Learning graphic design, my new job, and someone shot at my Paint Nite venue.

It’s Monday morning and I leap year day according to what Facebook alerted me to first thing this morning when I woke up.

I also don’t have work today which kind of sucks. But hopefully things improve by tomorrow.

With the new job, I am part of a “pour crew” for a big time manufacturer of gigantic concrete forms that are used on roads and bridges…

All we do is pour the concrete into those forms once they’re ready to be poured.

Sounds easy enough right..?

Well, it’s ass-busting work, actually.

I mean, some of the forms are as long as a football field, broke up into sections of individual pieces inside them.

Regardless of the ass busting nature of the job, I do enjoy it. And hope that it is all that  it is cracked up to be with lots of hours per week and room for advancement.

But, again…

Today I am off because we have to wait for forms to be prepared before we can pour.

So… What will I get into today..!?

Well, I think I going to continue having fun with a new found passion of mine…

Graphic design.

I really like graphic design, and I’ve just started to learn how to use Photoshop.

I actually want to start using it to create caricatures with, but that isn’t easy.

What I have created lately is a little easier to make.

Custom memes…

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These are some examples of what I’ve been doing.

Today I will create more.

In fact, it’s my hope to create the title image for this post..! So hopefully, by time your are this far into this post, you will long ago already have seen that.

Also I haven’t mentioned Paint Nite with Joe, yet…

Oh.

My.

God.

Hey did I ever tell you about my venue where I host Paint Nite with Joe and how it gets a really bad rap for being in a not so great area..?

The place is decent..! I swear, it is..!

But Jesus..!

This place can’t catch a break..!

And it’s shit like this that is why that is.

Fuck.

Oh well. Maybe I’ll just try to act like it didn’t happen.

Regardless of all that, today is going to be a good day…

I’m going to make it a good day.

You should make today a good day too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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First Day on the new job…

Yesterday was my first day on the new job and it was pretty interesting…

I got to work and met two other individuals who were to start yesterday, as well.

Turns out, I must have come at exactly the right time to fill out that application because it seemed there were doing a bit of hiring at that time…

So I get my new employee ID and get sent to my crew.

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I’m now officially part of a “pour crew…” Which entails pouring concrete into huge steel boxes that are designed to form giant concrete structures.

Also the pour crew does a lot of clean up, as well. Which I don’t mind. Hell, that is all I did at the temp service..!

So yesterday being my first day, I met the guys on my crew and they all seemed to be pretty cool…

There are 5 of us workers, then a foreman and a bigger boss man. And of the 5 workers, 3 are new.

One has been there 2 days…

One has been there a week…

And one has been there 3 weeks.

Then add me to that and it’s a whole new crew, basically.

We were doing all clean up yesterday.

Lots of clean up.

Supposedly, in preparation for some “pours” that were scheduled for later that day…

And I mean way later too…

Like 9 PM.

We were supposed to work this super long day yesterday that could have gone till like MIDNIGHT..! But I think the weather caused that to be changed. Because the weather was really bad.

It started thunder storming and that killed the work day after only 5 hrs. But still, even though it was a short day. I learned a little of what the job entails.

I learned that we get 50-60 + hrs a week.

I’m making 10.00 an hr starting out. And after 90 days I’m eligible for like a 2-3 DOLLAR raise..!

Plus full benefits..!

Oh and by the way, this place is like prison on the outside world…

Meaning that EVERYONE here is an ex con..!

I have found home.

Also yesterday I got to kick it with my good friend LEE who helped me get this job and I haven’t seen him since prison..!

Lee is a stand up dude. And it’s great to be working with him.

I’m blessed to have this job. And I intend to make full use of it and not ever take this opportunity for granted.

I may never see another opportunity like this and because of that I have to do my very best with this.

There’s a real chance for me to get ahead for once since being out and I’m hoping to do just that.

Enjoy today everyone and make the most of it..!

 

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Out with the old, and in with the new.

I’m not going to expose the temp service for the frauds that they are.

I’m not going to expose all the bullshit they do and the people involved.

I’m not…

Or, am I..?

We’ll see I guess.

So, yesterday..!!!!

Wow.!!!

Let me give you the run down.

It all started Monday afternoon on my way back to the temp service to pick up a check I had no idea was going to be so messed up…

Well, during that ride, I was on the phone with a good friend of mine named Lee who I was locked up with.

Lee got out a few months before me, and he has a really good job working in a plant that forms huge concrete structures that are used to build roadways and bridges.

I was talking to Lee about just how bad I needed a job (and a good one at that) ,and I was hoping he could help me find one where he worked at.

He told me to come out there where he worked and to try and fill out an application.

