Do you love your (non woodworking) day job?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Coffee Lounge forum

Forum topic by Alin Dobra posted 02-17-2008 06:41 AM 2733 views 1 time favorited 52 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Alin Dobra's profile

Alin Dobra

351 posts in 4087 days

02-17-2008 06:41 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Judging by comments on this website, it looks like most woodworkers are not very happy with their day jobs unless their job is woodworking related, of course. I was wandering, though, how many people love their day job. I’m not talking about tolerating or liking their day job. I’m talking about really liking their job.

As for myself, I love my job and I think it is way more exciting than woodworking. The reason I like woodworking is because it relaxes me way more than anything else. In case you are wondering, I am a Computer Science professor at University of Florida and I spend most of my time doing research in Databases and related areas. While in woodworking I am sure I’m doing things tried many times before, in my research area I sure I’m doing things that nobody ever thought about.

So, do you really, really like your day job. If you do, tell us what it is.


-- -- Alin Dobra, Gainesville, Florida

52 replies so far

View lazyfiremaninTN's profile


528 posts in 4152 days

#1 posted 02-17-2008 07:10 AM

I absolutely LOVE my day/night job.

CONS: I see dead people. I have to take care of drunks. I have to put people in body bags. I have to put kids on helicopters. I have to put up with verbal and physical abuse from people that won’t remember in the morning. I have to deal with people on probably the worst day of thier lives. I have to go tell a woman of 80 that her husband of 60 years is dead and watch the tears flow, while she wonders what is going to become of her life. I have to see things that will put most people in to counsling for the rest of thier lives. I have to see the kids that were beat by thier mother because they tried to call thier grandmother to come pick them up when the came home from school and found thier mother strung out.

PROS: I work 24 hours at a time so that I have the next 2 days off. I get paid to take naps at work and not get in trouble. I get to fight fire. I get to save lives. I get to cut cars in to lil’ bitty pieces. I get paid to sleep. I get to stick tubes/things in peoples noses, mouths, necks, arms, or legs (I have put them in other bad places). I get to make people feel better when they are sick. I get to make fun of drunks. I get to see LOTS of blood. I get to blow the air horn and run the siren. I get to DRIVE FAST. I get to get a hug and occasional thank you.

But the real reason I am a Paramedic/Firefighter is that I go home at the end of my shift knowing I made a difference in the world.

-- Adrian ..... The 11th Commandment...."Thou Shalt Not Buy A Wobble Dado"

View ErsatzTom's profile


104 posts in 4005 days

#2 posted 02-17-2008 09:28 AM

Some days I love my job and some days I tolerate it. If I wasn’t getting paid to write software, I would still do it for fun. I wouldn’t, however, choose the same projects. It is hard to complain when you get to work from home doing something you really enjoy, but I make the effort sometimes anyway. ;) I guess I love my job the best when I am learning new skills and building interesting systems. I like it the least when I am beating my head against the wall trying to support systems that should just be replaced.

One of the big draws of woodworking, though, is the physicality of it. After spending so many years building things with no real physical existence, it is great to work on something I can hold in my hands.

-- Tom, Southwest Florida

View Staff_Sergeant_Chad's profile


28 posts in 3952 days

#3 posted 02-17-2008 09:50 AM

Well, I’m the Army. It pays the bills… kind of. But given the time and resources, I’d rather own a workshop and build (make sawdust) all day. I guess since I’ve been around it my whole life it’s just in my blood, can’t shake it!!

-- “If God dwells inside us like some people say, I sure hope He likes enchiladas, because that's what He's getting” - Jack Handey

View Grumpy's profile


24638 posts in 4050 days

#4 posted 02-17-2008 10:24 AM

Now Alin I have the perfect job. I have no job, I am a retired real estate valuer/manager. Every day is a Saturday & woodworking is fun. If I don’t do it today there is always tomorrow.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View RickL's profile


253 posts in 4140 days

#5 posted 02-17-2008 02:42 PM

Alin, good question and got me thinking about the word”love” before I could answer. Taken from a Google search on (there are 21 different definitions)
17. to have a strong liking for; take great pleasure in: to love music.
18. to need or require; benefit greatly from: Plants love sunlight.

So thinking about it that way I have a strong liking for, do get some pleasure from, and I certainly need, require, and benifit greatly from the monthly paycheck. Speaking of which I have 23 more of those before I get to get into Grumpy’s current position :)

My job now is to be sure all of the raw and packing materials used in the making of Pringles Potato Chips arrive in good condition and ,meets the specifications for design and quality, arrive on time and in the right quantity, etc. Any upset in the system creates a problem that neeeds to be solved and that is where I get my most pleasure, solving the day to day issues, making a decision, and seeing the results of that decision quickly.

-- Rick, Union,KY

View tpastore's profile


105 posts in 4015 days

#6 posted 02-17-2008 03:00 PM

I love my day job. It is stressful because it is challenging but I tend to try to overachive so it suits me well. I am a Senior Program Manager for a company that makes x-ray scanning security equipment. So basically we get an order and I am the one that manages the customer, contracts, engineering, manufacturing, quality, shipment, construction, installation, acceptance, training, and oh yeah I have to do it on buget and on time. Couple that with 5 other programs that are each in the 8 figure range, and it is amazing it all goes as smooth as it does.

