What do you for a living. And what do you earn.

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3/1/2020 6:32 AM

I live in Finland and work as a Lineworker and monthly i will earn 2800$ before tax. And yearly when all the taxes and pension has done it, i will have around 27 000$, for myself i always find it hard to have much cash over for dirtbikes end of the months. so it would be cool to se what you guys in US earns, form what i gather the monthly pay out is usually higher in US

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3/1/2020 7:04 AM

I have always had more than one job. Sometimes three. Work harder, not smarter...laughing

By lineworker, guessing you mean electrical lineman? Any storms or natural catastrophes going on over there that you can chase for a massive amount of overtime in a short period of time?

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3/1/2020 7:09 AM
Edited Date/Time: 3/1/2020 7:10 AM

Recently graduated and got my first job in IT. With today's currency exchange I make about 3300 USD a month and 39700 a year, with 6 weeks of paid vacation. 40 hours a week

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3/1/2020 7:51 AM
Edited Date/Time: 3/1/2020 7:52 AM

A skilled trade journeyman in Canada working in the oil and gas field at 10 hours per day on a 14 days on and 7 days off shift would make about $90,000 USD. After tax, that would be about $50,000 take home.

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3/1/2020 8:06 AM

Jack of all trades,legal and non

Income,zero,as far as uncle Sam knows

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3/1/2020 8:07 AM
Edited Date/Time: 3/1/2020 8:08 AM

I'm an ER nurse. I have three jobs, one is a little six bed ER that is a cakewalk compared to my other jobs. It serves as my slightly more steady income. For my other jobs I work per diem through two different companies for various hospitals in the area. I'm pretty much an on-demand nurse for when they don't have enough staff in the ER. I get tax free travel money from the companies, because I drive so far to get to the jobs. That is what makes it all worth it. I usually work 3-4 12 hour shifts per week and I do alright. Not sure where it all goes though.

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Instagram: vanillaice782
Amateur helmet painter

3/1/2020 8:47 AM
Edited Date/Time: 3/1/2020 8:50 AM

Regarding salary- I have 16 direct reports located in 8 different countries and I will admit their salaries are all over the place. Obviously dependent on the local market, but also very dependent on how long they’ve been with the company and how good their negotiating skills were. Some guys who have been with the company a long time tend to be paid on the lower end of the scale because every year they get the standard 3% raise...I have a couple new guys making $35k more than a guy who’s been with the company 15 years (all doing the same job)- reason being they negotiated a high salary. Also have long term employees who pushed for bigger raises and got them.

Worst thing you can do is sit around in the same job year after year and never force the company to recognize your worth.

HR handles the salary offers and negotiations of new employees. My ranking determines their raises and bonuses.

In the US some of my guys are making in the low six figures.

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3/1/2020 8:54 AM
Edited Date/Time: 3/1/2020 9:04 AM

1 year in a nursing home out of nursing school while I applied to big city critical care jobs. Then 9 years combined intensive care unit ( ICU) experience. 6 in (surgical intensive care ) SICU, also cross trained to Nuerological intensive care, medical intensive care and trauma sicu. During that time also worked overtime in post anesthesia care unit. Then another 3 in SICU/coronary/heart ICU. Also have trauma training from the military, classified as critical care nurse. During the last 5 have been working full time and school part time finishing adult gerontological acute care NP school. Board certification and Credentialing (in my state, states vary) allows me to treat patients from 13 years old to 100+ years old in both primary care and acute/intensive care. This includes, prescriptive authority, procedures like intubation, central lines, dialysis lines, chest tubes, etc...I want to keep my track within intensive care. Primary care is a whole different animal.

Have a small amount of collective ER time. I give it up to you smashing. ER just isn’t for me. Unless they’re crashing and super-sick. The rest of it just isn’t my thing! Takes special people to be in the ER now a days.

As far as pay it allows me to provide and save for retirement, Its in no way lucrative get rich quick scheme and it takes a lot of work-life balance away. But wife is an OR nurse that helps a ton. As much time as it took to get where I am I might of just went to trade school right out of high school to be an electrician!

As I get older I find that no matter what anyone does, If their dedicated to be the best they can possibly be in their job they generally are incredibly successful. Be it a farmer, an auto technician, auto body shops, car retailers,detailers....electricians...plumbers...restaurant owners, motocross media coverage guys smile...... But nobody sees the long hours at night, all the overtime....all the ups and downs to it. The very successful rarely make excuses, they look at their personal failures and capitalize on them.

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GP740
Since 1987

3/1/2020 9:40 AM

Union finish carpenter in San Francisco. We make $50.50hr and get a $2hr a raise in July for the next 4 years. I made about $120,000 last year.

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3/1/2020 9:44 AM
Edited Date/Time: 3/1/2020 12:44 PM

GeorgiePorgie wrote:

1 year in a nursing home out of nursing school while I applied to big city critical care jobs. Then 9 years combined intensive care unit ( ICU) experience. 6 in (surgical intensive care ) SICU, also cross trained to Nuerological intensive care, medical intensive care and trauma sicu. During that time also worked overtime in post anesthesia care unit. Then another 3 in SICU/coronary/heart ICU. Also have trauma training from the military, classified as critical care nurse. During the last 5 have been working full time and school part time finishing adult gerontological acute care NP school. Board certification and Credentialing (in my state, states vary) allows me to treat patients from 13 years old to 100+ years old in both primary care and acute/intensive care. This includes, prescriptive authority, procedures like intubation, central lines, dialysis lines, chest tubes, etc...I want to keep my track within intensive care. Primary care is a whole different animal.

Have a small amount of collective ER time. I give it up to you smashing. ER just isn’t for me. Unless they’re crashing and super-sick. The rest of it just isn’t my thing! Takes special people to be in the ER now a days.

As far as pay it allows me to provide and save for retirement, Its in no way lucrative get rich quick scheme and it takes a lot of work-life balance away. But wife is an OR nurse that helps a ton. As much time as it took to get where I am I might of just went to trade school right out of high school to be an electrician!

As I get older I find that no matter what anyone does, If their dedicated to be the best they can possibly be in their job they generally are incredibly successful. Be it a farmer, an auto technician, auto body shops, car retailers,detailers....electricians...plumbers...restaurant owners, motocross media coverage guys smile...... But nobody sees the long hours at night, all the overtime....all the ups and downs to it. The very successful rarely make excuses, they look at their personal failures and capitalize on them.

I wasn’t sure if the last paragraph/sentence was in regards to the tradesmen or yourself. In regards to plumbers, it depends on the company your working for and the type of work the company specializes in. At my last one, there were weekly shutdowns at hospitals and several other facilities at night. There were also jobs in which once we started we couldn’t stop until it was complete. I think the worst was at a hospital that needed a chiller replaced. We started at 8am on a Monday morning and didn’t stop until 6pm Tuesday night. Another aspect is if that company does an on call rotation which is totally unpredictable. The biggest sacrifice was the unrealistic expectation of career coming before families from the employer. The thinking of you should be happy having a job. That was the case in 08 but, after the economy started recovering that expectation remained forcing me to move on. You’ll never get your time back with your family. One of my biggest “RAGRETS”. 😉
I’ve been in the field of plumbing for 22 years.
I started off in residential, multi-family apartments from 98-04. Then in 05, I got involved in commercial plumbing. Been doing it ever since along with med gas installations and cryogenics the last 11 years.
The ups and downs were a annual occurrence that you had to plan for in beginning. Seasonal work. Start in February and laid off in Oct/Nov. It was usually the apprentices and the laborers sitting at home. If you were working, you were freezing your ass off outside.
It took commitment and it was very hard at times financially.
I often wonder if I choose the right trade or career. My knees are hammered, as are my back and hands. I’ve had some very close calls and a few injuries along the way.
As far as wages, I started at $8 hr. digging ditches.
The way I see it now, I make enough to pay the bills, take the wife out to dinner once a week and go riding or fishing whenever I want. I think I’m doing pretty good.
Putting financial numbers up doesn’t really emphasize on what’s successful. I’ll leave it at that.

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3/1/2020 10:29 AM

yzken250x wrote:

Union finish carpenter in San Francisco. We make $50.50hr and get a $2hr a raise in July for the next 4 years. I made about $120,000 last year.

I envy you guys. Trim and molding work I just salivate over.

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GP740
Since 1987

3/1/2020 11:51 AM

Touring Audio Engineer retired now but pulled down 80 to 100K a year working around 250 days a year.

More importantly than the money was having a gig where I could be creative and do things my way and work with other creative folks on fun projects. With a gig like that it's never work no matter how crazy it gets sometimes.

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3/1/2020 11:57 AM

CIA Operative is what Harry Backmon says I am, or a spook.

Oil/Gas Consultant overseeing projects all around the world. Also, I just started my own Fire Retardant Clothing brand late last year. I'm tired of getting bent over the counter and railed with no Vaseline with how much clothing is.

Oh, and I never discuss pay, I make a fair living, but I also leave the apartment and 0400 and get home around 1900, 14days on, 14 days off.

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Only 2 things that money can't buy, thats true love and homegrown tomatoes.

3/1/2020 5:26 PM

GM world class technician. Terrible career choice. Pay sucks. The labor rate keeps going up, the cars are harder to work on and get more complicated every year, Labor time keeps getting cut down on warranty jobs, pay stays the same. Max of 3 weeks vacation after 10-15 years. You used to make good money in this field, but that keeps going down.

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2018 KTM 250sx
Instagram CamaroAJ

3/1/2020 5:49 PM

My advice is to try to find the sweet spot between making good money and having a good healthy life. Work hard, play hard. Life goes very quick the older you get. 20's seemed like a great decade, 30's was even better but seemed like it lasted half as long, 40's are best yet but life is flying by quicker than I feel comfortable with. Maybe it's as you get older the more responsibilities you have and life gets really hectic.

I will say this though....you've heard the term "more money, more problems"...it's very true.

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3/1/2020 7:15 PM

brlatm wrote:

CIA Operative is what Harry Backmon says I am, or a spook.

Oil/Gas Consultant overseeing projects all around the world. Also, I just started my own Fire Retardant Clothing brand late last year. I'm tired of getting bent over the counter and railed with no Vaseline with how much clothing is.

Oh, and I never discuss pay, I make a fair living, but I also leave the apartment and 0400 and get home around 1900, 14days on, 14 days off.

I envy that work schedule - not the hours, but the days on/off. My old room mate works on flight simulators for Southwest Airlines, and at one point, he was doing 8 days on (10 hours/day) and 5 off.

As for me, I do public relations for the US Navy's Morale, Welfare and Recreation program. I'm not getting rich by any means, but I make enough that I supported myself and my 2 kids as a single dad for six years (I got remarried a couple of months ago, and the extra income is really helping, though).

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3/1/2020 7:34 PM

I did the whole college thing and was let down finding out the salaries of positions once I graduated. worked at a machine shop as a junior engineer/designer for 5 years but saw zero room for growth (small company) and was stuck at 50k a year for the foreseeable future. I Quit.

Now I Move, deliver, and dispose of hot tubs for myself. I deliver them for a couple of stores that contract me. also move about 100 used hot tubs a summer from people buying and selling them secondhand on craigslist. I also buy and sell hot tubs myself and sometimes get lucky when people call me to take their broken hot tub to the dump and I fix it and sell it for a couple grand. Did over 100k last year in my first full year on my own schedule and can take it easy most of the winter. (went to Bali for a month in December smile Life is good.

When I would make as much or more on a Saturday as I was making all week working at the machine shop I knew it was time to quit the 9-5 job.

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3/1/2020 8:03 PM

I'm in IT in a well known company. I could probably retire right now comfortable at 56 but I work from home, get paid very well and I enjoy what I do so why not keep doing it until someone pisses me off enough to leave? I got a lot of my initial training in the air Force back in the mid 90s (after being a fighter jet mechanic for 12 years before that). I must say though that my wife started working at Walmart as a checker shortly after we got married back in the 80s and she's been collecting Walmart stock through her job all these years and right now she's actually worth more than me even though I have consistently made about 3 times what she makes. smile We've had everything paid off for a while now and we've got a pretty good chunk saved up. You wouldn't know it by the way we live though. We don't have a fancy house or cars (yet). I like to stay under the radar. I should probably find a piece of wood to knock on. I'll probably get bumped off by Corona virus tomorrow. smile

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3/1/2020 8:11 PM

I work for myself as a private contractor. I'm basically what you would call a " Sub-contractor " in the drywall part of construction. My hourly rate is $65.00/hr , with minimum charges on small stuff , which is $250.00 for the first 2hrs , and then my normal rate of $65.00/hr after that. The hourly rate isn't bad , but I do have days or at least some hours where I make zero dollars. I can take two days and drive around and bid 6 jobs , and not get any of them. But......I have 3 main general contractors I work for , that I do all their work , so I don't advertise , as they can keep me pretty buried. Anything above and beyond what those three contractors give me is considered a bonus , or " extra work ". About 109 months out of the year I stay extremely busy , and the other 2 months I'll use for some vacations or need to hustle and line some work out. About 28 years in the trade , and the last 12 have been on my own.

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And there goes Jeffro. One of God's own prototypes. A super high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.

Pimpin' Ho's , Rollin' fatty's......drinkin' beers , beers , beers!! ~ Ja

3/1/2020 8:16 PM
Edited Date/Time: 3/1/2020 8:17 PM

Union electrician. Only a 1st year apprentice though, but the dough will be nice by my 3rd year and even better when I top out. I do however have 3 pensions, an annuity, a vacation fund, and awesome health care in the meantime so that is good. Journeyman in my local working 40 hours a week bring home $1,000.

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3/1/2020 8:17 PM

Home Improvement contractor, specializing in painting, but a little of everything. Remodeling is my next move. What do I earn? Sometimes I’m killing it, then some days I’m paying to work lol

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3/1/2020 8:19 PM
Edited Date/Time: 3/1/2020 8:22 PM

I'm a police officer in a third class city. I get paid pretty well, have excellent medical benefits, good vacation/personal/sick allotment, free cell phone and a solid pension. I wont ever get rich at this job but I make more than typical middle class in my area and get to retire after 20 years on the job. I could retire at 50 but I'll stick around til I'm 52 to take advantage of the Citys DROP program. I get 70% of my pay after retirement, so if I make $100k I'll get paid $70k per year til I die.

One thing to take into consideration, $100k in my area (N. Central PA) is worth a lot more than $100k in an area such as NYC, LA, Las Vegas etc. So comparing pay is difficult.

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3/1/2020 9:02 PM

Prntscrn wrote:

Recently graduated and got my first job in IT. With today's currency exchange I make about 3300 USD a month and 39700 a year, with 6 weeks of paid vacation. 40 hours a week

This is good to hear. I’m hoping to work in IT too and will hopefully be done with my Bachelors degree in the next year and a half. How long were you in school?

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2017 CRF450r

3/1/2020 9:03 PM

I’m a small contractor that does home remodels in San Diego county.
I work very hard and do the majority of the project on my own.
Finish carpenter is my main skill but I also do my own plumbing, electrical, drywall/mudding, tile work, wood flooring . Only sub out solid surface countertops. I base my estimate/proposals on a hourly rate of $80-$150 per hour depending on the wealth of our clients.
If it’s a school teacher she gets me for $80,
A multi millionaire who tells me he is on a tight budget gets a bid based on $150 per hour.
my wife helps with design and finish work. We are booked into the next Fall and have to turn away new projects. The remolding business here n San Diego County has kept me working steadily for years,
Even through recessions.
I’m 60 now and work pretty short days.

