In previous blog posts I have discussed dreams, ambitions, and life experiences. Somewhere I missed my experiences as a draftsman. Like everything this experience lasted almost 15 years. So how can I ignore it and the lessons I have learned from it?

Like everything else things happen to us that are totally unexpected. Such a happening fostered my carrer as a draftsman for a mining co. The Bunker Hill company resided in the Silver Valley at Kellogg, Idaho. I have related to you a little of my experience in the lead refinery there. I arrived there on Saturday morning broke and anxious. On Monday morning I went to Bunker Hill and applied for a job. Just any job would do. I really did not want to go underground in the mines but I would have done it. They must have been desperate for help so I took my physical and the next day I showed up for work.

I was assigned to a position on the sampling crew and I felt like I had gone to heaven. The work was easy and I was outdoors amid God’s creation. The weather was absolutely beautiful. But after two weeks of bliss I was told to report to the lead refinery which everyone referred to as the hell hole.

It was not quite as bad as I had been lead to believe. I progressed from kettle skimmer to kettle helper, kettle operator, and finally crane operator. Work was hard when required but there was a lot of time spent in the lunch room away from the noise and heat. It was to say at the least an interesting experience.

After about six months, I was visited by an engineer from Plant Engineering and offered a job in the engineering group as a draftsman. I had attended Amarillo College and had taken a course in mechanical drafting. So visualize that this was some 10 years previous. I was very green and after 6 weeks I was visited by the chief engineer who suggested that he may have made in placing me in the department. Honestly I would have not been surprised if he had fired me right there but he did not.

I committed myself to look at the work other draftsmen had done. I separated out the good from the bad and emulated the good. Within the department there was a large vault of drawings carefully filed away. There were drawings from the 1850’s. They were masterpieces done in ink on mylar. Our drawings would never become masterpieces but they would instruct others how to perform the task required. About 10 years later I had progressed from being the print machine operator to being a senior draftsman in charge of the department’s operations.

About the Christmas break time I was visited by the engineering manager. He told me they would like to do more to increase my wages but because of my lack of formal education his hands were tied. He suggested that if I was willing to return to college and get a degree they would pay for my books and tuition and allow me to work part time. So come January I was enrolled in the University Of Idaho where I would earn a degree in Architecture.

What I had accomplished in those years was not near as important as the lessons I learned along the way. If you missed them let me recount them for you.

  • If you are out of work or in a dead end job go to where the work is.

  • Don’t be afraid to try something new.

  • Learn from the masters.

  • Each step we take takes us one step further up.

It has been two weeks since I started this blog and I am on week nine of the Partners to Success program. Let me encourage you to be the very best you can.


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