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What is your job?

Tourmeister

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I need a full time mechanical design engineer that either has, or is willing to get, a Tx PE license and knows how to use AutoCad/Solidworks. If you know anyone that might want to get out of urban areas and/or a corporate environment, let me know.

We design steel clamps to seal live piping systems. Our clamps are in pretty much EVERY refinery, chemical plant, power plant, paper mill, and food processing facility you might be able to name, and even others you can't name.

Our clients are the people that have the maintenance contracts for these facilities. We never set foot in them. All our work comes in via email/fax and goes out the same way. We do not build any of them. We send them to various independent fabrication shops at the direction of our clients. Once completed, they are shipped to our clients by the shops and then installed by our clients. Once designed, our only involvement is to answer questions about the designs, which occasionally includes discussing them with the end user's engineers or fielding questions from the shops.

It is not super difficult work if you played with (or still play with) LEGO as a kid. We use basic shapes to form the geometry of the clamps: bar stock, plates, pipes, and bolts. Simple clamps are made from plate and machined. More complicated clamps are made from all the above and must be custom fabricated. Very little of what we do is conducive to CNC milling. Because of the potential safety issues related to various types of leaks, we provide 24 hr on call design service. Once I get paged, I am expected to respond in 15-20 minutes max. At which point, I will have to stop whatever else I might be doing and get the design done ASAP. So some weekends I never get a call, and other weekends I might get several calls.

Our office is very informal. It is just me, Dad, one other person that is a drafting technician, and a fat cat. None of us smoke (I'm allergic to it).
Attached are a few examples of some clamps we've done.
 

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GLFlyer

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Well... if my username didn't give it away already... I'll let you guys know.

I'm a "Flyer". ;)


Yep... I fly for a living. Probably the coolest job I've ever had... and I still enjoy it as much today (if not more) than the first day I ever took the controls. :thumb:

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Joined
Jan 17, 2006
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On a bike, down by the river!
I need to find a day where I could come up and visit. I've never really had a chance to check out a serious CNC based shop. The guys we deal with are mostly hand fabricators of custom hardware that involves a LOT of grinding and welding. We do a bit of work that is aluminum and made via CNC, but it is real basic stuff. Most all of the steel hardware is hand built custom stuff.
Any time you are ready, come on over. Be glad to give you the nickel tour.
 
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Nov 11, 2005
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Katy
I’m a tower crane technician. But really just an overpaid laborer. I started with the company in 97 as a concrete pump operator and just moved up over the years. It’s a cool job I get to travel the country and see some sights. I get to work with some pretty big assist cranes.

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GLFlyer

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I’m a tower crane technician... I get to work with some pretty big assist cranes.
That's awesome... When I was a kid, I dreamed of jobs like that... or being one of those guys who climbs the 2000' radio towers to change the bulb at the top. :)
 
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For 35 years, I worked for computer manufacturers doing field service. First half, installing and maintaining systems. Second half installing and testing networks. When Dell bought out EMC, I was given the choice of taking early retirement or being laid off; took the better deal (early retirement). After coming to the realization no one wanted to hire a 57 year old IT guy, I took the commercial truck driving course at San Jacinto College, got my class A license with tanker and hazmat endorsements, and went to work for Superior Carriers as an OTR driver. They gave me a 2015 Mack Pinnical truck and I drove with a drver trainer for the last 2 months. Got released from training today and will be making my first solo trip to Laredo tomorrow.
 

Tourmeister

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Just curious, but what made you think to do the truck driving thing? Just wanted a different experience? Past experience that already pointed you that way?
 

Tracker

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down in a holler, Catawba County, NC
For 35 years, I worked for computer manufacturers doing field service. First half, installing and maintaining systems. Second half installing and testing networks. When Dell bought out EMC, I was given the choice of taking early retirement or being laid off; took the better deal (early retirement). After coming to the realization no one wanted to hire a 57 year old IT guy, I took the commercial truck driving course at San Jacinto College, got my class A license with tanker and hazmat endorsements, and went to work for Superior Carriers as an OTR driver. They gave me a 2015 Mack Pinnical truck and I drove with a drver trainer for the last 2 months. Got released from training today and will be making my first solo trip to Laredo tomorrow.
My hat's off to you, sir. I hope it turns out to be a good move for you.
 