But that is not the reason I love it…..The equipment we make is security equipment. It goes into Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel, US Borders, US cargo ports, and places all over the world. This equipment is different than any other x-ray scanning equipment in that the doses are so low (1 scan = you sitting at your desk for 10 minutes…x-rays from the sun) and the equipment specializes in finding organics. Organics translated means it finds drugs, explosives, people, money, animals, cigarrettes, and other things you want to see. We scan luggage at the airport and give the operators a totally different view than any other company. We scan people at the airport that do not want to be patted down. We scan cars and trucks at border crossings. We scan cars and trucks exiting ports, entering military bases, airports, and parking garages. Normally we do not hear about things that are found due to security concerns, but about once a month or so we do and it makes everything worth while.

I am a mechanical design engineer by trade. I have evolved away from MDE and woodworking is a way for me to get back to my roots. I also find that when your fingers are close to things that could cut them off, you tend to be totally focused on what you are doing and not worrying about the presentation you should be working on.


View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4021 days

#7 posted 02-17-2008 03:12 PM

Hi Alin,

I am retired from my paying job like Grumpy but I get to “work” all day with my three and four year old grandsons. I get to act and play like a 4 year old again and nobody thinks anything strange of it. (But I don’t object too strenuously when their mothers take them home in the afternoons).

It does limit my woodworking time as I wouldn’t dream of letting these two very active and inquisitive young men around any of my power tools but we do get to do some small projects together. I would try to teach them how to hand cut dovetails but I still need to learn this myself and, knowing them as I do, they probably would end up teaching me.

Do I like my current “job”? The answer is a resounding YES. This is absolutely the most satisfying job I have ever held. I don’t recommend it for the money (none, of course) but the hugs I get and seeing their day-to-day developments are priceless.

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

View Boardman's profile


157 posts in 3960 days

#8 posted 02-17-2008 03:27 PM

For the majority of my working life I was in corporate sales in the steel industry. Typical accounts were end users like tool and die shops, plastic mold makers, aeronautical parts mfrs. It was interesting work in that I saw how many things were manufactured, I was on the road all the time and got to see lots of different places, and I was able to develop my own plans and activities.

But it was a job, and I was subject to over-riding corporate structure that could be incredibly short-sighted and ignorant at times, and I sometimes had to deal with people I was just as soon set fire to.

Now I’m a full time woodworker, and literally can’t wait to get to my shop each day. For the first time in my life I DO actually love what I’m doing for a living, and wish I’d been doing it all my life. After a working career in which my “results” were no more than a monthly print-out, I like the immediate gratification of seeing a physical representation of my work, and I’ve found I have some inate talents in design and creativity.

I wonder what percentage of people actually love what they do for a living. To me it’s made all the difference.

View Dadoo's profile


1789 posts in 4189 days

#9 posted 02-17-2008 03:40 PM

I used to work as a paid EMT Paramedic but after ten years of getting “pooped” on I went into Nursing. I do still volunteer as a Firefighter/EMT for a local town though. Today I work at a medium sized hospital where I get to wear my jammies (scrubs) and sneakers. I get to work with pretty girls…a fact that my wife isn’t too happy with. And I get to save lives…which is what we did just 5 hours ago. I work 7pm till 7am, 3 nights a week=40hours pay and then get 4 days off to play in the my lab! Nursing is my true calling and I do love the job. And when I retire…It’ll be to the woodshop.

-- Bob Vila would be so proud of you!

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 4074 days

#10 posted 02-17-2008 03:46 PM

I am a pilot for the Minnesota Department of Transportation. I meet a lot of interesting people (Including a former professional wrestler). I like to say it sure beats working for a living.

View Boardman's profile


157 posts in 3960 days

#11 posted 02-17-2008 04:37 PM

Err…rikkor….is that wrestler a former governor? He would be “interesting” without a doubt.

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 4161 days

#12 posted 02-17-2008 04:40 PM

I’m not sure which is my “Real job”. Sometimes I’m a saddle maker and some times I’m a cabinet maker and sometimes I’m an artist. But….I will always be a horseman and a stockman. I’ve been lucky. I’ve never made a lot of money and seldom had insurance and retirement but I’ve spent most of my life doing what I wanted to do. I’m kind of gimpy in the legs now but still would rather be horseback but only on nice days. LOL “It’s always about the horses.”

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View cz29's profile


14 posts in 3986 days

#13 posted 02-17-2008 05:03 PM

I definitely love my job! I am a research assistant at a university, meaning I’m getting paid to get my masters degree in Forest Ecosystem Science & Silviculture. I’m working on growing BIG white pine trees with lots of clear wood in mixed conifer forests.

As an amateur woodworker, I’m enjoying getting to know the business of wood production (my thesis will have a fair bit of economic analysis). As a self proclaimed greenie, I love learning how to sustainably manage our most renewable resource, and I like knowing that clear white pine inevitably ends up in long lived wood products, like all the stuff seen on this site.

View Jim's profile


120 posts in 4197 days

#14 posted 02-17-2008 05:09 PM

Mine is a love hate relationship I love my job but hate some of the things I have to do like working under a (mystery drip) trash truck or sewer treatment injection truck. you learn to keep your mouth shut in a hurry.

-- Jim in Cushing Oklahoma

View motthunter's profile


2141 posts in 3998 days

#15 posted 02-17-2008 05:22 PM

I don’t hate my job, but it does keep me out of the country for a bit longer than I prefer every month. Woodworking is what keeps me sane. I work in international trade and spend most of my time far from home.

It requires great concentration and complications involving trans cultural ideas, multi-lingual challenges, and a lot of boredom sitting on long flights and eating airport food. When I get in my shop, my head clears and my hands get used. This is the recharge time my head requires.

-- making sawdust....

showing 1 through 15 of 52 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics