Recipe for Stew of Discontent

It wasn’t the work that did me in. It was the fact that I cannot be part of an organization that does not value the Individual.

From high school to my first office job at an insurance company, large impersonal institutions and I just never got along. Had I remembered this before I decided to work at Satan’s Castle, I could have spared myself some grief (and been in a warmer climate by now).

Last week we were supposed to start 12 hour shifts, but instead, almost every day, we got sent home after just a few hours of work. “The volume isn’t there,” said the outbound shipping department manager. Soon it became clear that the long hours and overtime Satan used as bait wasn’t going to materialize. His cheerleaders have been hitting the airwaves on NPR and CNBC, yet things have been very, very slow for us here at the Nevada warehouse.

With each shift cut short, I wondered if I was going to be able to cover the cost of December’s rent at the RV park. My patience was wearing thin.

Even more frustrating was that I just learned via Workamper that the lower-paid cogs in Kansas are getting more hours than we are. My theory is that Satan is cutting costs by shifting the bulk of the work to locations that pay less.

The Final Ingredients

Sunday morning, one of Satan’s minions walked up to me with a clipboard in hand. She was one of the nicer ones, who actually tried to remember workers’ names. The first thing she said when she saw me was “Rene, you’re going to hate me.

She put her clipboard on my workstation, and showed me a warning notice that said I wasn’t “making the numbers,” one week into another outbound shipping job I was put on. The warning was based on the volume I processed, just two days into the new job.

I was stunned, because the Agency’s rules state that we have four weeks to get numbers up to that level. Yeah, I knew I was slow during my first few days, but for the last three days, I had consistently “made the numbers.” I couldn’t understand why I was getting a warning based on week-old volume.

The notice stated it was a “Final Warning,” but this was technically my second, because I had been kicked out of my first job for not being a “team player.” Every employee is supposed to receive three warnings before getting fired.

As a final insult, my name was misspelled on the warning.

Satan’s Minion was asking for my signature to acknowledge the warning. But I didn’t, and instead I said to her “They’re full of crap. This is only my second warning, and I was told I have four weeks to get to that production level. Why aren’t they following their own rules?

The Minion got a distressed look on her face, and then out of nowhere, she started crying.

I’m so sorry Rene! I hate this job! This is all I do all day long, and I only get fifty cents an hour more than you do! Yesterday I had to fire a 70 year old lady with Parkinson’s because she couldn’t make the numbers. They’re having me fire people after just a few days into training. This place is horrible! I just put in my two week notice because I can’t take it anymore!

She stood there crying, while I looked on, stunned. She was very pregnant, and said she really needed the money, but she just couldn’t work for a place that treated people like crap.

I felt badly for her, but I was going to stand my ground.

I refused to sign it. I told her “I’m sorry, but I want them to tell me why this is a ‘Final Warning,’ and why I’m being expected to meet Week Four quotas. They’re ignoring their own rules. I won’t sign it, I can’t.

She agreed it was wrong, and she said she would look into it, but couldn’t promise anything. Then she left, and five minutes later, another minion came by to announce that we all had to go home, two hours into our shift. There wasn’t enough work. “Come back tomorrow,” she yelled to us.

What’s It Worth?

As I clocked out and walked through the metal detector exit, my head was spinning. Could I stand working there for just four more weeks? Could I live with the uncertainty of the hours I was getting, or of being fired any minute without just cause? What if all this agony doesn’t even cover the $400 in rent I had just paid for December?

On my way home, I remembered that the RV park owner had said that if things didn’t work out during the first four days of the month, she would refund the rent and charge me a daily rate. That’s when I knew what I had to do.

I pulled into the park and stopped at the office. I asked the manager if I could take her up on that offer. Thankfully, she did.

I went to the rig, and told Jim what happened.

I won’t work for a company that relies on fear tactics and bullying. Maybe some people can tolerate that kind of environment, but I won’t. I have my self-respect, and cash-crunch or not, know I am worthy of better treatment. Life is too short.

