Sunday, November 10, 2013

Hard to believe almost 40 years of work experience in so many places and locations the Good the Bad and the Ugly places I worked

My first real job I got a regular pay check from was as a Paper Carrier for the now defunct "South Hills News Record " which had offices in Brentwood  and covered the south hills     a once a week paper which I started at age 12 and  really enjoyed I gave it up at age 16 when I was a senior  at carrick high School   of course whole time I was a kid I shoveled side walks full of snow  collected pop  bottles for returns, dug gardens, cleaned out property's   etc. to make money for spending purposes so I did not have to sponge off my parents . I also did small electrical repairs ,rewired lamp, fixed doorbells  etc. and built heath kits for people when they could not finish them.

My Second Job Really Sucked

 I got an OVT job placement  at the now closed  White Vacuum Company on Brownsville Road  In Mt Oliver where I fixed Vacuums  which ended up the place was ripping off  its clients and which I quit after having an argument with the owner Mr White over how he was supposedly  fixing things that did not need fixed like replacing motors which all he did was clean them up and say he replaced them.When the steel mills closed down and people stopped buying new vacums and waited to fix them he closed due to lack of business.

My 3rd job was enjoying the outdoors.

When I graduated from carrick   I took a job that summer as summer staff  as a voyager and rangers assistant  at BSA Camp Semiconon  run by Allegheny Trails Council  what a mistake. I took troops on  a 7 mile hike to Moraine State Park in Butler County  then canoed 2 miles  across lake author stay over night and repeat in morning  when not running trips I took care of the camp helping the ranger.
 That summer I learned to never again trust my fellow scouts and got to see the ugly inner workings of a scout council full of inept and incompetent individuals  and how fellow scouts treated each other when leaders where not around and while they all say the oath and tell the moral life they should live while some try many do not . Never again .  I had very little to do with scouting after that and have nothing to do with them after trying to help fix up camp echo in Ligonier and having valuable equipment I brought to the camp get ruined over laziness.
Yes I will never ever have anything to do with scouting and I encourage people not to let there children go into scouting. After the summer camp job was over for the summer I looked everywhere for work and could not find it  no one wanted to pay anything and most where not hiring even being an Eagle Scout did not help it was actually more of a detriment and having my last name did not help many people thought I was Jewish and Pittsburgh is very antisemitic and racist despite what people here say. With many of the mills slowed down and barely working jobs where just not out there. One day I walked from Neville Island all the way to south side trying to find work nothing .

 My 4th job Working for a Nazi.

 Finally in the fall of 77 after I graduated I was able to find work  at the now closed  M. Berger Company at 6th& Bingham street on Pittsburgh South side in the old Republic steel fabricating  plant  as an Electrical Repairman .I was paid $3.00 an hour above minimum good wages for there day.
We rebuilt machinery that was then resold to contractors I enjoyed the work except for a real fuck head of a boss his name was Fritz Heim who made it no bones he did not like Jews or blacks   no one in this place liked him or wanted any thing to do with him . He bullshit his way thru many jobs always convincing the owners it was someone else's work caused the  problem I worked there almost 3 months and had enough and left  People put signs up and would write all over the place Fritz was Drugged  why the Berger's ever kept this individual was beyond me when all he did was run the place into the ground . In long run good thing I left the place closed when the  steel mills went down.

My 5th &6 Job working for a succession of security guard company's and being a porno projectionist

