First week back in aerospace work…

10 Mar

Its good to be back at work. I’m a little sad to only see my shop a couple days a week, but the cash flow can only help the plans I have for starting a business.

How was the first week back?

I was glad that I  A) had made friends the first month that I’d worked in aerospace because it made the process of returning for another go so much smoother and relaxing  and B) that I’d done the best I could in the time I was given with the company– let’s call it company C– because no doubt that is one of the reasons I was asked to come back.

I work the evening shift which seems to suit me very well. I’ve always enjoyed staying up late rather than getting up early. At the same time I don’t work the “night shift”, so I feel like it’s not a far stretch from a normal schedule. One of the things I miss out on is weeknight gatherings with friends. Aside from that I’m pretty content with the hours.

What’s the work like?

Company C builds private jets. I build drawers for the kitchen area of the plane. I was popped right back in to the same job, so that helped me feel comfortable. I’d only really had two weeks of training in this department before getting laid off so I’ve needed some memory refreshing from my coworkers. I feel like I’m ten times slower than all the people around me, but then again I’m new, and I imagine speed will come with time. But for now I fret over my pace. Just like with my first woodworking job (at company A).

The work is hyper precise, way more than I am when I’m simply woodworking. I don’t even own a ruler that has thousandths of an inch on it, but it’s standard at company C to use thousandths.I value this because surely the work will hone my skills.

First impressions can be misleading…

It’s funny because when I was in woodworking school, we took a tour of an aerospace company similar to company C. I found it to be a scary environment because the ceiling was 100 feet above, the workspaces were small, and it was such a factory job. I never wanted to work there. I didn’t like the idea of factory jobs.

As it turns out company C is quite different from that first aerospace company that my class had visited. The pay is better from what I’ve heard, which gives an atmosphere that company C values their employees, and the ceilings are way lower. It’s not one giant loud cube of a building. It’s long and spread out which makes it feel more intimate and private. Basically I surprised myself by applying for a factory job, thinking I’d hate it, but I don’t because thankfully company C doesn’t feel like a factory. All of the plane interiors are custom, details in the designs change, and we each have some specific tasks to do that are not at all repetitive, except that every six days we start a new plane. In fact my first woodworking job at company A was way more repetitive work, the longer I stayed on there. I would work sometimes 8hrs just sanding at company A. At company C I have many different tasks to do and it’s often challenging because of the strict building tolerances and things often need adjusting.There’s satisfaction in completing your job too.

The fine print…

I work as a contractor, which is why I was laid off for three months. Contractors don’t get all the benefits that permanent workers do. Stability is up in the air, so I’m apprehensive about starting back at work with company C.  I was bitten and now I’m twice shy. I imagine I’ll stay on longer this time, which would be ideal.

I’d like this job to carry me through a period that will see me building things in my shop during my weekends and slowly growing my client base until I can work in my own shop full time. I want to make sure that when I start my woodworking business I’m actually ready, and not just setting myself up for failure or super high risk.

Up next I’m going to show off my newest tool purchases and go into some detail about them.

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