Monday, May 13, 2013

school week.

this week is kind of a weird week here at the meyers house. its school week. i realize that last sentence probably doesnt make any sense to most people so let me do a little bit of explaining. this is my husband james:

not even six months after relocating back to california and completely starting our lives over from scratch (ill tell you more about that later), james got a really really fantastic job as a carpenter with a company that builds wood athletic floors. and its not just any job, its a union job. on the one hand this is super awesome (i mean, we have real health insurance for the first time ever), but on the other hand, the union has a way of making a fairly straightforward job incredibly complicated. enter school week. 

the short explanation goes like this: the carpenters union has what they call an "apprenticeship program", which means that new hires (like james) start at the very bottom of the pay scale, and after every 400 hours worked, they have to attend a mandatory, unpaid, 40 hour week of classes about carpentry to earn credits which then accumulate to earn their promotions (and therefore raises). this cycle repeats over and over through 8 levels of apprenticeship to become a journeyman. this is supposed to take around three years. 

basically what this means for us is that if we commit to around three years of poverty (remember, james started at the bottom of the pay scale) and inconvenience (since when you go to school is determined by hours worked, theres really no telling when it will happen and its always a bad time), we wont have to be poor forever because one day james will be a journeyman and then we can do middle class things like live in a real house and buy a new car and go on vacations and shop at trader joes. at least, thats what i tell myself. 

the biggest issue with school week though (aside from being mandatory and somewhat random, and no, you cant reschedule without VERY good reason) is that its from 6:30 am to 3:00 pm and all the way in whittier. and we only have one car and i cant be stranded at home without it all day so i have to drop him off and pick him up.  now according to google maps whittier is only like 24 miles away but for some reason the traffic is always horrendous and it takes over an hour each way (except at 5:30 when i drop him off). this means that for five days im spending almost half the day in the car since theres not really anything to do for eight hours with a one year old in whittier. 

thats what i had intended to write about this week, how horribly inconvenient school week is and how i have to cancel all plans and appointments and work for the entire week to be tired and cranky and get a muscle spasm in my back from driving too much (not to mention the extra tank and a half of gas and missing paycheck). but thankfully that didnt happen this time. james got assigned school the same week as one of his coworkers that lives nearby and he was willing to carpool. so this week is only a little bit weird, and thats a huge relief, because i have stuff to do, you know?


  1. That's amazing that he was able to at least find a job and now you guys have benefits! Thanks for sharing! Xo, M&K at