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If you`ve never been up against it

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A few topics discussing labor/travel rates got me thinking/remembering.

I made more money in the late 70s than I`ve ever made since.

I worked out of the Operating Engineers.

I made $10-$12/hr, rented and spent money like it would never end.

Drove hours to/from work with NO reimbursements.

Then came the construction crash of the early 80s.

No work,  health benefits ran out as did unemployment.

Had a daughter and wife left me and filed for divorce.

Moved to a $hitty 10x40 trailer and did odd jobs for my BIL as there was no jobs around.

He paid me $3/hr and made me feel lucky to get it.

I hauled coal in my pickup for customers, shoveled on and off.

Government assistance was available but to me that meant I failed.

I remember being up against it.

Scary feeling.

Maybe this is why I never charged enough when I opened shop to stay alive.

I still don`t because I have been without work/money and I guess "enough" has made me content.

Yeah, poor plan but I sleep OK.

Dozens of arguments against my plan but guess it was my decision.

And a bad one I guess. 

Many of my customers are up against it today, even the BTO ones. 

But during my past health issues, they are the ones who called and offered/gave me help. 

Hmmmm....

Maybe it wasn`t a bad plan.

 

 

 

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Oh, and I remember taking in roadkill deer to eat.

Would take them down to my neighbor`s farm to cut up.

I threw the hides in the gut pile and old neighbor asked me why I didn`t keep and redeem.

I told him they were only worth $5.

He said, "$5 isn`t a lot of money unless you don`t have any money"

Never threw another away....

 

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31 minutes ago, MTO said:

A few topics discussing labor/travel rates got me thinking/remembering.

I made more money in the late 70s than I`ve ever made since.

I worked out of the Operating Engineers.

I made $10-$12/hr, rented and spent money like it would never end.

Drove hours to/from work with NO reimbursements.

Then came the construction crash of the early 80s.

No work,  health benefits ran out as did unemployment.

Had a daughter and wife left me and filed for divorce.

Moved to a $hitty 10x40 trailer and did odd jobs for my BIL as there was no jobs around.

He paid me $3/hr and made me feel lucky to get it.

I hauled coal in my pickup for customers, shoveled on and off.

Government assistance was available but to me that meant I failed.

I remember being up against it.

Scary feeling.

Maybe this is why I never charged enough when I opened shop to stay alive.

I still don`t because I have been without work/money and I guess "enough" has made me content.

Yeah, poor plan but I sleep OK.

Dozens of arguments against my plan but guess it was my decision.

And a bad one I guess. 

Many of my customers are up against it today, even the BTO ones. 

But during my past health issues, they are the ones who called and offered/gave me help. 

Hmmmm....

Maybe it wasn`t a bad plan.

 

 

 

Not in my grown up life but when we were kids. It was a tough go. One thing though we always had livestock that was our food. Chickens, pigs and raised own milk and beef.  Plus my grandparents helped dad and mom a few times . One thing I will say it makes you appreciate a easier life. I will say my Dad and even my Mom were working fools. We did everything ourselves. They sometimes a lot of times they would spend their money foolishly on themselves but my brother and I always were doing something they collected a check for. Back in my 20s the Mennonite potato guy I worked on engines , trucks and tractors for was enough to scare me into a straight life. If you ever put a clutch in a 65 ford 800 tandem at 10 pm or a head gasket into a 4850 jd overnight so they could dig potatoes in the morning you don’t gamble or drink hard earned money away. Another thing is when you do have a health problem in family true friends and good acquaintances really show themselves.

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My Mom was up against it for most of her life. She lost her mother when she was 9(?) Placed into a boarding home where she was free labor( I wrote something not PC but figured someone would b- ch about it)

Was “ loaned” out to others for more free labor. Never finished high school because they needed her to work. Did all the cleaning and ironing for the whole household.

When she was a teenager she met my Dad. Lived in rented houses , because the farmhouse she loved had to be for the hired help. Had 6 kids, all but one was a minor when Dad died. 

Had to sell the cattle and machinery, family wanted her to sell the farm but she told them to f- off.  Moved into the very farmhouse which she loved, after being told it wasn’t fit to live in. (I’m still there 45 years later)

She worked multiple jobs, and helped me get a start in farming.

Hardest working person I ever knew. Died in 6 weeks time from pancreatic cancer. I felt God showed her and us His Mercy because he allowed us to prepare for her death and didn’t make her suffer. 

Miss her terribly 

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1 hour ago, MTO said:

A few topics discussing labor/travel rates got me thinking/remembering.

I made more money in the late 70s than I`ve ever made since.

I worked out of the Operating Engineers.

I made $10-$12/hr, rented and spent money like it would never end.

Drove hours to/from work with NO reimbursements.

Then came the construction crash of the early 80s.

No work,  health benefits ran out as did unemployment.

Had a daughter and wife left me and filed for divorce.

Moved to a $hitty 10x40 trailer and did odd jobs for my BIL as there was no jobs around.

He paid me $3/hr and made me feel lucky to get it.

I hauled coal in my pickup for customers, shoveled on and off.

Government assistance was available but to me that meant I failed.