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Just curious, but what made you think to do the truck driving thing? Just wanted a different experience? Past experience that already pointed you that way?
I did a lot of driving while working field service, but it wasn't near the same as professional driving. Just got frustrated trying to find another IT gig and it seemed like something I could make an easy transition to. I've learned there is a LOT more to it than just driving a truck down the road. I knew going into it there are federal regulations to deal with and was a little surprised just how much there are. It does seem like it's going to be a good move and I expect I'll be able to make the money I'll need to actually retire. The good thing about doing tankers is most plants you deal with are no where near a downtown area and less traffic to deal with. The trailers are typically shorter than van style trailers which makes maneuverability easier.
 

Ocho

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Web Developer for an e-commerce platform. Work/life balance is pretty decent so I’ve been enjoying it.
 
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Posted awhile ago so figured I'd post again. 2 years in to being a Security Driver for a Fortune 200 company. The company relocated from CA where they had the same driver for almost 30 years. They wanted someone with some security experience here and knew the city. It was kind of a fluke. I saw the Indeed Ad, applied, and the next day the recruiter called to set up an interview. Corporate America beats Public Service any day. If you are a producer, you will do fine. Schedule is erratic but very flexible and I get paid 40 hours a week despite working about 35 on Average. I have a fully loaded take home SUV, have done a bit of traveling, and have scored free tickets to our suite at the AAC. I figured it was God's way of saying - hey sorry you worked 5 years at CPS dealing with crappy families, crappy supervisors, and having to attend autopsies and working in a broken system.
 

Tourmeister

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Is there a reason these clients don't do this design work themselves instead of outsourcing it to you?
It would cost them considerably more to hire their own full time engineer compared to hiring us. Also, they'd have a REAL hard time finding anyone with anywhere near the experience we have. Many of them are small operations, having anywhere from 1 to 25 people. If they are doing any kind of serious volume of work, then one engineer isn't going to be enough to get the work done in a timely manner, so then they'd be looking at two full time engineers. By hiring us, they pay for the individual jobs and don't have to worry about retirement plans, health care plans, buying the necessary software and reference materials (which are quite expensive!), etc,...

Our biggest client pays us maybe $65K a year for design services. They'd easily be looking at almost 2-1/2 to 3 times that to hire just one full time engineer.
 

Centex

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..... Corporate America beats Public Service any day. ......
With all due respect that statement's a bit too broad-brushed as written. Not at all doubting it's true in your case but there's no shortage of great-to-rotten organizations, positions, opportunities, and rewards (measured all sorts of ways), on both sides of the Public/Private sector line.

I'm glad you've found a better fit for you :thumb:
 
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At the back of the pack and out of the dust
I've worked for private corporations, international corporations, the local government, the fed and now myself. When I was in a holding pattern before becoming a business consultant I went back to school to get a Masters in Social Work. It wasn't the money, long hours or lack of compassion that kept me from finishing, but the fact that I didn't have the energy of the twenty somethings I was trying to keep up with. School for three hours in the morning, volunteering with the homeless at noon, back to school, back to the shelter. I once asked an oncology nurse I knew from the docks who worked for Texas Childrens if it were difficult dealing with dying children all day and she stared at me as if I had two heads and replied that it was the most rewarding work that she had ever done. Sometimes the best way to contribute is to make as much as you can at what you're good at and then donate generously to causes that make a difference.
 
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Security Driver = personal protection / bodyguard?
Kinda. I take our Executive Leadership Team wherever they need to go in a safe and secure manner. They flew me out for an out of state Senior Mngmnt Meeting where I did do security for the meeting and we did have some party crashers. I do have a close relationship with the CEO but I am not with him 24/7. I also run errands for him too so it is a little bit of everything. Everyone is very nice which is a nice change of pace than what I dealt with in the past. You know when you give an interview for Channel 8 on CPS as deep throat, things have gotten way out of hand. I am armed and keep a med kit with me as well.
 
