30 March 2005

To Be, Or To HazMat, Is That The Question?

Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to survive, or to collect a paycheck and pray it expires before you do.

While spring may or may not have arrived. The weather gives no definitive answers, but agitating the ethereal 8-ball yeilds the determination "my sources say yes".

The weather is once again warm enough for Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) pickups. The gist of it is that a township (in conjunction with the state's version of the EPA) will arrange for a HazMat company to set up a temporary staging area where the locals can come by and drop off their nasty things. Typically arranged on an odd Saturday on a large parking lot.

Working in Hazardous Materials (as I used to do full-time) requires quite a lot of training, especially in safety. Its standard for new hires to have 40 hours of training before they are allowed to be in the HazMat facility. Thats just the start. Its been years since I was fired from that job. I deserved it, but I was also very glad to go. It didn't have to be a difficult job, but that was one of the few parameters that evaded my control. The training (naturally) I get to keep. While I was unemployed, one of the odd jobs that helped was going on these little HHW pickups. The snag is that the essential HAZWOPER training requires a yearly "refresher" training. Employees sit in on a session paid for & scheduled by the company. For me, having no company, the best I can do is a $100 course on the internet. Call it an investment. I guess.

So, now I've been contracting again, at the same client for a year, and starting to get financially stable again. BUT now I work most weekends. Well there's another HHW coming up on April 9th. Miraculously I don't work that day, but my certification has expired. So, do I drop a yard and call it an investment for the next 365? This may be the only day that I can work, and if so, I'll break even at best. It'll look good on a resume, though. I'm really tempted to just take the darn day off, too.