Oh…

And when I say “out there…”

I mean, “out there..”

It’s a decent little hump out to where he works.

So, I said “ok.” And hoped that sometime this week I would be able to get out there.

Yesterday, I don’t go to work because what work is there really for me.

So, with that, I decide to try to find a way out there.

But I have no ride at all.

Then, as a last resort, I place an ad on craigslist “looking for a driver..”

“$10.00 an hr.,” I say in the ad.

I figured whatever I would spend on this trip would be cheaper than an uber at least. So fuck it…

I took a chance and placed the ad…

Within half an hour I had 3 responses.

I rolled the dice, picked a name, and told him to “come on.”

Funny how this guy ends up being a guy I know from probation who I took a “thinking for a change” class with.

Cool cat, though.

And soon, we were on the road.

We get out to the monstrosity of a compound that this concrete plant is about 45 mins later.

I am amazed by the size of the concrete pieces this place makes.

They are the biggest damn structures I have ever seen.

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I go inside and ask the receptionist if I can fill out an application and she says “sure.”

So I do so, and when done she asked me if I had any experience.

My common, yet vague response is always the same…

“Oh yeah,” I said. “I have tons of experience in a lot of different construction fields.”

She told me to hold on a sec.

Then came back with a man who turned out to be the plant manager.

I talked with him briefly and must of made an impression with him because I said ” go on to the back and lets fill out the rest of your paperwork.”

“Holy shit,” I thought…

I am about to get a real job…!

I go to the back and met a woman who gave me a paper to take to an off site medical center.

I go there and take the drug test.

Pass that, of course.

Then come back and take a safety test. Then fill out my tax information. Then take a picture for my id badge and BOOM..!

Today I start my very first day on a job my homeboy Lee said is more of a CAREER..!

This company pays top dollar and has tons of overtime, benefits and room for advancement.

Plus they build shit..!

And people are always building shit…!

There will always be work here.

It’s tough and hard work. But it’s a real fucking job…

And a good one too.

I am blessed to have this opportunity.

Oh and my criminal record which I had to include…

They couldn’t have gave a damn about that.

Today starts the first day of a new chapter in my life of freedom.

And with that, I ain’t looking back.

The temp service was bullshit and I got a major grudge with them folks for a number of reasons. But I’ll give them the benefit of just leaving it be…

I will try to pay it forward as Lee did for me, and if I can help any individuals find work as I have, I will do so.

As for the mural work, that had to be rescheduled for the time being until I can figure out what my work weeks are going to look like.

And it’s ironic too, as I was walking through the plant yesterday, a woman called me about a Paint Nite with Joe event…

Had to reschedule that, too.

Wish me luck.

Today is day one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Ex Con GARNISHED and EXTORTED..!

As an ex con trying to rebuild and reestablish his life in the free world, for every step I try to take in the right direction…

It seems something always happens that tries to push me further towards the wrong direction.

And after you read this, you’ll understand better when I say, “it’s almost like they want me to fail and go back to prison…”

Who is ” they..” You might wonder.

The system.

So here is the deal…

I’ve been working my day laborer job, trying to work as much as possible in an effort to get out from under the drowning debt I have in bills.

Well, yesterday I work all day. And when I go to pick up my check which should have been a little over 50 bucks…

Guess how much it ended up being..?

26 dollars..!

What the fuck..?! I said.

Where’s the rest of my check at..? I asked.

Turns out that money was taken for garnished wages due to outstanding court fines, and a processing fee the temp service is allowed to tack on in addition to that garnishment..!

This totaled OVER  50 % of my income yesterday..!!

So if I already couldn’t survive on 200 dollars a week, then there CERTAINLY is no way I’m going to be able to survive on less than that..!!

This is really fucked up..!

I mean, yes, I owe a shit ton in court fines that I must pay if I ever hope to see a drivers license again. But we’re talking around 15,000 dollars..!

I’ve been out of prison now for 4 months now after 7 years in..!

I’ve got no real job training or experience…

No license or trade…

Because of that, I don’t make shit and I haven’t been able to find a decent job, yet.

So I haven’t really yet been in a position to even THINK about paying on any of that yet…

What I do know is that these court fines and this EXTORTION of my wages are going to make it really hard to live off of 26 dollars a day.

How the hell can I expect to pay any bills with that..!?

Where do the courts AND the temp service get off taking over 5o % of my pay..?!

Hell, I’m already making these people a KILLING..! And then they’re gonna add on a processing fee for the garnishments..!

AND the processing fee is higher than the damn garnishment..!

That is total bullshit..!

I like to think I’m out here doing as much as I can in an effort to get my life back on track.

But every time I turn around it’s something else.!

