Travis' first week at the new job is going great. He likes the guy he's riding around with this week, but he hasn't had much of a chance to get to know the other guys (aside from the one he already knew). I really hope this week is a glance at his future with this job. He has worked so hard for many years, he deserves a job with a little slower pace of work. Because they service such a wide area, he spent more time driving than he ever did at the last electrical company.
He already has his own truck that he is in charge of inspecting, although he won't be driving around on his own for a few more weeks. He came home Wednesday night, excited about getting to arrange the truck how he wants. The guy he's driving with right now had some great ideas on how to set up the bed of the truck, so I have a feeling Travis will be doing some of that to his own truck.
When we first moved to Galveston, Travis got a job immediately working for Quizno's, since that's who he'd worked for in Illinois. He worked there for a few months before hearing about a job at a plant east of Houston. It was a horribly long drive, especially during rush hour. He had an hour and a half commute each way. That was in addition to a 10-hour work shift. We barely saw each other while he worked there. I hated it.
Soon after I started my first semester at Texas A&M, I made some friends. We hung out at their apartment frequently and got to know their neighbors, Cristin and Kai. They had a baby who I think was around 1 year old at the time. Kai was in the middle of building a house on the west end of the island. He had contracted out all the big work, but was getting ready to get his own hands dirty to do all the smaller jobs. Since Travis had some construction experience from when he worked for my dad during the summers in Illinois, Kai hired him to help.
Travis spent the entire summer helping Kai finish up the house, along with a occasional help from another friend of ours. The work Travis did for Kai was hard labor, but Kai was a good boss. It probably helped that we were friends. While Travis was working there, he got to know one of the guys Kai had contracted out to do the interior work. His name was Patrick. When the guys had finished the work at that house, Patrick took Travis on as his first full time employee.
After a couple months, Patrick hired another guy to work along side Travis. He did general construction for Patrick as well - trim, painting, installing appliances, windows and door knobs. He even took a stab at a little electrical, helping out some of the other contracted workers. Eventually, Patrick's health declined as he lost his battle with Hodgkin's Lymphoma (hopefully I'm recalling that correctly). Patrick was unable to stay as busy with work as he wanted to and had to let Travis go.
While working with Patrick, Travis got to know his last boss, Guy. Guy quickly agreed to hire him on with his small company. Travis had always shown interest in the electrical side of construction and was looking forward to learning more. He immediately got his Apprentice license and began learning the trade. After a few years, he tested for his Journeyman's license and has kept that active ever since.
Working for Guy was hard work. They worked long hours during the week and every Saturday. The work itself was grueling and fast paced. A lot of what electricians do involves houses and businesses without the electricity turned on. That means no air conditioning, which in southeast Texas is a pretty big deal. Add to that a lot of work in attics and you've got one tired employee by the end of the day.
Travis also worked at an oil refinery plant as an electrician for about a year in the middle of his time with Guy. Needless to say, Travis has been working his butt off for years. I'd say that he is overdue for a job that is a little more laid back and I think this new position is just the thing he needs.