Then I picked up the phone, and made my stand. I called Satan’s Agency to tell them I quit.

Jim is thrilled, and now I feel like a huge anvil has been lifted off my head.

Looking back, I realize that I took this job because I was letting fear rule my life. Almost three years into our sabbatical, our dwindling savings account is telling me that we have to get serious about making money. But instead of buckling down and earnestly working to make our new business venture happen, I opted for what I thought was the quick and easy way out; the false sense of security one gets with a paycheck. What a sham.

Instead of following our dream, I took the paved road to hell, and paid dearly for it.

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45 Responses to “Recipe for Stew of Discontent”

  1. Rene……….AMEN SISTA! Yes-you and I are ALOT alike, I swear. My “last job” was at *ahem, cough….Dillards (can I say that on here?) Store manager was like a drill sargent and if we all didn’t follow their million rules, to the letter-we would get fired. god help us if we were Late 6 times in 6 months-it did not matter if it was 10 minutes or 2 SECONDS! ugghhhhhhh. I put up with it for almost 2 years and near the end, my oldest cat died and I was a wreck. I stayed for 2 months after her death , put my notice in and ya know what happened on my last day? As I was about to clock out, a POLICE officer (woman) was there with my dept. boss and I was asked to hand over my “large” purse!!! I was shocked but hid my true feelings (I wanted to beat up my male boss). I had a pouch full of watches I that had dead batteries. They were mine and the police officer did NOT find them!!!! I took my bag with a deep breath, looked at them both and well-told them where they could both “Rot”. It was not heaven.
    I could talk about that job for a month and not cover the stress/hell I felt every second when I saw anyone I didn’t care for. One on one with my customers-I LOVED it. I was kinda my own boss, set my own standard (above the store even) . I always proved my way was better and I trained alot of people. I am proud of that. I sure miss the paychecks but it’s not worth the stress of working for…SATAN.
    My thing is I love to do “personal shopping/research” on the internet and I’d love to do that so I could “earn some money” to pay for vet bills, home needs,improvements. I want nothing for myself. no more clothes,watches-lol, cosmetics (well a few),no frivilous things anymore. All I want is peace, good health for everyone and not to worry about money anymore-oh and a few good friends. I can hope and pray and wish on a star………….

    • We’re wishing on that star with ya Sista, and hope that the evildoer corporations in this world learn how to treat people better or ROT! 😉 Glad you got out of that awful experience!

  2. Received this via email…thought I would share in case anyone finds this thread and decides they want to work at the Kansas facility:

    January 20, 2010

    Dear Valued Workamper:

    It is with a heavy heart that I inform you that we received termination notice yesterday of our contract with Amazon to hire Workampers for the 2010 peak season by an e-mail from them. I was stunned, to say the least, that they didn’t handle this situation with a face-to-face meeting or even a phone call. To add insult to injury, we heard from some of you yesterday that Amazon is in Quartsite, AZ right now recruiting Workampers for themselves!

    We have worked with Amazon since opening our office in 2004. Through blood, sweat and tears, we found a solution to their staffing problem – YOU! The Workampers, although many of you were not treated with the respect and dignity you deserve, were actually a God-sent to Amazon, obviously, now that they are recruiting you themselves.

    Kym and I would like to personally thank you for all of your hard work and dedication to Express as you worked exceedingly long hours in an extremely difficult work environment at Amazon. As I am sure you noticed by your local co-workers, you made our life so much easier these past three years by having people we could count on to show up and do their jobs. We cherish every acquaintance and friendship we have made by knowing all of you.

    Please feel free to use us for a reference in any of your Workamping jobs and please give us a call or stop by to see us if you are ever in our part of Kansas. We would love to hear from you again!

    Meanwhile, we have another company in our franchise territory that may benefit from Workampers as well as another one in a territory nearby and hope to be able to offer you another Express job by next fall. We will keep you posted.

