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Thread: Gonna Be Short on Shop Time

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM

    Gonna Be Short on Shop Time

    Looks like I'll be cutting WAY back on my shop time. I just accepted a job offer that will put me about 800 miles east of my shop 5 days a week for the next few years. The job is in Albuquerque, so I'll be close to my dad and sister who live there. On the other hand, my wife has been at her job in LA for 20 years, and has no desire to leave it. She also has no desire to leave our house or her friends here. (I also don't want to get rid of our house.) So I'll be staying in a small borrowed condo in Albuquerque during the week, and flying back to LA as often as possible, likely a couple of times per month at first. (I'll be building up a lot of Frequent Flyer miles on Southwest Airlines.) As time goes on, and the project matures, it's likely that I'll be able to do some portion of my work remotely from LA (hopefully a lot of it), but particularly at first, I'll be needed in the Albuquerque office full-time. My shop's gonna become a pretty lonely place, with the exception of the occasional weekend visit.

    I've been unemployed or underemployed for nearly three years. Technical writing/editing jobs in LA have been scarce and low-paying. Woodturning ain't paying the mortgage. And as much as I enjoy it, I can't afford to hang pictures as a career. This new job looks like a perfect fit for my skill set, and it'll put me back into the middle class again. I'm not really looking forward to being away from my wife, my house, my shop, and SoCal, but on the other hand, I've gotta pay the bills. In this economy, you do what you have to do. Click image for larger version. 

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    I start the first week in December, so I've got just a few short weeks to get my ducks in a row and tie up any loose ends I've got here in LA. I have a couple of orders I need to finish up in the shop, but after that, I'll do a good cleaning and waxing and shut the door on my way out. It'll still be waiting for me whenever I come back. In the meantime, I suspect I'll be doing a lot more guitar playing in the months to come. (I can fit a guitar in the back of my SUV a lot easier than a woodshop, and I'm going to need some type of artistic outlet for my spare time.)

    My life has always seemed to go through major changes on a seven-year cycle. We moved into this house in the fall of 2004. This change is right on schedule. Click image for larger version. 

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    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Well my friend, I wish you all the best on this new job. If anyone can pull it off, I think you can. I fully agree with the missing home and wife, but you gotta do what you gotta do. Keep us posted on happenings. Aloha, Tony
    "You got to learn from the mistakes of others. You won't live long enough to make them all yourself". (Author unknown)

    "Time flies like..... an arrow,,,Fruit flies like..... a banana." Groucho Marx

    Ah,,,to live in Paradise!

    Registered voting member

    Fighting for all I am worth, and praying every day.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Vancouver Island, Courtenay/Comox Valley, British Columbia
    I also wish you great success in your new job and lots of good stories for us. Congratulations.
    AKA Young Grasshopper Woodworker
    AKA The Rookie

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    bethel springs TN, but was born and raised in north east PA
    Good luck man, i don't think i could be away from my family that long, but i understand the need to do it. I bet ya you could slip one of them new Deltas in that suv. maybe hide it in the closet at the condo, till you need that turning fix.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Amherst, New Hampshire
    Man, you must of agonized over that decision for quite awhile. Tough decision but you got to do what you got to do. Lots of luck my friend.
    Faith, Hope & Charity

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    RETIRED(!) in Austintown, Ohio
    Best of luck with the new job!

    I've done the long-distance job thing - but only for a year at a time - and it can get pretty stressful. ...But you gotta do what you gotta do. So long as both you and the wife are supportive of one another it'll work out just fine.

    Bummer about the shop time, though. (Maybe a mini-lathe in the condo???)
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    North West Indiana
    Vaughn, I agree with the others saying the distance from the wife will be tough. I thankfully have never had to cross that hurdle. I do understand doing what you have to do to pay the mortgage and survive. Who knows what door(s) this job will provide and possibly open for you. Like Stephen stated, one of those minis would fit and maybe provide your turning fix. Miniature turnings seem to go over very well also. Am glad you will get to see dad more often and converse with him. I can't imagine the turmoil you have been in and what kind of agonizing this situation created. I am impressed with your positive demeanor on here throughout this tough time in your life. My hat is off to you my friend and I sincerely hope all the things you want to happen with this new arrangement happen 100 fold. Give the wife a few mini vacations and fly her to you every now and again. Good luck Vaughn and Mrs. Vaughn.

    God and family, the rest is icing on the cake. I'm so far behind, I think I'm in first place!


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
    I'm excited for you and this new opportunity. When I worked in silly-cone valley through the rise and ruin of the dot-coms I felt like I lived in an airport. LOML lived 600 miles apart for a long time and it worked just fine. I think she just pretended I was in the shop .

    You can indeed have some fun wih all those frequent flyer miles. During one period of time I was away from "home" 240 out of 255 workdays. Once you earned a Southwest guest pass, the person of your choice could fly anywhere you flew for free. This sort of thing can support those too rare weekends together that take the strain off a bi-state relationship (being able to pay the bills doen't hurt either ). We'll look forward to hearing of your adventures. Congrats.
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 11-11-2011 at 12:02 PM.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Plainwell, Michigan
    Congrats on the new job Vaughn, you have waited a long time. Rough on being so far away from home, but as they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder. Best of luck to you and your wife in the new venture

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Rhode Island
    Congrats on the new job bro. You do what you have to do to survive. Just think the time your home with your wife will be even more precious.

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