactly what was needed to be added, or changed based on what we just caught ourselves almost leaving out. Those mistakes are trivial in the long run, just add a note to the plans about the change made and on you went. As a drafter those trivial misses get quickly added to the core drafting standard that the project requires making them easier to deal with. The issues come when you’re working on a level and being asked to fix something two or more levels below the current. Its not an easy thing to do. You’ve not only just completed two levels of work above that issue, but you’ve more than likely also produced close to 50 drawings since then, accumulating nearly 100 hours spent creating them. But as drafters, we went back and quickly dealt with the changes and keept the high level of standard no matter.

I was enjoying my work with this company as well as my bosses. Both of them are great people to work next to and are good friends to have. They enjoyed my presence in the office as well as my ability to draft. I was quick, precise and learning quickly to adapt my skills to the office standards. I was a great employee and they were great employers. You may think I’m being biased with that statement, and I will assure you that I am being 100% biased. But there’s also a great reason behind it. They understood my situation of being a single father, living 300 miles away from his daughter. They were helpful and encouraging with their random bits of personal histories having either been through the same situation, or being related to someone that’s gone through it. After all, it was a family run company.

They understood that I’d be traveling almost every other week and were flexible in allowing some leeway come Monday morning should I be a little late. I just had to make sure I put in the eight hours they required. So it was a bit shocking when I was told that they also would bend over backwards to help out. I didn’t exactly fully understand what they meant by that statement, but damn, did I find out quick!

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