    Thanks again for your support, your kindness and the great job you did for us this past peak season.

    Kind regards,

    Mark and Kym Kays

  3. I found this blog post because I was looking for blogs of full time travelers. My partner and I pushed off about 2 years ago and have been traveling full time since. But we’re not doing it via an RV.

    We’re also in software, and in the middle part of the last decade I worked for Amazon.com at their corporate headquarters in the old hospital building in Seattle. I’ve met Jeff Bezos, and was there for several years.

    Amazon is the worst employer ever. Your experience is typical- they make up rules, but the rules only apply to you, they are not expected to follow them. They are like the DMV. They have zero respect for employees. They over work or underpay everyone, and the management of the company is run by highly political people who get ahead by undercutting others. Thus they are also undercutting their employees. It is a totally political environment.

    In my 20 years as a software developer, most of the jobs I had were great. I never had the dislike for the corporate environment you expressed in your blog.

    Until Amazon. It was such a poor experience that when I finally quit, I vowed never to work for another person ever again.

    It hasn’t been easy, being self employed, but I’ve never been forced to eat shit again.

    • Hey Ms./Mr. Anonymous commenter, thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for validating what I thought I was experiencing there. For a while I thought I was just crazy and it was my bad ‘tude towards the Man. Then I wanted to assume that the behavior I saw was just because I was one of the lowest minions in hell, and had hoped that in their corporate office maybe things weren’t so bad. Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing your experience.

      As for eating shit, you’re so right. If I do eat any, it’ll belong to a client who pays me very well and doesn’t tell me when I can go on breaks or vacations.

      Contact me through our form, I’d love to follow your travels (and promise not to expose your identity!). Take care.

  4. yeah. that’s so much like the first job i ever had…and the last real job i had too. Numbers. What’s funny is the guy that wanted to fire me for not making the numbers didn’t make his (long after I quit) and ended up temping for the same company, his new boss one of the kids he used to kick around. Ha! Comeuppance – it happens!

    Happy New Year you guys…been to Marble, CO. yet? Lemme know when you go.

  5. Eric Auckerman December 10, 2009 at 5:15 pm Reply

    Wow, a very dynamic and important body of postings on this segment of “As The Wheels Turn” (or simply rest at an RV park).

    So why dynamic and why important? Because if you take a look at the contrast of the two Amazon fulfillment shops you’ll note how one values the employee’s service – not just with paychecks – but with win win options if things aren’t working, that’s the key running a successful business whether self-employed or otherwise. The Nevada shop’s employment culture just isn’t there, ergo it will always be a lousy place to work until things change.

    It’s disheartening to read about the conditions you mentioned Rene as they clearly fail to see employees (temp or otherwise) as assets.

    The Kansas shop sees things differently of course and as a result should be more productive, consideration for employee well-being can go a long way when trying to meet deadlines/goals. Seems simple enough when you read the words but how many companies truly invest in developing the managerial skills to balance the needs of the company while being civil to those who perform their paid task? Very few as it turns out ergo the rancor toward employers as expressed in this posting.

    But let’s take a moment to muddy the boots and talk about self-employment because starting a small business is like walking in a fartsy smelling bog at dusk (well, it’s not all that bad).

    My wife and I are self-employed in the software industry and doing very well despite the headlines and employment conditions on the street. But the path to our current state was not a sweet and rosy saunter in a Versailles like garden, not even.

    It was a rutted road fraught with many tyrannical employers who employed a variety of motivational methodologies such as brow-beating with nettles that some times went like this…
    Manager: “hmmmm, I wonder if they’ll feel the sting of this lash today, it’s new and untested but a lash all the same…say, Eric, have you got a moment, I’ve got this new lash”.
    Eric the employee: “New lash? Wouldn’t miss it, give me a moment I’ll be right in.”