Construction work can be very good but the wages do vary greatly depending on where you
live.

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3/1/2020 9:06 PM

agn5009 wrote:

I'm a police officer in a third class city. I get paid pretty well, have excellent medical benefits, good vacation/personal/sick allotment, free cell phone and a solid pension. I wont ever get rich at this job but I make more than typical middle class in my area and get to retire after 20 years on the job. I could retire at 50 but I'll stick around til I'm 52 to take advantage of the Citys DROP program. I get 70% of my pay after retirement, so if I make $100k I'll get paid $70k per year til I die.

One thing to take into consideration, $100k in my area (N. Central PA) is worth a lot more than $100k in an area such as NYC, LA, Las Vegas etc. So comparing pay is difficult.

That’s cool agn5009. My son is also a police officer.....I’m a union Sheetmetal worker( which means I install duct). Make around a 100k a year. Been getting some interesting offers that could take me well past that tho. Seems like a lot of work in my field right now.

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3/1/2020 9:29 PM

Sgt with a local SO...like agn said, never going to get rich, but decent benefits, take home car, issued phone, and could retire at 46 with 20 yrs (can’t collect until 53 without penalty though, so I’ll stay longer-2% extra for each additional year I work).
I’ve gotten to work with some of the finest people I’ve ever known. I’ve gotten to drive fast and get paid to do it. I’ve had the proverbial front row seat to the greatest show on earth. I’ve had the privilege of genuinely helping people, and I’ve also had to experience things no human should have to. All in all it’s been a hell of a ride. Would I do it again, knowing what I know now? Not sure...probably not. At a minimum I’d have applied myself to a different degree as a fall-back. But at this point, I’ll finish with 20-25 yrs and move on to a new career-just not sure what it is yet.

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3/1/2020 10:20 PM
Edited Date/Time: 3/2/2020 12:45 AM

SRE (site reliability engineer) for a top 5 FI (financial institution) .

Sadly exclusively for production systems (results in always oncall, working nearly every weekend covering planned & unplanned changes / incidents).

Position has been previously titled Network Admin, Systems Analyst / Eng , Dev Ops, etc but now that the company I work for has publicly made it known they're the 1st to move all processing 100% to the cloud (as of 2yrs ago) they've bought into the Google SRE footprint (though it's turning out that SRE is impossible as the poor folks selected for the super "SRE" team it's turning to be true that it's not possible for anyone to know everything about every area!!! Gone are the days of a network admin, a storage team, DB admin, network team, development team, ops team, QA / pre-prod team etc as instead the new model at least in my env has turned into one button deployments & now I am responsible for DB tuning / support, networking (instead of a f/w everything's managed via ELB's in the cloud), etc.

Pay range for my exact position within the company I work for ranges from: $75k - $130k salary (plus 20% target perf bonus), insanely great benefits (the lone reason I've given up weekends the past nearly 10 yrs so that my wife's $14,500 monthly oral chemo is covered at a flat $75 vs the 10% co-pay most insurance plans require for cancer / specialty drugs). Benefits avail when working for a top 5 bank cannot be beaten.

I won't have to work 60-80 hrs routinely though any longer after next month as last month I found out I've being "laid off". I'm still an employee and my only duty at the moment is to find an external position which I'm grateful for as well as an upcoming 12 week severance package but COBRA at $1,550 per month will be costly though considering our medical needs I'll be glad to hold on to this insurance even paying COBRA rates as we could easily go broke even if I find a job locally (I've been working remote the past 10yrs & finally a 2017 rule that all employees must live within 25miles of 5 designated co-location sites has caught up with me) - if the insurance doesn't include cancer meds at a flat rate we'll be broke paying 10% which is average for most insurance plans for my wife's med (10% will be $1,450 for her single orcal chemo monthly called Tasigna which is more than our house note just for that single med which she requires daily to remain alive so I hope somehow I find a position w/ premium insurance or my salary won't matter.

