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Blog entry by Kristoffer posted 03-21-2010 08:17 AM 1534 reads 1 time favorited 27 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Between my being a carpenter in today’s Michigan economy (lots of idle time) and my desire to learn more about finishing, I stopped by a local furniture refinishing/restoration shop a couple of weeks ago to see if I could pick up a non-paying apprenticeship just to pick up some knowledge and get some hands on experience. Of course I didn’t just walk in and say “are you guys looking for an apprentice?”. I asked if they were hiring and an employee told me “no”. Then I asked if the shop was willing to take on an apprentice. Again, I was rejected.

Well, on Monday, my girlfriend saw an ad on craigslist posted by the same shop, saying that they were looking for a helper. She called me and told me that I should call them and see if I could get the job. I called and the guy told me to come in and fill out an application, so I did. Well, on paper, I’d reject me. I’ve been working for myself under the table for the past six+ years, I don’t have a drivers license, I didn’t finish high school and when it comes to refinishing/restoration, I’m a dud. So, on paper, I had nothing to offer the guy.

I mentioned that I was a woodworker/carpenter and that I worked for myself and that I had a shop just up the road. That turned out to be a turn off. He didn’t like hiring people that worked for themselves because their work usually got in the way of his shop’s work. Then a friend of mine called during the interview and the ring tone on my cell phone is the song Scotland the Brave or as some know it, Cadence to Arms on bagpipes. And it turns out that the owner/operator/now only employee is a piper. He also has a few rental houses that need work and that work is also part of the job description. Which sounded great to me, because that is what I’m used to.A couple of other things clicked and the interview went well and lasted about an hour. I felt pretty good but I didn’t want to get my hopes up since I had so many things working against me.

The shop owner called me Wednesday night and asked if I could come in Thursday morning for a second interview. UGH!!!! The morning after St. Patrick’s Day!!!!! But…. Of coarse I’ll be there, thanks for the call. When I showed up, I noticed that he had a stack of applications. He asked me a few more questions about myself…. Interest and so on. Woodworking, music and hockey (is there anything else?). Well, he’s not only a woodworker in his own way and a player of the bagpipes, but he’s also a Red Wings season ticket holder. And I have the red Wings’ logo as a screen saver on my cell phone. One of the other things that he really liked was the fact that I came in and tried before he posted the ad. Near the end of the second interview (which lasted another hour), there was a weird silence, and then he said… “You know, in life, if you pay attention, there are signs and….” It was kind of left at that. Again, I didn’t want to get my hopes up.

Well, He called me Friday morning and said that he wanted to give me a shot. He asked if I could start the same day and my arse was there! He showed me around the shop, we stripped a table top, sanded a chair, sanded the table top, took lunch and we worked on a rental for the rest of the day. He asked me to come back on Monday and I don’t think that I could be much happier. Well, I’m taking a 40 to 50 percent pay cut to what I am used to making, but if what I am used to isn’t there at all, I guess I got a raise. Not to mention, he’s paying me to do what I offered to do for free and I’ll be learning a lot. He’s a smart, genuine cat that has a LOT in common with me, I hope everything works out.


Sorry this was so long, but I still left a little out for the readers sake.

-- Cheers and God Bless



27 comments so far

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

15076 posts in 2424 days


#1 posted 03-21-2010 08:38 AM

Sound like you got a break :-)) I’m just glad I’m getting too old to work everyday in thhis economy :-) Hope it works out.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Ecocandle's profile

Ecocandle

1013 posts in 1814 days


#2 posted 03-21-2010 08:49 AM

That is a great story. Not only was it a great story, but you told it really well. I wouldn’t have minded the long version at all.

In this day and age, a positive job story is nice to hear. It gives one hope for all those who are struggling.

-- Brian Meeks, http://extremelyaverage.com

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1797 posts in 1939 days


#3 posted 03-21-2010 09:07 AM

I had a boss like that in florida. Worked for him for 2 years at 7 buck an hour. The experience paid off
in the long run. Good luck!!!

