Sunday, February 3, 2008

Rex Bucy and other Job Hunt Stories

I think I have told this story once or twice but I think it is a good illustration of determination.

Sometime in the early 1950's a man named Rex Bucy lost his job. He had a wife, and maybe a baby or two. He was probably about 30. He got his check on a Friday, and on Monday morning he got up, and asked his wife to pack him a lunch. She asked him where he was going. He told her he was going to work. She reminded him that he had been laid off. He reminded her that no one was going to come to their house and offer him a job either.

So she packed him a lunch. He took his tools, gloves and hat and started his job search. Every day for about two weeks he made the rounds. In about two weeks he got a job working for Adolph Coors, and that is where Grandpa met him I believe. They worked together for the next 25 years or so.

Another story that I thought was a good illustration of determination was one of Grandpa's jobs. He got a job after high school, and before he went into the Navy working at a small machine shop in Longmont. It was an OK job, and while he was there he learned to use a drill press, a milling machine and a metal lathe amoung other tools. Then he heard about a job in Denver running a lathe that paid a lot more.... and he applied for it. They told him to come to work .... like on Monday afternoon for swing shift and gave him a little tour of the shop. Then they showed him the lathe that he was supposed to run. It was HUGE. It could turn rail car wheels - which is pretty big. Grandpa didn't say much but was pretty intimidated by the size and complexity of this machine.

Monday, about noon, or maybe even earlier found him in Denver at the shop. He sat down near the operator and watched him work it. By the time he needed to come on duty, he had figured out how all the controls worked, and realized that while it was bigger, it was really the same machine.

When we were down in Monte Vista, Grandpa ran into a very determined man. Grandpa was running a construction crew, and they were building a large grain storage building for Coors. He had hired n men, but found one day that he had n+1 working there. He asked this extra guy what he thought he was doing. He said that he needed a job, and that he would work for free for a month. If Grandpa didn't want to hire him then, that was fine- he didn't owe him anything. If he found that his work was good and that he was a good worker, he hoped that Grandpa would hire him. I don't remember his name, but I am pretty sure that Grandpa hired him on the spot. This strategy probably wouldn't work in these complicated times, but it worked then.


AnnieOfBlueGables said...

I love that you write all these stories you remember your dad telling you. They need to be written down and passed along to the next generation. I don't mind reading them again too.

Mike said...

I remember you telling these stories when I was young. They were and are my mantra and philosophy when it comes to getting a new job, or working my way up in a current one. Whenever I was out of a job in college, I thought about Rex Bucy or the guy in Monte Vista. Then I would start hunting, find an immediate job, and keep the low-paying-no-fun job until I could find something better.