Shown In Walnut ($15 additional)
16" seat height, 17.5" length by 14.5" width. intended for an entryway stool but handy wherever? $150 in Cherry, introductory price $130 until Dec 25th.
Shown In Walnut ($15 additional)
While we make dimensioned furniture, we occasionally help put together a "live edge " project. In this instance the customer brought a slab of Northwest yew wood which needed a base and the top flattened.
Like all slabs, this one had a significant had a twist to it we had to rout a flat landing in the base.
Bob applied for a job last week. He looked like the "guy" for our open position: energetic, articulate, focused, and competent. He also seemed to be an amazing fit with the crew in interests and outlooks. And he was stoked to actually work in a furniture shop and learn and learn and learn. Our final words were about pay, and he was shooting for the upper end of what we pay in the shop. After all, someone who would not require handholding and basic training for months or years sounded perfect to me. Assuming I would hear about Bobs solid woodworking skills, I called his references. Often references are reserved and circumspect, obviously treading that fine line of providing useful information and skewing an opinion against the applicant. Yet this time I found myself chatting with a very real business owner, and we understood each other very well. I gained information about learning styles and actual experience and tool skills. Bob was a greenhorn. A great guy with oodles of potential, but still requiring a serious a training session frequently. His second reference echoed the same ideas.. Lots of potential once he makes it up the ladder.
This isn't some dumb laborer job. There is a lot of skill involved, and a type of skill which can only partially be learned in a classroom or through reading. There are many reasons attaining the rank of "Furnituremaker" requires an apprenticeship and not a college degree program. Lots of tool use, both hand and power, and machinery too. And it all must fit together into a coherent understanding of how to build furniture: structural theory, finish chemistry, reading the grain, laying out pieces, organizing a job with myriad steps and so on.
I offered the job on a Wednesday. His first question was the pay. I reiterated that $15 an hour was the starting pay because he did not have any work experience with a duration over a year nor documented skills at performing these skills. I would love to raise him up once he could demonstrate his skills to our team. My antenna went up when he said, hmm I'll have to think about this.
This is a unique place to work, the crew is exceptional, the work is exceptional, the atmosphere is wonderful. We have an uncommon collection of bright, fulfilled and passionate people here. Working here can be like getting paid to go to school.
And, the owner is in his sixties now, and needs help with the growing business. In short opportunities exist.
No word by the following Monday so I shot off an email, asking if he was still in the process. Still no word. By now I have let go of any result and mentally moved on. Today I get an email telling me the pay was too low and his quality of life would suffer working for us.
My point is not about Bob being an ungrateful cad. No, it is the all too common dance small business owners end up performing around people who do not have the training, the experience, or demonstrated skills. Often it seems like most of the capable people are sent off to the holy grail of college. That the end all of a career is to make the most amount of money. That learning is below them. That confidence, hubris, is a more important job skill than knowing your trade and flowing with your team. That quality of life is a function of how much money you can earn NOW.
I'll make sure I stick to talking about wood in my next entry.
Til next week---- have fun and learn a lot.