    Bad managers can serve as catalysts for change in employment status but self-employment is a different game. Self-employment means being fully accountable, there is no complaint department or mutterings of discontent, it’s your baby and believe me, babies poop and puke all day long (well, not all day long). Point being self-employment is awesome and the lessons many, but before embarking on this brave journey ask yourself: will I be willing to do things in good cheer that I would have never done as an employee? Taxes – all you. Vendor invoicing – all you. Payroll – all you (and the last to get paid). Sales calls – all you. Hummers and Chrystal, whoops, wrong blog! Customer collections – all you.

    Another question for consideration if you’re considering this path is: was I a good and productive employee? The most successful self-employed people I’ve ever met had an easy time with the transition because they were pretty good employees to begin with and thought maybe they could and should do it for themselves. Bottom line, you must have a work ethic cause it’s all on you.

    Anyone who says self-employment is easier than working for someone else might be right on some levels but on most levels it is not easier but rather more rewarding in proportion to you willingness to do what needs to be done no matter what time it is or what other obligations you may have.

    But it is also true, the rewards are many when self-employed as there’s no substitute for a 12 hour day and then taking that first sip of a lusty in your face Merlot, it’ll be the best sip you’ve ever had.

    Good on you Rene for leaving cause there’s no reason to use negative policies or tactics when trying to get the job done right. Boo on Amazon Nevada!

    Enrico!

  6. Your experiences are a study to me about so many of the larger issues of our times – the plight of people who feel (rightly or wrongly) that they have no choice but to work for companies like that; the inexcusabale lack of oversight by companies who contract the outsourcing; and a society of consumption that seeks the lowest price for goods while also expecting the highest return from their equities.

    I am guilty of all of this – I think maybe focusing on small businesses (including independent booksellers and farmer’s markets) might be my personal lesson from your experiences! Thanks!

  7. GOOD FOR YOU!!! This life is entirely too short to be treated so poorly by anyone for any reason!

    Your situation comes at an ironic time for me. Since we have been on the road again for our extended vacation, I have found that I am putting a few things into perspective. We originally came off the road to buy investment properties so that we would be financially independent, able to travel full time, and not have to be someone else’s minions just to put food on the table. We succeeded at buying enough properties that will someday give us that opportunity.

    But we don’t like the burden that comes with those properties, especially considering that RIGHT NOW we are still dependent on at least one of us working for health insurance and a decent income. Because we haven’t been happy with the burden, are unable to afford to pay someone to manage our properties to lift some of the burden off our shoulders, and aren’t making enough to finance our wanderlust right now, we have been trying to sell most of our apartments. You know how that has worked out :). And I wonder….are we supposed to keep the apartments, as was our original plan????

    So as we travel now, I contemplate how to find the middle ground, where we can travel extensively now without being someone else’s minions. My searching for an environmental scientist or biologist job has not been successful – but perhaps it is not meant to be? hmmm
    I also debate on our decision to sell off everything we have worked so hard for because of the burden it carries, as I remind myself repeatedly that the properties are a mixed package….one of aggravation, worry, and headaches, and of the promise of eventually giving us the life we so desperately desire. Basically, if we sell the apartments, we will be doomed to a life as minions for many years to come, which is not always so bad when you enjoy your job, your boss is great, and you are treated well. But when things are not so wonderful, as in your situation, well, that’s not a happy prospect.

  8. Good for you. My sister and I were discussing your posts on the phone today. I am very glad to hear you quit.

    It is absolutely the right decision and I support you 100%.

    I cleaned out an old 1970 single wide travel on a paid off piece of land this summer. I have always declared that I would live their happily rather than work for some piece of shit like The Great Satan.

    Sorry for what you went through, but I am cheering you on.

    • Jennifer, you and your sister were talking about my ramblings? Wow, I’m honored to be the subject of someone’s conversation, thanks! Seriously!

      I’d love to see pics of the single wide, good for YOU. You are so right. Living without the chains of debt is the only way to be free from the clutches of SatanCo.!

