I know some of you readers are out of work and having difficulties finding jobs. With this post I’d like to twist your mind around in a way that might give you a different way of approaching the affair of starting to make money to live on.
I don’t know whether there’s any hope or not, but I can tell you it ain’t easy. From the time I gave myself a Y2K until I moved back to Texas I tried a number of desperate ideas that might have worked if I’d been smarter.
But I think there still might be something here in the way of thinking about it to give you a fresh perspective. Trying to find jobs flipping hamburgers at minimum wage or clerking in a motel graveyard shift, or stocking shelves and unloading trucks for a Dollar General didn’t prove out for me. I suspect it won’t for you. A lot of the reason is that young people don’t like working around older people. At least, they din’t in my case.
But the world’s still got niches a person might fill, things that people need doing and might pay to get done that the Chinese can’t get over here to do yet.
Polishing long-haul truck rims, bumpers, gas tanks:
I don’t know whether they’re still doing it, but truckers within the past few years [some of them] had an overweening pride in their wheels, bumpers and grilles.
Frequently they’ll pay up to $100 for the tractor wheels, gas tank, bumper and grille while they catch a snooze at a roadside park or overnight truck stop. An angle grinder/polisher, portable generator and a CB radio are the main costs of going into business.
Didn’t work out for me because my angle polishing head flew off, the knurled stem that held the head walked across the gas tank, cut through a fuel line [the truck was idling] and started squirting diesel all over the place before it caught fire [after he’d shut the rig down].
Might work out better for you. A person could make $500 – $1000 per day if he was fast and good.
Bodyguard didn’t work out well for me, either, though it paid well. Anyone who needs a bodyguard usually has a reason for needing one.
Respectable people doing legal things hire bodyguards from companies who do that for a living. But there’s a type of activity going on out there in the world that needs a different kind of bodyguard. If you’re a person who’s generally law-abiding, but desperate or open-minded enough to look into it, you might find a place there.
You’ve got to be a non-drug user, absolutely and unwaveringly, uncompromisingly honest, and you’ve got to be willing to be around some of the sleaziest human beings on the face of the earth all your waking hours. And you’ve got to be convincing that you’re uglier, colder and crazier than all those lowlifes around you.
Then there’s the danger of going to prison, which isn’t likely, but could happen. The things that go sour in that line of work tend to be of a different variety.
It used to be a person could do well trading with the tribes if he was willing to go deep into the rez. Might still be so. They always have tools with broken handles, so buying a load of handles somewhere for all manner of tools, replacing the handles on the broken tools you’ve bought, then taking them by the truckload onto the rez, buying their heads with broken handles and selling them a used one you’ve repaired can be middling lucrative. But you’ve got to be relatively near a big rez or a lot of small ones.
Those mightn’t fit you and probably don’t, but they might give you an idea or two about some crack you can shine a flashlight into and find a way to make a living. Even in this brave new 21st Century.