I do not remember why I left the tree crew for Rocko. Maybe it was the off season. Maybe it was a desire to have a job that paid me money and didn’t require me to be out in the elements. Whatever the reason was, I took a job at a startup company (called Rocko) where we manufactured woodstove mats. These were made from a concrete coating over a composite board of some sort. We had two or three different patterns where we made them look like bricks or stone. The mats were used by consumers who had woodstoves to protect their walls from the heat without having to install real masonary walls.
I was the cement mixer for the two weeks that I was there. One day the boss called me into his office. Guys being guys, my coworkers started poking and teasing, saying that I was going to get fired. A few minutes later, when I came out of the office, they asked me what happened. “I got fired,” I replied. Oh boy did they feel bad. The fact that they were teasing indicated to me that they never expected that to happen. So I had no hard feelings towards them. The company just wasn’t making it, financially. I was the last in, so I was first out. Those were some hard times financially! The company didn’t last much longer than that.
At that time another guy in the church, Bobby, who was a house painter, said that he would hire me to help him paint. I had no experience painting, but I didn’t think it could be all that hard. I quickly learned that I was not a good painter. So, while I continued to paint, I also continued to look for something else. What I didn’t know was that Bobby was agonizing over what to do about me. On the one hand, he wanted to treat me in a Christlike manner, but on the other hand, his reputation as a painter was at stake and he couldn’t justify keeping me on. Jesus didn’t leave very explicit instructions on how to fire your friend.
One day, Bobby and our pastor, Tommy had a meeting. Bobby poured out his heart and asked Tommy for advice on what he should do. Tommy was happy to tell Bobby that he had nothing to worry about. The Lord had already solved his problem. It seems that just prior to the meeting, Tommy had receved a call from Rod (another man in the church) who was a foreman on the Lynn Cove Viaduct project. Rod was trying to find me because he had an opening on his ironworker crew that he wanted me to fill.
Next time, Jasper and the Lynn Cove Viaduct.
Workin’ for the Man Series