Cancer sucks (my wife and myself are of normal height / weight, do not smoke / drink etc but both of us have blood mutations found under the age of 40, my case is inactive for the moment though her cancer is an active leukemia & we both are followed regularly requiring 6-8 hr drives to a large regional cancer center)


I'm going to miss not only the premium health insurance but also the 5 weeks vacation which allowed me to take off to take my wife to the cancer center regularly (I still have always had to work on the road and still oncall even when on PTO but at least i could take her ).

Anyway I'm going to miss the benefits of my position . By some miracle maybe I'll find a position locally w/ decent pay and premium insurance plus paid time off to take my wife to the cancer center every 3 - 6 months. I won't miss working nights / weekends (plus norm biz hrs) and the stress of prod issues / changes for a top 5 bank but I'm nervous as heck about losing our insurance which has allowed us not to go broke when my wife was diag w/ cancer and lost her job as a result .

A lesson : Live well below your means if at all possible!

Thankfully in our case we didn't learn this lesson b/c we were careful and only lived as if we had a single income so in 2014 we didn't go bankrupt when we suddenly became a single income family when my wife was diag w/ cancer - definitely try not to buy a house or set your budget based on 2 incomes b/c in our case at just under 40 we had huge shock when my wife became disabled & new medical costs appeared (even w/ great insurance the new medical costs were a decent sized hit especially considering the loss of an income which my wife made as much as me as an RN of 15 yrs). Definitely try to live beyond your means if you want to be able to make it thru a tragic event such as your spouse being diag w/ cancer or another career ending expensive to treat perm illness.

In 2012 we purchased a house that required a loan of well under 1/2 of what we were qualified to borrow. Thank goodness we've always budgeted as if we only had a single income.


Sadly we couldn't make it to SX this year as my wife's been dealing with the effects of complications (low phosphorous) following an iron infusion which was required after she went thru 3 oral chemo's last year - so we just missed Dallas and Atlanta which were the only two events we can get to practically (driving in 8 or so hrs) - we usually fit Houston into an MD Anderson trip but that wasn't possible this year since Houston wasn't on the schedule.

Gringo/ Darkside / Weege / Blake Wharton and maybe a few others prob may figure out who I am if somehow they saw this post (thankfully everyone forgets my wife has cancer when they 1st see her as she starts out well most Supercross days in the pits in the afternoon but by the main event she's usually near the press box rest rooms w/ nausea issues then everyone that sees her at that point or afterwards knows, nope she's not ill from perhaps drinking too much, it's the darn chemo effects ) - so maybe I'm giving out to much info but I hope this helps anyone to realize that it's always best to budget for a single income even if your'e a younger dual income household.

It's been an insane crazy past few years & about to get really crazy now that we'll find out how my wife's cancer, my own not yet active blood cancer ends up (I have IVIG infusions to begin next month & a kidney biopsy Wednesday which though I've been thru many bone marrow biopsies, i'm terrified of this upcoming renal biopsy as it's too easy for complications to arise and it sounds painful plus you will definitely (1st time in my case) urinate blood for a few days even if all goes well. I have to have the renal biopsy though (even though I just had bilateral bone marrow biopsies, full body PET/CT recently) as it is the only way to determine early Myeloma renal damage b4 it's "too late" & I need to be sure I don't have active Myeloma b4 my benefits cease next month b/c if so I still have a long term disability policy in play which I'll lose when my employment fully ends soon. W/ my wife already having leukemia and unable to work we'd really be in trouble if my case becomes active and I don't have a decent income / disability policy in place as neither of us would be able to work plus we'd obviously have issues w/ both of us being actually "sick". Cancer sucks especially incurable blood cancers (at least some cases can be cured for years if not forever but my wife's case requires daily treatment and if my case is active Myeloma is not curable either - my best hope is that a vaccine in clinical trials will kill all Myeloma cells which is the only possible cure anytime soon and hopefully something I can get prior to having an active Myeloma case. Not looking fwd to the renal biopsy in a few days - if anyone here has been thru a kidney biopsy - let me know if u have any tips!

