Just recently I was inspired to create a few cartoons because of a conversation I had with a guy who sleeps in the bunk next to mine.
We were talking about just how hard it is going to be to reestablish ourselves once released.
How hard it is going to be to find jobs… especially for us, two ex cons with no real job training and minimal job experience.
Hell, I have more cartoon experience creating cartoons and caricatures than anything else!
We also talked about jobs in the past we had…
Some that were physically demanding and demeaning beyond comprehension… and most that didn’t even provide enough to survive on solely.
Brandon, the guy who sleeps in the bunk beside mine, told me of a job he had once where he was working construction… where all he did was hold up a stop sign to direct traffic.
Doesn’t that just seem like the most fitting of jobs for guys like us?
This was an easy job to… not physically demanding at all.
But kind of demining… I mean, just a little…
Though, to the jobs defense, Brandon is sort of an idea.
He said one day while he was at work he actually fell asleep holding up the stop sign. Some old woman pulled up and saw that Brandon was asleep on his feet and decided to mess with him. She bumped the sign just a little with her car, and then laid on the horn.
Brandon said he woke up sp fast he damn near shit himself.
He thought he was about to be hit by a car.
He told me that the old woman almost fell out of her car as she got out of it and was laughing hysterically at him.
It’s not really a good example of what I am trying to convey here.
Here is a better one; before I got arrested I had a job working on a marina on very big expensive boats…
I did everything there.
I ran all sorts of equipment, and pretty much busted my ass for this company for about 7 months.
I was hired at $8.50 an hour and got a raise, once, to $10.00 an hour.
But then the recession hit and only 2 people were laid off… a guy who made $20+ an hour and the lowest paid employee at the company…me.
I specifically remember saying to myself, how I hope the $600.00 I made every 2 weeks (5 and some change after taxes) really helped keep the company from going under during the economic slump.
It must have, too.
There still around today.
So, I got laid off. But, I didn’t give up!
I refused to give up!
I went and busted my ass some more. Now, to find work again.
I found a new job in 3 days. But this was no normal job.
It was a horrible job.
I got hired working for a moving company making $9.00 an hour which would have been fine except I was only working about 20 hours a week.
I remember cashing a check one time for about $125.00 and asking if I could have it in all 5’s so it actually LOOKED like I had some money.
It was then that I realized it was time to look for a second job. And look I did.
I must have put in 20 applications in a short period of time, everything from restaurants to fast food. Hell, Hardees wouldn’t event hire me!
I even went and talked to an Army recruiter. I said “I want to join the Army…You can even send me to war, I will go.”
They told me because of my record I would need X amount of college credits…
The Army told me I would need COLLEGE to go to war!
I even tried to start my own business… Jobs done right. No job too big or too small, We’ll (figure out a way) to do it right!”
I received 0 business.
By this point, I was beaten.
The moving company now only had a use for me seldom to none… and it seemed only when it was some intense rigorous shit.
Like “Oh, we got three pianos that need to be carried by hand up four flights of spiral staircases and you can’t wear your shoes in the home either.
Can you image moving a 500 pound piano with 5 other guys up multiple flights of stairs with no traction on your feet?
I did that…
Before long, I gave up.
I went back to what I knew best…
And that in turn eventually sent me back to prison.
Success in the free world for an ex-prisoner-felon can be a real shot in the dark…
Just hoping to hit the mark.
It “must” take an immense amount of determination to succeed after prison.
Notice I used the word must in quotations. I do so because I have never experienced this first hand myself.
I only offer what I assume to be correct.
If the DOC would spend more time and energy focusing on job training instead of the senseless bullshit that they do maybe that would in turn give guys like myself and Brandon a real opportunity to succeed.
Maybe then prison wouldn’t be so much of a revolving door type of operation for guys like us who have spent many years getting let out only to come right back.