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... I figured it was God's way of saying - hey sorry you worked 5 years at CPS dealing with crappy families, crappy supervisors, and having to attend autopsies and working in a broken system.
I make referrals to CPS once in a while, like about once a month. As a County Mountie (Deputy Sheriff - patrol) I get to see and hear about a lot of the down side of humanity. Motorcycle riding, photography and music keep me sane. Once I get home I'm able to shut off being a cop, that helps a lot. I'll be eligible to retire in 5, can't afford to for about 8-10 more years. I was a cable guy before this and worked for Ma Bell before that. Yeah, drastic change of careers.
 

RollingJ

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I make referrals to CPS once in a while, like about once a month. As a County Mountie (Deputy Sheriff - patrol) I get to see and hear about a lot of the down side of humanity. Motorcycle riding, photography and music keep me sane. Once I get home I'm able to shut off being a cop, that helps a lot. I'll be eligible to retire in 5, can't afford to for about 8-10 more years. I was a cable guy before this and worked for Ma Bell before that. Yeah, drastic change of careers.
I was a cable contractor in Austin for 13 years, with CTS for 9 years and COI on and off for 4. Then I installed dish for a few and direct for Mastec for 7. We probably know a few people in common outside of riding. Somehow I never picked up on that.
 
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Once I get home I'm able to shut off being a cop, that helps a lot.
Indeed. That's one of the things I tried to teach our new guys when I was an FTO. It's in my opinion one of the best gigs out there, if you're up for it. I can't imagine doing anything else for a paycheck but at the same time have absolutely no problem turning it off the moment I OD on the radio.

For a while I found myself being annoyed around non-cops. Then I only hung around cops when off-duty. Lately I've been coming around and seeking out my old friends who aren't cops.
 

Triumphter

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Indeed. That's one of the things I tried to teach our new guys when I was an FTO. It's in my opinion one of the best gigs out there, if you're up for it. I can't imagine doing anything else for a paycheck but at the same time have absolutely no problem turning it off the moment I OD on the radio.

For a while I found myself being annoyed around non-cops. Then I only hung around cops when off-duty. Lately I've been coming around and seeking out my old friends who aren't cops.

I am a reserve now(having been full time), and have a pretty diverse range of friends. However, it is my cop friends that get me best. Some of us have also been through things together that no one else can understand (as is often the case for first responders and military)
 

Monica

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Comm Officer - 911. Our agency is one where we do it all, so I'm kind of a big deal 😏
🤪
I don't see myself leaving this field anytime soon. There are certain avenues I'd like to explore and it'll take sometime to do that.

The rundown: I've always loved sports, playing outside and being active. My formal education is Health and Fitness. I also like fabbing, modding and fixing stuff in the garage. I worked in Fitness Centers and gyms through college and first half of my married-to-the-military life. Second half I owned a leatherwork business - made gear for the concealed carry market. The professional jump to public safety came post-divorce, you know, the find a new life, do anything I want, go where I want to go thing. I ended up exactly where I was suppose to be. I'm currently on version 3 of my life, we will see where it goes.

Indeed. That's one of the things I tried to teach our new guys when I was an FTO. It's in my opinion one of the best gigs out there, if you're up for it. I can't imagine doing anything else for a paycheck but at the same time have absolutely no problem turning it off the moment I OD on the radio.

For a while I found myself being annoyed around non-cops. Then I only hung around cops when off-duty. Lately I've been coming around and seeking out my old friends who aren't cops.
I know this perspective, it's been my evolution too. Being with the ones that know what you go through, it's easier to explain what's weighing you down for the moment, you can just say one word, or one description and they go "Ohh yeah...". When I try to talk to family or friends who are not familiar with the environment, I get very loving and kind support, but blank understanding cause they've never felt it. Leaves me needing to some degree. Overall though, good to have the different types of friends so you can get the connection you need. I read an article once that talked about women need/have 7 types of friends, each has a certain characteristic and strong suit. I would bet guys are kinda similar when you get down to the nitty gritty of personalities/interests.
 

