The job that I had had for 6+ years always had a seasonal slowdown over the Christmas and New Years holidays. We were usually fine again by February when work picked up, but 2020 had other plans. With the Covid-19 shutdowns, by March it was obvious that something was wrong, everyone at my job but the CEO, COO, and myself were laid off. The only reason that I was kept around was that my electronics experience was needed for some repair work, but eventually the accounting firm made a phone call to the CEO and we were shut down with the CEO being the sole employee left at the company.
I worked at my mom’s ranch for month and then moved on to another company that needed an electronic technician, but six months later also with no work coming in they laid me off for a month and possibly longer depending on how things were down the road.
Oregon’s unemployment system was a huge joke beyond belief – people had been waiting for months and never seen a dime – so filing for unemployment was never an option in my opinion, so back to my mom’s ranch I went to work until my job could bring me back. Then in a complete surprise the ranch wanted to hire me on full time, so I agreed to take the job and resigned from the former two jobs and left everything and everyone I know behind and moved out to the middle of nowhere and am now a ranch hand full time.
I do a number of things: truck mechanic, fence mender, cow feeder, road fixer, driver of whatever machinery they need me to drive, plumber, electrician, electronic tech, lumberjack, carpenter, forklift driver, etc.
Moving to the ranch was never in my plans, my last job paid very well and when things picked up and it was obvious that the job was going to work out I was planning on buying my own house and moving to Hillsboro and going to flight school to learn how to fly airplanes.
I was also in a band as the bassist … things were going very well and we had some songs that were starting to work out, then by February of 2020 with the looming threat of Covid-19 we had to go on hiatus as our drummer had a pre-existing health condition and could not be exposed to anything. The three of us have not been in the same room since then; I’m very glad that I wrote down our songs on sheet music otherwise I would have forgotten them by now.
So … that is my story.