  9. Way to go Norma Rae. You didn’t deserve that crap. I’m tired of jumping through hoops for a bunch of jack asses that don’t appreciate dedication and hard work. I won’t buy any of my Christmas gifts at Amazon this year……..Or ebay for that matter, since that is where I kept thinking you were working. Stay strong. We’re not door mats…..We’re RENE(E)!

  10. Hey Rene:

    It’s funny, we were talking about your situation, and my coworker was talking about a good friend of his that works the Kansas location and was NOT happy.

    Kansas does have a certain ‘location’ factor for CONUS and it’s true in some places in Kansas the cost of living is very low compared to the country. (And tolerance for crap work is higher for the locals)

    However, I am GLAD you are out something that is so defeatist. It’s not worth it. I worked shipping type jobs, and I was honestly more happy working McDonald’s at the time than that. (Until MickeyD’s tried to brand my forehead with the golden arches….)

    Hang in there, you’ll be FINE!

    Take care,
    Kim

    • Hey Kim, thanks for reading. What’s “CONUS”? Did that job kill more of my brain cells or something?

      What’s funny about the Satan gig is that across the street from the warehouse, there’s a Super WalMart. It just so happens that a lot of WalMart employees are former employees of Satan’s (they are the biggest employers in town).

      My neighbor, who also worked for Satan (and hated it), said the WalMart/Satan employees she talked to told her that working for WalMart is better than working for Satan! They actually like working at HellMart better!

      Now, that’s saying something about the job.

  11. Oh Rene….With every posting I read, I thought to myself, Rene does not belong there!! I know quitting and losing the income was not in your plan, but when you take a stand with integrity, the rewards are great.

    Something bigger and better is ahead for you and Jim!!

    • Ginny, hindsight is always 20/20 eh? Ok, promise me if you ever see me making a bad move again, say something! 😉

      Thanks for the encouragement.

  12. Hi Renee — I can’t add much more than the other Kansas WorkKampers have said. They are spot-on. The only time numbers was mentioned to me was by a corporate guy examining the facility, and I remember how I felt (very angry and upset). At the time I was up in the “tote farm” and had been waiting on a problem solver for 20 minutes, no cart, too many people boxing me in, etc., so there was NO WAY to make any kind of numbers. They just don’t get it that it is very disheartening to people who are working as hard as they can to come down on them like that, when there are circumstances totally beyond their control sometimes. Other than that experience, I really can’t complain. The work is hard and physical, long hours, but on the plus side I’ve lost 10 pounds!! I shudder to think we at one time thought it’d be more “fun” to work in Nevada than Kansas!!!!

    • Dianne, I’m so glad to know that you have it better out there, I really am. I wish I had stayed in Fernley long enough to lose some weight, I was really looking forward to it.

      Keep it up, you’re almost done!

      • That is one good thing about this job. I noticed what I thought was a bruise on my stomach the other day. It turned out to be a shadow from a new found muscle. I was pretty jazzed. I hope it continues.

        BTW, did you talk to Julia before you left? Work was canceled on he supposed last day. She said you were going to give her my info and to ask you for hers. Poor dear. I had no idea she had only gotten 7hrs last week.

  13. Hey Rene, Sorry about your stint in Nevada. We are running a Christmas tree operation down here in beautiful Sierra Vista, AZ. Hard work, long hours, pretty good pay and the great satan stays away and let us run the lot. Think about it next year.

    • Wow, I am so jealous. There is some great wild caving in that area. I bet the weather is nice right now, too. Have you been to the show cave Kartchner Caverns? I wanted to do pumpkins and trees this year, but on the spread sheet, Amazon in Fernley paid (minus expenses) a lot better for the hours worked. I heard a lot of bad things about Valley View and the pay seemed to be on the lower end of the spectrum. I am glad to hear its working out for you. I had no idea VV had lots in SV…. hmmm

      Sorry for the hijack!

    • David, that was one of the ideas we had, until we realized that our own Wyatt Ray isn’t ready to handle us working those kinds of long hours, together. Maybe next year, for sure!

