The One Day Job
I have a friend who told me that he has a hard time retaining employees. The jobs he has are difficult and the pay he offers is very good. His story reminded of a job that I once held for one day.
I was applying for a job at a high tech company when I lived in New Jersey. A day after the interview I was called back to the company where the owner said that he was really impressed with me, but unfortunately the job I applied for was going to be filled by someone who had years of experience in that position with another company. He went on to say that he didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to hire me because I showed him some qualities of good work ethics while being interviewed. He asked if I was interested in working for his other company as a machinist and the pay would be nearly double what the pay would have been for the tech position for which I had applied. I told him that I had no experience as a machinist, but I was willing to give it a go.
The company I was sent to made specialty ceramic pieces for who knows what. Once these things came out of the kiln they needed to be shaped and finished. I was placed on this drill press with a very strange diamond bit. The ceramic piece was placed in a jig and it was my job to drill holes in this piece from different angles.
The ceramic pieces where very hard to the degree one would think they were made of metal. The diamond bits were hard as well, but there was a delicate balance in the milling. If you went too slowly, you weren’t making the production figures, and if you went too quickly you’d burn up the diamond bit. I burned up three bits and only turned out a hand full of finished product by the end of the ten-hour day.
I went home exhausted and went right to bed setting my alarm clock for 5:00 the next morning. When I awoke I could still feel the tension. I wondered if I’d ever get any better at drilling these ceramic bits. By the time I finished my first cup of coffee I realize that I couldn’t see making a career of this occupation. I picked up the phone and called my boss and told him that I was no machinist. I never looked back and I got another job by the end of that day.