Matthes / Darkside / Weege / Blake Wharton and maybe a few others would prob know who I am based on this post but not like they will read this and I don't know anyone here on vital so i guess it's cool or maybe i shared too much, ha (not many people that they come across my age have blood cancer mutations, especially a younger "normal" husband and wife couple in our case it kinda stands out once anyone finds out what's going on for us - thankfully everyone forgets my wife has cancer when they 1st see her as she starts out well most Supercross days in the pits in the afternoon but by the main event she's usually near the press box rest rooms w/ nausea issues)

Maybe I'm giving out to much info but I hope this helps if someone sees this and can consider :

"budgeting for a single income even if they have a 2 income household b/c ya just never know what may happen......... "

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3/1/2020 10:21 PM

Photo

I make almost as much money as I spend, tens of dollars man we're big time time ballin'....laughing laughing Actually we do ok, we're by no means "Rich" we get by and have fuck off money, but it took awhile to build it up to this point, We have about 140 pools and spas on service, (18 commercial accounts that are multiple stops per week) I have 2 full time guys doing the cleaning and weekly service. My wife does the monthly billing and I do all the rest of the office work, phone calls, parts and chemical ordering, tracking and bill paying, customer pr and most repairs,myself. I have an independent repair guy I sub out technical repairs to like heaters, electronic and wifi issues to. I hate electronics and trouble shooting electronic problems. I can plumb a pool and spa combo with solar, a 3 tiered waterfall and 4 water features no problem, but if a customer can't turn his spa on with his phone I'm baffled, I sub that shit out.unsure Most days I'll put in 10 plus hours between the office and physical work, more in the summer, but then I can also blow off a Friday and a Monday if I want to go away for a long weekend. I never schedule anything on Monday after a race or camping weekend, so that parts cool. Officially we make about 75K a year, the unofficial books look better. But I have been building this thing for 40+ years now.
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3/1/2020 10:36 PM

XR75_Flamethrower. No idea who you are but good luck to both you and your wife. Doesn't sound like you 2 got a fair shake. Positive thoughts and vibes sent your way , good luck !

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3/1/2020 11:23 PM

I'm a toolmaker with a specific focus on metrology, which is precision measurement via laser tracker. In the aerospace world a toolmaker is responsible for taking all the other parts (frame from the weld shop, milled parts from the machine shop, and all the nuts/bolts/hardware) to make a jig or fixture look like the engineering drawing. The tracker comes in handy for this because our tolerance windows are so small. All the points of contact with the actual aircraft being built have to be within .005 of their 3D model engineering versions. The laser trackers these days have accuracy down to the 10 thousandths (.0001). Our tolerances are extremely tight so that production can have the most room possible when actually building the plane. This is absolutely necessary because often planes are built in pieces all across the country by sub-contractors and shipped to one place for final assembly. So it's important everyone plays by the same rules and works off the same systems.

This is also how ship building operates these days, as well as complicated structural assembly. I've been pretty lucky because there aren't many people who do this job anymore. The old guard who grew up doing my job with transits,bucking boards, and levels are all aging out. Now you need to not only be good with your hands, you also have to have computer skills. The ability to understand complicated measurement software and hardware skills to keep the tracker itself alive and operating.

This gig has been a sweet one for me. It pays very well (last year I made 130k) and because the skill is so hard to find it's very in demand. I have worked for Vought Aircraft on a huge variety of projects from Boeing commercial lines to military aircraft like the C-17 and V-22. I fulfilled a childhood dream of working in the space industry for SpaceX and NASA contracting on their new SLS mega rocket. And I got to come back home and get a job with the largest defense contractor in the world Lockheed Martin, building the F-35 and supporting legacy jets like the F-22 and F-16. All before the age of 40.

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