      Enjoy Sierra Vista, I’d rather be there.

  14. I am really sorry to hear about your experiences at Amazon. I’m glad you stood your ground and did what you did. This wasn’t an all bad experience. Just think what you’ve learned from the time you were there. So when are you headed south? I hope we can meet up somewhere. We’ll be in Silver City for a few days before moving on to southern AZ. We want to check out Bisbee.

  15. Rene,
    I’m happy for you. You probably hate cliche’s but here’s two originals.

    1. Trouble is a bubble and bubbles soon fly away.

    2. There’s two things money can’t buy: piece of mind and poverty.

    Jerry’s up there, saying way to go Mom, I’d have done the same.
    Congrats
    Kelly

  16. ROCK ON Rene!

    You guys are only a few hours from us, hop over 80 and UR welcome to hang at our place.

  17. Good for you, Rene! Sounds like a terribly hellish experience, and certainly not worth selling your soul for! I can’t imagine them saying you weren’t a team player. What a crock! hmmpff!

  18. Rene, I’m so sorry this happened. Thank you for sharing you clear-eyed perspective and for standing up for your values. This is a valuable, much-needed example for me.

  19. Bravo!! Good for you in making that final decision. Have been there myself more than once & learned very early on that if I do not enjoy or agree with my job….I’m gone down the road. I’ve never been one of those last soldiers standing no matter what. If it isn’t right, get out, re-think, re-group, & get on down the road to new beginings:))

  20. Wow.

    I can’t believe how vastly different the experience here in Kansas is. The work is grueling, but overall I have been very impressed with the Amazon folks, and doubly so with the Express folks.

    It was Mark at the Express Kansas office that initially came up with the idea of hiring RV’ers to work for – and the Express folks very clearly value RV’ers. They have banners up on their building saying “Welcome Workampers”, they pay for our camping (up front!), and they have “Coaches” on-site at who’s job it is to check in on us every day to see how we are doing. The Coaches work for Express and not , they are not Ambassadors also juggling working a shift.

    Last year apparently provided a shuttle bus to and from the campgrounds being used – even the ones 20 miles away. And they provided an RV’er appreciation dinner too on Thanksgiving. This year we are getting no special perks like that, but the blue-badge full time folks seem to value us, and we are not (so far) under pressure to hit numbers or be shown the door.

    I know the Express folks who pioneered this idea are a little annoyed that is using other staffing companies at other locations to replicate it and hire RV’ers. They worry that the other companies will botch the job. It sounds like they are botching it big time in Nevada!

    I don’t know whether it is a Midwest vs West Coast thing, or an Express thing, but our experience has been very very different (so far at least). I’m really sorry yours has sucked so bad – and I think you made the right choice bailing on a bad situation.

    – Chris

    • Hey Chris,

      Because I’m the Moderator in the Workamper Amazon forum, I know that there aren’t any real big complaints coming from there. You and Cherie are SO lucky to be there, I wish it had been more convenient for us to head that way.

      I think the biggest difference between here and Kansas is that there is a HUGE labor pool here, and they have their pick. As recently as Sunday, the agency was still bringing in at least a few hundred new people every few days, to replace others who’ve been fired or quit.

      There are a few fulltime RVers here in Fernley, but not many, less than 5 at the park I’m at. The Agency couldn’t give a hoot about us, we’re just more bodies. I hope you guys let Express know how great they are.

      I’ve had one 11 hour shift, and that was it. The most hours I’ve worked for one paycheck was 30, and that’s pretty much the norm for everyone I’ve talked to. I’m really curious why they are cutting hours short here for everyone, but not in KS.

      And I swear, I’m not a whiner, and I’m not making any of this up. The Fernley arrangement is the pits, which is why I suspect that when I looked for other workamper feedback before coming here, I couldn’t find any.

  21. Wowie.. things sound positively horrid there in Fernley. Final warning after 2 days?? That’s insane. I’ve not heard any talk of warnings or dismissals for not making numbers here.

