I learned today that the man who made our first airplane and founded the company only had a fifth grade education. Granted, this was in 1910 or so when education wasn't quite as common, but it's weird to think that we wouldn't even hire him as a janitor now.
The other cool thing about orientation is that I've gotten to have some real true discussions with guys who are going to work in the plant or service center. Find out their backgrounds, what they love about aircraft, what they hate about engineers, those things. Most of them had prior experience fixing planes, so it's not like they're like me. A guy came in to talk about the union, it's almost $40 a month to be a union member but you don't have to do it. The workers seemed indecisive about it. One of them asked me if I was going to join, I told him that I didn't think I was invited, since I'm not hourly or anything. I don't know how to feel about unions, I keep hearing these horror stories about other companies, where an engineer picks up a bolt off the floor and gets fired because that's someone else's job. Or lines where employees sit around three hours every workday, but no one's allowed to yell at them because they're union. But the idea of unions is so noble. They're supposed to accomplish something. hrm.
We learned about benefits. I have a lot of life insurance on me through the company, you know? I'm used to having that comfort in knowing that if someone offs me, what my parents will get will barely cover my debt and funeral expenses. Now things will be... um, very nice. I was going to make my sister my primary beneficiary, as a joke to mom and dad more than anything, but now I'm thinking I'll go ahead and list mom. My sister's kinda shady sometimes. Now that it's a real amount of money, she might think about it.
I'll retire sometime around the year 2045. By then, I'll be running SuSE Linux 52.1 or something like that!
On the way home, I stopped by this used CD store to see if they had this ben folds CD I've been considering. They didn't. But they did have seasons I, II, and III of Star Trek: The Next Generation for $80 each on DVD. oooh! I stopped and had a thankful moment that my credit card was canceled. If I had the gold card, my whole "stop spending money" might have been shot to hell all right there.
I feel good.