I remember being up against it.

Scary feeling.

Maybe this is why I never charged enough when I opened shop to stay alive.

I still don`t because I have been without work/money and I guess "enough" has made me content.

Yeah, poor plan but I sleep OK.

Dozens of arguments against my plan but guess it was my decision.

And a bad one I guess. 

Many of my customers are up against it today, even the BTO ones. 

But during my past health issues, they are the ones who called and offered/gave me help. 

Hmmmm....

Maybe it wasn`t a bad plan.

 

 

 

I see it everyday at my work. People complaining about god knows what. I never had a rough go like you Mark but i did have to work for every single thing ive got. I worked as soon as i could. My mother would drop me off and pick me up every single day all summer long before i could drive. Crappy construction jobs with little pay but it sure beat flipping burgers. When i hear the complaining around an otherwise excellent job i think of when i had to buy all of my own tools, got there in my own vehice. Got yelled at for any little thing you did or didnt do. Threatened to be fired for taking 5 minutes too long of lunch. Got into an argument with my boss one time about the way we were doing something and sat at home the next day no pay, needless to say that made me think twice about arguing. Was it rough? Not really, i learned a lot. It was a perfectly normal job. What i have now is much better, but i learned to appreciate it. The hardest part of the whole day is not jumping on the band wagon and bit$%ing about petty things. Just so were all clear i am not referencing my story to anything or anyone on here. Long story short i think Mark has a very valuable point to his story. Learn to appreciate what we all have. 

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Until you live through it, you don't understand it.............Didn't have much growing up, best story is my mom just had my sister at the hospital, since the food was horrible there, she wanted an Arby's roast beef.  My old man and us two boys stopped, got one............only one..............they were less than a buck then I believe, we took it out to her, stayed a bit...................Came home and ate hot dogs with no buns.  At the time we didn't understand it, but looking back on it later, we were darn lucky to just have hot dogs.  Mother was unemployed and my Dad was only working acouple days a week if he was lucky.  

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Growing up I had it pretty good. Dad was in the Army and my parents knew how to budget. Then I got married, had a kid and joined the Army myself. Kids always came first. Milk in the fridge, food on the table and clothing for them. Wife was pretty good with a budget and we were OK. When I was a young soldier you couldn't draw assistance if you were in the military. Carter freezing pay raises saw the military get 13.6% behind the cost of living. We were OK cause the wife didn't have a taste for expensive jewelry and didn't have to have new furniture. Didn't buy new cars and darn sure didn't pay someone to fix em. I worked some on the side for area farmers mostly at Ft Riley and cutting fire wood at Ft Knox. Now in the meantime our family grew. Wife and I raise 7 kids on a soldiers pay. We had kids knocking on the door a day or 2 before payday asking if they could eat out our place cause there were tired of peanut butter. Kids from 1 or 2 kid households. Parents both working. New car in front of their government quarters and new furniture in the house too. All on easy monthly payments. And no, they didn't pay extra for extra kids. When they did start allowing married soldiers with kids get food stamps we didn't even apply. Didn't need em. We, that is my wife and I did without things so the kids had things. We didn't have much but we worked and saved for what we did have. I was sure glad that I liked the Army. I reenlisted in 78 the first time. When they started laying people off like mad when the Carter Reagan recession was in full force I was darned glad that I had decided to stay in. Beside they gave me tanks to play with AND a paycheck! Life could be a lot worse.

Rick

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Growing up on a brood cow farm in the late 60s  into the late 70s things weren't to bad never had a lot of money. Dad worked away and life wasn't bad.Farming then was a whole lot easier,steers 70 cents,hogs 75 if I remember becuse us boys always bought one to put in with his so we had somthing to sell and he guess felt we are getting paid somthing. Farming started gone down hill in 80s,corn beans dropped ,% rate went up lenders just didnt lend the same way.Dad under more stress,I get married move out,farm on the side.My dad died at 58,heart attack.No health insurance,no retirement ,debt and all he knew was work.The Dr said light duty,well no light duty then, he had second heart attack lifting 100 lb bags of wheat in drill. Fast forward to late 80s,bought my own farm,debt up to my neck,milking cows,3 years of drought in 5,2 years historic 35 year droughts.Milk price tanks ,fell 37 percent in a month. We course had milk,eggs,beef and pork.But I mean zero dollars,no feed ,had to buy everything just about.sold timber to pay taxes,sold equ.so the electric would stay on so we could milk.Scraped up change in house to depoist it in bank so checks wouldn't bounce and you had more debt.Junk man had better stuff then I farmed with.We didn't drink,smoke or go out so no vices to cut back on.Stress was almost unbearable,couldn't go across road to get milk check out of mail box ,wife had to.BUT RAISED 3 kids who now are very successful, hard workers,smart.They all were in 4H,Pony Club active in school and hated snow days because they have to help me if they were home from school.Barn work never ended. I thank GOD for them and also for keeping them drug free.I am so lucky.