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View jockmike2's profile

jockmike2

10635 posts in 2995 days


#4 posted 03-21-2010 10:00 AM

Great for you Kristoffer, this may be the biggest break of your life, I hope things work out and you do well. Like you said you are not out a darn thing, God works in mysterious ways, this certainly sounds like one of them, Work hard show up every day and let the Lord take care of the rest. God Speed

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Halfbubblepastplumb's profile

Halfbubblepastplumb

33 posts in 1911 days


#5 posted 03-21-2010 11:00 AM

Great! The best things happen in person. A terrific series of coincidences, along with a your own “seeding” the interview with your own assertiveness. Best of luck with this, Kris.

-- Dave E. "People who are competent are worth the oil it will take to fry them in hell." --Mencken

View littlecope's profile

littlecope

2967 posts in 2250 days


#6 posted 03-21-2010 11:03 AM

Good for You, Kristoffer!! Enjoying what you’re doing is more than half the battle. I’ve had a lot of jobs over the years… it’s funny, the ones that stand out in terms of enjoyment level were some of the lowest paying… go figure…
Good Luck to You, my Friend!!

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View webwood's profile

webwood

619 posts in 1998 days


#7 posted 03-21-2010 12:14 PM

very cool kristoffer!!

-- -erik & christy-

View lovinmrv's profile

lovinmrv

103 posts in 1808 days


#8 posted 03-21-2010 12:19 PM

Congratulations, man. This economy is brutalizing for too many good people.
I think the lesson learned here is that, if you get the interview, they are pretty much convinced that you can do the job. The questions they are answering is “Can I work with this person? Will he or she fit in?”

Best of luck!

-- Life is a sales job.

View stefang's profile

stefang

13633 posts in 2082 days


#9 posted 03-21-2010 12:37 PM

Congrats on your new job Kristoffer. One good break usually leads to others if a person is reliable and works hard. There are too few of this type of person around these days, so they are much appreciated. We never know where life will lead us, that’s what makes it so interesting.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2570 days


#10 posted 03-21-2010 12:49 PM

This is great, Kristoffer. You should get a lot of benefits from your new job beside just a regular salary coming in that should pay dividends down the road. Good luck with the new job.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View ND2ELK's profile

ND2ELK

13495 posts in 2522 days


#11 posted 03-21-2010 02:22 PM

I have learned over the years that thinks happen for a reason. If something good happens,things just seem to fall in place. I feel God has blessed you in a special way. More good will come from this than bad.

God bless
tom

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View Kristoffer's profile

Kristoffer

671 posts in 1964 days


#12 posted 03-21-2010 02:30 PM

Thanks for the comments, guys. I’m really looking forward to learning a lot as far as finishing goes.
While he and I do have more than a couple things in common…. We’re both a little odd and I hope that our oddnesseseses are compatible rather than clashing.

-- Cheers and God Bless

View rsmith71's profile

rsmith71

269 posts in 1791 days


#13 posted 03-21-2010 02:54 PM

Congrats and good for you man! These days any job is something to be happy about. You are going into this with a wonderful attitude, my dad told me many times that a day you don’t learn something new is a day you probably wasted. Keep learning, it all comes handy at one time or another. And Tom is right, things happen for a reason, whether we see it or not. And usually we don’t see it for many years. Good Luck!

-- Robert - Haven Wood Crafts

View 559dustdesigns's profile

559dustdesigns

632 posts in 1916 days


#14 posted 03-21-2010 03:16 PM

I could use a little of your good luck right now in central California it’s not easy even finding an interview. As they say getting your foot in the door is half the battle. I haven’t had an interview in months. I’ve been applying to 3-5 places a week.

-- Aaron - central California "If you haven't got the time to do it right, when will you find the time to do it over?"

View CharlieM1958's profile (online now)

CharlieM1958

15797 posts in 2966 days


#15 posted 03-21-2010 03:18 PM

Good story with a happy ending! I have a feeling this will be a great experience for you.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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