That spring I attended  Connely Skill Center on Bedford Ave in the hill  to become a Refrigeration Mechanic looked like I was going to need an all around background to find good work especially since the economy was getting so bad  an excellent school run by 2 individuals who should not have been running it and basically gutted it out and ruined it that it could not be saved and closed. .
While going to school I needed money so I started working as a Security Guard  working for the   Burns International Detective Agency a friend from carrick worked there and recommended me.I have not seen him since often wondered how he made out it  easy evening work so I could work and still be alert for school paid minimum wage and I got to see all kind of neat places but the fact of the constant danger on the job after they got rid of the dispatch center where supervisors checked on you often  especially at industrial sites became non existent I said good bye and started working for CPP Security  they paid 25 cents an hour more and at first where a good company but as I would find out they all pretty much sucked especially after the mills closed and they hired any warm body they could find . Since I had started my business earlier on I was able to float around and could care less what these company's thought they where getting to be all the same. While attending Connely Skill Center a friend offered to get me in the Movie projectors union.
The problem you had to intern no pay which if I was hired in union  would have been fantastic $18.00 an hour  but as an intern you learned how to use all the projection equipment by working in all the Porno Theaters yes for a while I was a Porno Projectionist. I spent evenings at the now demolished Mini Ritz on Federal Ave. I learned to run all kind of projectors and spot lights including running the spot lights when the girls
 where dancing naked on stage  what an experience. My soon to be wife worked at a now demolished lingerie store on Liberty ave which burned in an arson fire Tre~joilet  where she sold the dancers there outfits and of course they would make up all kids of story's to get her mad at me. Just one of many games they played. at the time the very controversial porno movie "Deep Throat" was making the rounds and Theaters where being busted . We where told if ever raided to say nothing and call a certain attorney. After a couple of weeks of doing this work and getting no where I knew I was never going to get in the union when the owner of the Mini told me yea I get guys like you here all the time but they only take couple a year in  I said no more and gave up the idea of ever getting in the union and working at one of the show case cinemas. Which are all gone now and most of the union projection jobs went away when the steel mills closed and so did theaters people did not have money to go.. at one time Pittsburgh's Liberty ave and Federal street had dozens  of massage parlors, porno theaters , adult book stores  etc. and there all gone now  thou some gentleman's clubs have opened up in other areas around town its nothing lie it was in 70's Federal street was mostly ripped out to make I-279 and stadium parking and liberty ave is now an arts district. Even If I had gotten in I would have been layed off with least seniority.

My 7th Job working in a shopping center made up of Old Banks and my 2nd distaste for unions

I got this job working as a guard for CPP after leaving Burns  and was given an assignment one time to go and guard the bank Center  it was located at 4th and Wood street in downtown Pittsburgh
and consisted of a bunch of old banks all tied together to be a shopping place had a night club theater etc. nice place. I was patrolling the place when I noticed the maintenance supervisor working on an AC unit and mentioned I would be graduating from Connely soon He said great why don't I come down and fill out an application they were looking for a young guy to fill a maintenance job.  Hired as a quote maintenance man but was more of a janitor it paid well and eventually I would have joined the  cleaners union but that's the rub with these kind of places they would collect your dues money and when it came time to join the union they would make up shit or cause conditions to get so bad you left.
There was this old bastard Joe afraid I was going to take his job and he always lied saying I did not do my work when I did then there was Tom and Fred 2 co workers always ready to stab you in the back and blame you for a problem. Then there was Linda the union Stuart who expected everyone to kiss her ass
I wouldn't so you know what happened. I eventually left there  disgusted once again a bunch of people protecting their jobs which they never really did in first place and ripping off the employer. I warned management what was going on they chose to ignore it to there detriment too worried about the unions strangle  hold on them.  . Linda would lose her Stuart  job and get arrested for stealing from the offices of clients in the building . Tom and Fred  I would deal with later.The bank center closed along with mills when the economy got even worse around here and no one had a job. With almost 130,000 jobs lost in the region .The Bank Center now is a library for a local college .

