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Hard Work Vacation

keeping up with pappy
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Okay, I admit it I’m a big softie. I’ve never worked in any job that required hard physical labor. In fact, I don’t know that I’d want to. But, it’d be nice to try. My grandfather dug his own coal mine in his back yard in west Virginia and working in there each day saved enough money to bring the family up north so he could get a nice “cushy” job cutting molten steel in to coils at the mill in homestead.

I’m really sick of him making fun of me because I only know how to type….

When I go on vacation I’d like to go and do a “Hard Labor” job for about a week or two. It would be educational—fun, without the down-side of breathing coal dust for six years. So there should be a series of hotel camps that offer placement for people who want to learn about something with a company some place. The resort would pay the company a little for taking on the curious, and the company might just get (a little) free work out of them.

Work vacations include

Coal miner Spike driver Woodsman Jack hammer Op. High Rise Construction Coal Barge Driving Stamp Man Coil Man Stone Mining Rickshaw Driver

futurebird, Dec 19 2002

future, think about this. http://www.vso.org.uk/
your talents would be welcomed. [po, Oct 04 2004]

Or as a cowboy working on a ranch? http://us.imdb.com/Details?0101587
[krelnik, Oct 04 2004]

Dude Ranches http://www.duderanch.org/
[krelnik, Oct 04 2004]

Hard work? YEAH! http://www.habitat.org/
[linguist, Oct 04 2004]

"Habitat as a Christian Ministry" http://www.habitat.org/how/christian.html
You'll want to make sure you're comfortable with this sort of thing first. [Monkfish, Oct 04 2004]

Hard Work And Foreign Exposure On A Budget http://www.uclan.ac...tional/vacation.htm
Several slightly more bohemian variations for those with European destinations in mind. [jurist, Oct 04 2004]

[link]






       There are agencies that give assignments for the day to workers who just show up in the morning; if you were satisfied with truly unskilled hard labour, that'd be worth a try, and you'd get a pittance at the end of it instead of paying for the privilege.   

       For interesting jobs, though, you'd certainly need a teacher/guide. Most of these jobs are probably too dangerous/delicate to let soft-handed city-dwellers really participate, unfortunately. I wonder if you could really get it to work out.
Monkfish, Dec 19 2002
  

       The cowboy/farm version of this is called a "dude ranch", there are quite a few of them in the US and Canada. See links. In that form at least, its baked.
krelnik, Dec 19 2002
  

       VSO would not let me do hard work since I can program/project manage and that's what they want more. When I showed up to help red cross after 9/11 they had me doing data entry and phones. --also since I don't know if I *really* want to work in a mill/mine/farm for more than a week I'd rather try first.   

       krelnik is right, this idea is like having a dude ranch or "hobby farm" for other jobs. I don't think unions would mind since it takes a week to get trained and the city dudes are not going to stay long after that anyway. If anything it could give the workers a chance to show off all the things they know that city-folk can only try to grasp.
futurebird, Dec 19 2002
  

       Cleaning my house is pretty hard work. There's a hotel not to far away, but you could stay at one much farther, so you'd have to walk to work in the freezing cold. Then you'd better do a good job and scrub everything well (and when it comes to scrubbing, think toothbrush). I'd make you walk the dog and do the shopping at a store far from the house. Oh, also, I want a piano delivered. Finally, you can tuck me in and then sit up all night in case I want a glass of water or something.   

       At the end of the week, you can buy me a new pair of high-end inline skates and we'll call it even.
rowlycat, Dec 20 2002
  

       How about a vacation that lets you learn a new skill, involves good hard physical labor and benefits humanity all at the same time? <link>   

       And yes [bliss] the bitch-lady has a soft spot in her heart too.
linguist, Dec 20 2002
  

       linguist, I have one request: Stop calling your elf that
thumbwax, Dec 20 2002
  

       I second linguist's proposal of Habitat for Humanity. My son went to West Virginia, and had a great time helping build houses for a mining community. A major eye opener for a New York City kid. (And, yes, it was complete with coal dust: they didn't meet a person down there who didn't wheeze or wasn't perpetually short of breath.)
DrCurry, Dec 20 2002
  

       Did he join a Snakehandling Church, and open a new branch in NYC?
thumbwax, Dec 20 2002
  

       As has been pointed out elsewhere, this sort of thing has been going on for centuries. Take on an employee, you have to pay him (unless, of course, we're talking about Wal-Mart.) Take on an apprentice, however, and he pays you.
wgmcg, Dec 20 2002
  

       I don't see how any of this gets you around the "softie" problem. Those "hard labor" things for volunteers are nice, but there's a world of difference between them and actually having no choice but to do hard labor (and not having your pick of which type you'd like - the "day laborer" suggestion isn't a bad one). I take it you won't be exposed to nasty chemicals or other dangerous conditions like those who do real hard labor (fond memories of foreman trying dig a chunk of metal out of my eye with a little stick), though those are significant part of the reality of all the jobs you've mentioned. Nor will you have to do it long enough for it to take a real toll on your body and still have to keep going (also part of the reality of those jobs).   

       At the end of the day you'll take a nice bath in hot water, and then snuggle down into your comfy bed and sleep soundly not having to worry about how you're gonna make it, etc. (Not a part of the reality of those jobs.) It's kinda like those fun times when the owner's son shows up for a week of "learning the business from the ground, up" and shows what a hard worker he can be (also comes up with an brilliant improvement that nearly kills somebody). You're still talking about one of those "Be a real cowboy!" vacations.   

       For the second time, come clean my apartment. You'll get to visit a foreign city, which is freezing right now. As part of the deal, you can give all your money away so you have to live in a squat with no heat. I was talking to someone who works in the delousing program just today. She knows lots of laborers and could hook you up with something after I fire you.
rowlycat, Dec 20 2002
  

       Going to France or Italy or an Israeli kibbutz for the summer to pick grapes or provide farm labor was a cliche when I was a student in the '60s and early '70s. A quick Google shows that those programs are still available, with somewhat better looking accomodations, and an even wider variety of destinations and work experiences. (link)
jurist, Dec 20 2002
  
      
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