Tourmeister

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I read an article once that talked about women need/have 7 types of friends, each has a certain characteristic and strong suit. I would bet guys are kinda similar when you get down to the nitty gritty of personalities/interests.
I would bet that most of us are lucky if we have maybe 2-3 really good friends. Even then, I doubt any of us get to spend the time with them that we really want to spend. I know I don't. At best, I might get to do a bike trip with them once a year or see them for a weekend once or twice a year. I hardly even get to spend much time with my local friends. I get to see Pkiser whenever I need to mount new tires. He has a coats machine in his garage so we can knock them out in about ten minutes, but then we usually spend the next couple of hours hanging out in the garage or drive way visiting or I'll take him and his wife to dinner so we can visit. I get to ride so little of late that even that doesn't happen very often any more.

I have a group of guys I have been friends with since around 7th grade. There are about 10 of us that still try to get together once or twice a year for a guys weekend. Trying to find a weekend that ALL of us have free is a nightmare. We have to do a spread sheet in Excel to map out everything just in the hopes that a blank weekend might show up. All but one of us is married and has kids. We all have full time professions: doctor, engineers, architect, IT nerds, teacher, oil/gas landman, etc...

Do you retired guys finally get the time to hang out with your friends, assuming they survived until retirement...?
 

Monica

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The true first responders!

Y'all don't get enough appreciation, thank you!
Aww, thank you! It's sweet to hear 😊
Forgot to say, I love my field units, they drive me crazy too. I know everyone, which can make it scary. I'll move Heaven and **** to bring them home at the end of end shift though.


I would bet that most of us are lucky if we have maybe 2-3 really good friends. Even then, I doubt any of us get to spend the time with them that we really want to spend. I know I don't. At best, I might get to do a bike trip with them once a year or see them for a weekend once or twice a year. I hardly even get to spend much time with my local friends. I get to see Pkiser whenever I need to mount new tires. He has a coats machine in his garage so we can knock them out in about ten minutes, but then we usually spend the next couple of hours hanging out in the garage or drive way visiting or I'll take him and his wife to dinner so we can visit. I get to ride so little of late that even that doesn't happen very often any more.

I have a group of guys I have been friends with since around 7th grade. There are about 10 of us that still try to get together once or twice a year for a guys weekend. Trying to find a weekend that ALL of us have free is a nightmare. We have to do a spread sheet in Excel to map out everything just in the hopes that a blank weekend might show up. All but one of us is married and has kids. We all have full time professions: doctor, engineers, architect, IT nerds, teacher, oil/gas landman, etc...

Do you retired guys finally get the time to hang out with your friends, assuming they survived until retirement...?
Had training yesterday, was on the heavy topic of school violence and we got to Debriefing. One of the things the instructor mentioned was women tend to live longer. I'm sure most of us would chalk that up the thing where guys are the ones that usually say 'hold my beer, watch this...'. lol But between the two genders, women are the ones who get together with girlfriends and chat. Yall know women can talk a lot lol, and that actually ends up being a good thing for responders who go through critical incidents and need to debrief. Well, carry that principle over into the rest of the professions and situations, stress gets heavy in life. It would benefit guys to do the same with whomever you feel comfortable talking to. Probably cut back on the 'watch this...' stunts too, that would help.

I see my best friend that I grew up with every week during basketball season, and at least once a month for lunch the rest of the year. She and I are ride or die since 7th grade. My other friends along Life's way I try to catch them within the month as well. I kinda end up in a rotation of friends. You gotta make time, life will never just hand it to you. The same for taking time off at work, you gotta fight for yourself and put yourself first for recuperation and well-being. The way you prioritize work, prioritize personal time too. You gotta make time. Being healthy isn't just physical health. It's also mental, emotional, social, psychological, and spiritual as well. If those things get out of balance, you feel it.
 