    Here in Kansas they have us on 11 hour shifts, and keeping us the entire time.. and having ‘scheduled overtime’ days each week. Looks like we’ll be working 5 days a week, 11 hrs each. And it’s likely to do me in!

    Today the packing in singles did me in.. my hands bruised, cut up, swollen and irritated with a rash. I went to my manager after first break with my hands shaking, and he walked me down to first aid.. where SatanCare, two safety managers and our ExpressPro rep took a full incident report. I was reprieved for the day from packing, and did spidering and problem solving. *MUCH* better and more body motion. I was getting compliments from folks that I was the best spider ever.. so hopefully I’ll be able to stay with that as a default role – I had so much fun doing it. No way I can do packing 55 hrs a week.

    Oh.. and while we may be making a bit less per hour here than in Fernley – they are paying our camping and honey wagon service. Apparently Express has done a lot of work to make the situation attractive to workampers.

    Good for you in standing your ground and getting out of there! I’ve been on the verge several times when coming home in so much pain for no good reason or cause. Knowing that we’re just here to experience this side of America (consumerism, production assembly lines, etc.) gives us an extra edge of knowing we’re happy to quit at anytime it no longer works for us.

    • Cherie, glad they had you do something else. I’m not sure they would’ve done that here. I know they’re ultra paranoid about injuries on the job, but there is such a surplus of workers here, I’m sure they would’ve just sent you home if that had happened at this location.

      I had a hard time deciding between KS and NV. When it came down to it, paying rent here was a wash, because it would’ve cost us more in fuel for us to get from KS to CA by Christmas.

      As for not making the numbers, that’s all they’re looking at here. Everyone’s just a number on a roster of production numbers, and if the numbers drop, that person is warned or fired. I wouldn’t have believed it myself if the orange-vest Ambassador hadn’t have broken down and told me.

      Glad to hear KS is working out! Hope you guys stay warm out there. Oh, and isn’t it so weird to process all that crap and wonder “Where do people keep all this stuff?”

      • I know.. it’s extra soul sucking to be dealing with stuff/crap all day long – especially when we as RVers have broken away from the accumulation of that sort of thing! I’m liking spidering so much more – I’m just seeing the boxes, and not directly handling all the plastic crap people buy for their kids.

        Tonight .. amazon feeds us dinner (apparently every Tues evening from here on out). We shall see! We also got a whole pie for T-day. Definitely a better feeling than what we hear out of Fernley (by the way, we related some of your experience there to ExpressPro, and they weren’t surprised by it.)

        All our best for your holiday season free of Satan!

        • OMG that is just UNREAL Cherie, I can’t believe that! I mean I’m so glad for you guys too, because I wouldn’t wish these conditions on anyone.

          We did get a Turkey dinner, but there has been no talk about every Tuesday. I can’t wait to tell my Workamper neighbor about that one.

          I’m glad to hear that Express knows about the Fernley agency’s reputation, because I so don’t want people to think I’m just a big whiner. Thanks!

  22. Congratulations to the both of you!

    Yes, Fear does rule our lives if we let it. As I’ve said before, much better to bust your butt for yourself rather than someone or something else’s benefit. Far more satisfying to be in control of your own destiny isn’t it.

    I wish more people would go back to the pioneering spirit that filled America with such greatness early on in its existence. Self reliance is something that has been slowly eroded away from many societies and I hope the events of the last few years will go someway to reversing this trend.

    Well done and I (as well as other followers of this blog I’m sure) wish you every success and the joy that comes from not just achievement but of the journey towards it.

    • Thanks Rob. You know I’ve always loved the self-reliance part about being self-employed. With the state of the economy, I just let fear rule my head, and opted for what I thought was an easier way. Obviously, for some of us, kissing up to corporate mentality, isn’t. This was a great reminder about why it IS better to work for yourself.

      And now, onward . . .

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