No, I'm not confused on what year it is. That is the date that I started working at my current place of employment. Before I started there, the longest I had held a job was 3 years and I had done that twice. I was 26 years old and married but had no kids yet. Lets go back to 1999 and see what has changed.
I was working at a steel construction place, where we built steel warehouse type of buildings. Yes, I used to walk steel, on beams that weren't even as wide as my foot, up to 50 feet in the air. It paid pretty well but the hours sucked. We had to be on the job site at dawn. The problem with that was sometimes the site was a couple of hours away. So that means getting up as early as 3 am on some jobs. We would usually be out at the site till around 5 pm so sometimes I wasn't getting home until after 7 pm. I was playing on a couple of softball teams and a bowling league at this time so I usually had to beg my foreman to leave early. Plus, look at the date, October, it was starting to get cold. So I was casually looking for another job. My coach on one of my softball teams told me they were hiring. The pay wasn't as good hourly, but between overtime and bonuses, I could make close to what I did in construction so I took it. I started off where I work on 3rd shift (11pm to 7am). I had never worked a 3rd shift but it's what I had to take to get my foot in the door.
My first night, I sat and racked small parts all night and morning. I was struggling to stay awake. My 2nd night was a little better because I racked big parts. I was standing and moving a lot more so staying awake was easier. My 3rd night, the buddy that got me the job got me moved over to run the overhead crane. I ended up doing that for a year waiting on an opening on the anodizing line and got over to where I work now. Base pay wise, it's the highest paid production job in the plant so within a year, I was making pretty good money. Plus we were working every other weekend mandatory and our monthly bonus checks were $300 to $400 take home. But I was young and stupid, I skipped work all the time and my wife (theEx) never would keep a job so we spent it.
Now, hear I am, 14 years later, doing the same job. Only now I never miss (that changed when I had kids) and I'm making less money. Last year was the first time I had ever made less money than the previous year. We got switched over to 12 hour shifts so the company didn't have to pay as much overtime (Sundays is straight time with the new hours).
Our bonus checks now are about $50, quarterly (every 3 months). I still like my job as in what I do but I no longer like where I work. It used to be a place where you could joke around and have a little fun, it no longer is. It used to be a place where you felt like the company cared about you, it no longer is. It no longer is a lot of things it used to be.
Well that post took a turn to the depressing so lets liven it up a bit by naming some stuff that has changed since 1999.
Ok. Some of that is depressing as well but I am much happier in 2013 than I was in 1999. I’m with someone who loves me and I wouldn’t give my kids up for the world. I’m this close to buying my first home. While I do hate where I work, I am grateful to have job security or at least as long as I can keep my mouth shut. I don’t know where I’ll be in another 14 years but I know every year gets a little better so I’m looking forward to 2027.