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Texas T

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Kinda. I take our Executive Leadership Team wherever they need to go in a safe and secure manner.
If you are interested in world-wide travel, executive protection, and working for a Global Fortune 1 company, talk with our Global Security folks. It's mainly made up of ex Fibbies, Secret Service, and Spooks, but I'm sure you'd find something there you like. Our CEO (Doug McMillon) rocks. Doug challenged the store managers to get behind his Hot Wheels program and promised to wash the car of the store manager whose store sold the most. Last week he made good on his promise by flying to Puerto Rico and washing that store manager's car.

Not bad for a guy that runs a half a trillion dollar business. :clap:

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I was a cable contractor in Austin for 13 years, with CTS for 9 years and COI on and off for 4. Then I installed dish for a few and direct for Mastec for 7. We probably know a few people in common outside of riding. Somehow I never picked up on that.
When I went to your place to pick up the found and recovered side panel I obviously saw your van. I didn't think of saying anything, just glad you were able to find the panel!

Time Warner Cable for almost 3 years out of the Round Rock office. I detested the way they lied to customers and treated us installers but the pay was decent. I was looking for another job for pretty much the entire time I worked there. Quit and took a pay cut to be a corrections officer. Haven't looked back. They tried hard to convince me to stay. I did enjoy working for Pacific Bell in San Diego. Working outdoors in San Diego has to be one of the best places on earth. I miss that. I left that to move to TX during the "dot com" failure and couldn't find a job right away. Bad timing. TWC eventually hired me. I enjoyed my work but didn't like the corporation. It's been 15 years since I quit, probably don't remember most of my coworkers.
 
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Indeed. That's one of the things I tried to teach our new guys when I was an FTO. It's in my opinion one of the best gigs out there, if you're up for it. I can't imagine doing anything else for a paycheck but at the same time have absolutely no problem turning it off the moment I OD on the radio.

For a while I found myself being annoyed around non-cops. Then I only hung around cops when off-duty. Lately I've been coming around and seeking out my old friends who aren't cops.
I like some of my district partners but mostly don't see them outside of work. I don't live near most of them but a few. I'm not a type A personality normally either but did learn how to make one and turn it on when needed. Tourmeister, Woodbutcher, TexTom, M38A1 and others can attest to the fact I'm not a cop when I'm not on duty, just a normal guy. Sure, my non-law enforcement friends always bring up questions and what if's about laws and situations but that's normal for anyone to have questions regarding something you're familiar with. My previous employers of Pac Bell and TWC used me to go to irate customer's homes to fix the issue that the previous tech broke or couldn't fix and to make them happy. I was good at that. If there was only one thing in my life I could take back was quitting Pac Bell and just seeing it through to retirement, I liked that work. I was being groomed for supervisor but gave it all up when I moved to TX. But then I wouldn't have met any of you, wouldn't have met my wonderful wife, etc.
 
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If you are interested in world-wide travel, executive protection, and working for a Global Fortune 1 company, talk with our Global Security folks. It's mainly made up of ex Fibbies, Secret Service, and Spooks, but I'm sure you'd find something there you like. Our CEO (Doug McMillon) rocks. Doug challenged the store managers to get behind his Hot Wheels program and promised to wash the car of the store manager whose store sold the most. Last week he made good on his promise by flying to Puerto Rico and washing that store manager's car.

Not bad for a guy that runs a half a trillion dollar business. :clap:
That's pretty cool. We have a Global Security Dept based out of Houston that I maintain contact with on a regular basis. They travel all the time with offices all around the world. My CEO is pretty nice but definitely an A Type personality that might be a vampire (don't know when he sleeps). He has told me how to drive on more than one occasion. One President gets in the SUV and we talk about Classic Rock. Another President gets in the SUV and we talk conservative politics. The Board comes to town and I keep my mouth shut. They pay is above par and everyone likes me and my schedule is very flexible so I like it a lot. If I ever go looking for another job, I will keep Wal Mart in mind. I went to a conference when I was a LEO and heard one of their guys speak about their GSOC. Pretty impressive and he stated probably once a week someone somewhere drives into one of their stores.
 
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