Back to CPP
Well I was still operating my business but still needed extra money and one day I get a call and got asked to come back to CPP to help sure I said but  it was one shit hole assignment after the other as steel mills and business closed  we had to watch.  But one assignment the one evening was actually a nice clean job working the big Kaufman's  dept. store Thanksgiving weekend sale.
Guess who walks in yes Tom and Fred they where suppose to be down at the bank center working.
Well I called the owners and told them what was going on and my supervisor at Kaufman's verified it they had there bank center work uniforms on. they got written up for it but that was it because they where union workers any where else they would have been fired.
I worked part time for CPP and told them listen the job market is not getting any better how about making me a supervisor like you promised me when you first hired us 6 officers when you started CPP  .Maurice  said no and after a guard was attacked at Sewickly Bridge project I said no more  and just so happened to be walking thru Century III mall when a friend of mine  who I worked at Burns with walked by and was working mall security he said they where spreading out would I like a job  at one of the new locations Pa Professional Security was opening up sure I said Ends up a local sheriffs kid ran the guard company and I was assigned to a  Shop n Save in Southland shopping center  which is now closed  for many years and now open with new owner Previous owner I worked for lost it all when his father gambled away there business after opening a restaurant which failed . It was near the mall and I it. did for couple weeks when I started having problem with my knee and I had to sit down and get off it and owners wife berated me for sitting down I explained situation and said i needed a few minutes off them but she was having none of it and filed a complaint and sheriffs son was a jerk about it and I told him to take a hike and screw his guard company.Had this been today I would have sued the shit out of both of them under ADA but in the end they both got what they deserved.
At that point my knees where getting bad so I lucked out and found an armed security job where I sat most of the day with
Commonwealth Security  at theses gold and silver exchanges I would get up when a customer came in but after working these jobs and seeing how people where getting ripped off by these shops I said I can not work in such places any more. At that point
Business was picking up and I only needed some weekend work so I got a tip one day McGlenon Detective Agency was hiring a retired FBI agent Bob was a great guy to work for and he had all kind of retail establishments and I worked all over the city for him on the weekends. One job was a McDonald's in McKeesport  right across from USS tube city steel mill . I had steel workers laughing at me and telling me I was crazy to start my own business the mill was booming and jobs where plentiful . What they did not know is what I heard a year previous at an eagle scout luncheon when David Roderick talked all about how things where going to be changing and jobs going overseas .  Some of those same workers I talked to took there own lives after losing there jobs when the mills all went down. My dad was one of the few lucky still to have his he had enough seniority to move up from furnaces to byproducts and was able to stay long enough to retire from LTV
But before the mills went down I  then got the chance of a life time I thought  I got hired by Holmes Protection Agency as a runner repairman fixing burglar  alarms really loved the job but the 2 idiot relatives who ran it and ruined the place to point it was sold to Westec now called Vector.
and of course it was union and again union took my money and did nothing for me. It worked out great I was building my business and worked 3rd shift for them.  I was fired one day  because I had to defend my self when a 6"6" 350 pound  customer  who owned general tire franchise with mental health issues  accused me of stealing from his business and tried to take my service weapon off me when he grabbed for it I instead  grabbed the gun  backed him off then backed out of business and called the supervisor who said everything would be OK I did the right thing. No complaint was ever lodged by customer. I wrote the report out and the 2 relatives said since I signed it I was fired. Sign it ? what the hell does that have to do with any thing well as usual I was 2 weeks from getting into union as a full member  where they could not fire me and once again in this case local 5 electrical union did nothing for me . I  hired  a lawyer he tried a half hearted  effort  to get my job back they refused and I did not have money to fight it. This was the point I said screw it and decided to go full time into my business . In the end I got my revenge when Holmes was closed and sold after I took many customers off them who where disgusted with them along with other alarm company's and the rest as they say is history.  I got my business going got married in 81 and never looked back making my way thru what at the time was a horrible times in the western pa area with so many jobs gone. The sad fact being everyplace I ever worked has closed and are now gone including all the security guard  company.s whose offices where closed and out of business . CPP and Burns are now part of Securitus .
Just goes to show just how bad these employers where.
 They could get away with it before all the anti discrimination laws , OSHA Regulations  have now come into being. If anything it was a learning experience and I learned well over the years who to do business with and who not. Many of the people who screwed me went to there graves very bitter  little fools or are still around and have suffered terribly for there actions as life has dealt them what they brought on them selves .
Lifes funny that way it always gets even in the end.

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