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Didn't have much as a kid. Dad worked till he had a heart attack and doctor told not go back to work so mom went to work Dad worked few odd jobs. Had 3 sister's and a bother all younger then me. I was the oldest/ Remember getting them up getting them off to school then I would ride my bike to school or walk then after school ride my bike to farmer's place 10 miles away and work till 10 at night and ride back home. That farmer I worked owned the 806 that I have now. Raised a big garden for a lot of food and got milk from my grandparnts cattle for the house.

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Ill agree with everything said above.

Ive told the story before, but ill do it again.

I was born in 1984. When the 80s farm crisis was going full bore. Dad farmed full time and shortly before Mom got pregnant with me she was laid off at the car parts plant she worked at. Around our area at that time, you couldn't get meaningful work in town because of all the layoffs in the area. I know before I was born, the town I live near had a unemployment rate of 28 percent. And this was a town of almost 20,000 at the time. Dad was in a partnership with Grandpa on the farm so they muddled along until $--- hit the fan in 1988. Infamous drought year. Also the time frame my parents decided to get pregnant again with my brother. My brother was born with health problems in October that required surgery. So to pay the deductible and whatever the health insurance wouldn't cover, they burnt through what savings they had. They were flat broke then. My Grandmother on my mom's side helped where she could but she was a widow who had been a stay at home mom other than a few part time jobs while Grandpa was in the Air Force. My other Grandparents weren't going to raise a finger to help my folks out. I learned really early you weren't able to rely on them for much. That Christmas was lean. I got a pedal tractor for Christmas. That was it. Im not shallow but I could tell at 4 years old how bad my parents felt. My Dad ended up on a roofing crew that winter to put food on the table. 

We survived that and then 1990 came around. My Grandpa announced he wanted out of farming and wanted to retire and Dad was going to have to buy him out. Grandpa still owned all the land so Dad had to buy his share of the equipment, the cattle and all the land off of him. The only plus to this was that Dad had the farm paid off before his folks were gone so that my one aunt couldn't touch it when she got greedy. Survive the 80s, just to have to buy your partner out led to a lot more lean years in the 90s. He did offer his physical help until his body started to give out which is where i come in. We picked up more land from my Great Grandpa exiting farming about when my Grandpa's body started failing him. I was 10 and my Dad couldn't afford any help so guess who got tapped. Grandpa would last through the day but by the end he was hurting bad. So with me in the mix either i took over for him when I got home from school or i was on another outfit to get more ground covered. I had to grow up fast in those days. I made money in the process but gave up a childhood in the process as well. 

I sure learned the value of a dollar through all that. The Girlfriend doesn't understand my mindset on if it's working fine it doesn't need to be replaced whenever you get the urge. She was born to a more well to do family that made their money off of farmers backs (commodity traders on the CBOT) she has no clue what tight means. I told her that her Grandparents would help her folks out where mine either couldn't or wouldn't. Her folks had good jobs so they could budget for what was coming in while we were at the mercy of weather and the CBOT for our income where who knows where all that would shake out.

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Never poor here but never had a whole lot of money growing up either. Never had to worry about food, clothing, and housing but didn't have alot of the stuff my classmates did growing up which is fine. I started working for a neighbor doing carpentry and weed eating when I was 12. I paid for my first truck as well as insurance and gas. I had it pretty decent. 

My Dad on the other hand didn't have it so good. His father died when my Dad was between his junior and senior year in 1970. My Dad was the 2nd oldest of four. They were already pretty poor before Grandpa died. Dad actually paid for the family car when he was 13. Dad said in the late 60's they ate alot of rabbit and he hunted alot. He aquired a .22 Remington for digging a ditch for a neighbor otherwise hunting rabbit wouldnt have happened. After Grandpas death Dad worked three jobs in addition to attending his senior year to get the family through.  After he graduated he joined the Navy (received his draft notice while in boot camp). He stayed in 5 years and sent money home and things were definitely better for them for then on out.

As each generation gets further from poverty they understand it less. I always can look back on my Dads experience for reference but it's not the same as living it. 

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6 hours ago, WishIhada1466 said:

As each generation gets further from poverty they understand it less.

Amen.

My father's family got by OK but my mom's were poorer than church mice.

There wasn't a lot of money growing up but we never went hungry. My mom could stretch a dollar! All of us kids worked at various and sometimes multiple jobs growing up and all bought our cars and paid all the expenses.

My kids turned out great. We had the luxury of supplying them cars. They will never appreciate what poor is. Growing up some families in the neighborhood barely got by. Nowadays many of the "poor" have flat screen TVs and cell phones.

I guess it's all relative.

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My oldest gets so mad because I throw out nothing that may have value sometime............I blame that on my youth, I always tell him, if you need it and don't have it you sing a different tune.  But he is about next to spoiled being the first grandchild so he has no clue.

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On 9/11/2019 at 10:14 PM, WishIhada1466 said:

 

As each generation gets further from poverty they understand it less.

There’s an expression that an older generation said to me once and it stuck with me. “ 3 generations from overalls to overalls” which means the first generation makes the sacrifices to accumulate the wealth, the 2nd generation saw the struggles and values that sacrifice the first generation made, and the third generation didn’t see the struggles or sacrifices of the first, and proceeds to squander it away. 

 

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