Check out this day labor pay check…

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That “Misc deduction” is the actually FEE the temp service TOOK for processing the garnishment..!

Here is my check before deductions…

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And here it is after.

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I’m going to shoot an Episode of The After Prison Show today about all of this, as well.

And it’s not going to be negative, either..

Aside from this crazy garnishment shit costing me more than half of my total earnings yesterday…

I do have quite a bit of good stuff going on regardless of all that.

Like the prospect of A REAL JOB..!

And a good one, too.

Oh, and today I’m going to give the bingo hall and preschool a bid for some mural work. I’ve got a meeting today at 6 PM for that.

Also, there are a few Paint Nite with Joe developments to mention, as well…!

So look updates to all of that coming in the near future…

And until then, how bout a laugh to stop the tears…

Help me out here…

I need a caption idea for this cartoon….

What do you think this guy should be saying to me after I see just how little my check is after all this garnishment extortion…

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Whelp, that’s about all I got for now.

Hope all of you have an awesome Tuesday and make the most of it.

I have no choice but to do exactly that, myself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Me and Kanye are on the same level now.

So Kanye is 53 mil in debt and he reaches out to Mark Zuckerburg for a 1 billion dollar investment on TWITTER.!

To which one of Marks aquaintences comments back to saying “hey Yesus.. If you’re going to ask a guy for a billion dollars…”

“You might pick another way to do so besides Twitter..”

Love this guy..!

Then on facebook I see that there is a gofundme campaign set up for Kanye with a goal amount of 53 million dollars…!

Oh and that’s NOT even the crazy part…!

The crazy part is that it’s already raised over 7,000 dollars..!!!

So I go try to find this campaign on gofundme, and while there, I search “Kanye…”

There were literally THOUSANDS of these campaigns set up..!

What the fuck.!!?

So that inspired me to create a little Kanye Cartoon this morning…

  
Yep that’s how I’m feeling about all this Kanye bullshit..!

And hey if people will just throw money at this guy to help him get out of debt…

I wonder if they’d support a more worthy cause..?

Like me trying to get a moped for transportation to work.

Gofundme.com/joesmoped

Just a thought.

The perfect job for a felon with no job skills, training, or transportation.

There is always a story when it comes to the daily adventures of Joe.

I don’t mean to speak of myself in third person.

But there really is no other way to put it…

OK.

Well, maybe there is another way to put it.

Hell, maybe there are a hundred other ways to put it.

But that’s what we’re going with here..!

So…

Yesterday I’m given some work through the temp service and it’s not the normal construction laborer…

Or flagging work.

Or banquet serving.

Or laundry gig.

Nope.

This time it’s holding a sign up on the side of the road for a bingo hall.

I was offered this job before, and I turned it down.

I won’t lie.

My pride wouldn’t let me do this at first.

All I could think about is those people who have to get dressed up and dance their little jig while holding up a sign for the tax places…

I really did not want to do this job.

But desperate times call for desperate measures…

And yesterday I found myself in an Uber on my way to this job.

Spent $20.00 just to get there, too.

But got there I did. And the first thing I noticed when I arrived…

Murals.

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There were murals painted on the side of the building…

2 of them.

I walked inside, spoke with the woman. She pointed the sign out to me and I was out to the street to walk around holding up a sign.

The first thought that went through my mind…

This has got to be what it feels like to be homeless and holding a sign up on the side of the road.

It was pretty humiliating, at first.

Then I thought, “I wonder if I’d make more money just holding up a sign that said homeless.”

After awhile, the humiliating feeling started to fade as I started thinking about other things…

Like how I could incorporate some murals at this bingo hall to help advertise…

Then I started looking at places on the building where I could do some murals.

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Then I started thinking about when I went to take my break, how I was going to go in there, find the guy in charge, and pitch him on some work.

Then I started thinking about “mopeds…”

Yep.

Mopeds.

Little 50cc scooters that are street legal and you don’t need a license for…

I need a moped.

And here is why…

  1. I will never see a license unless I find more/better work, where I can make more money to begin paying off my court fines.
  2. I won’t find that more/better work unless I have transportation to and from work.
  3. I could be more mobile and less reliant on individuals.
  4. I could even go out and sell mural work and paint parties to other venues… Getting there when I need to… And getting where I need to go… Self sufficiently.
  5. I could save the “ton” of money that I’m spending in Ubers and rides… In two days, I’ve spent $50.00 in rides… That’s a tenth of what a moped is going to cost me.

 

 

So, yep… I need a moped.

I thought all of this through thoroughly while standing on the side of the road yesterday…

It’s crazy the stuff you think about while standing on the side of the road in a humiliating manner. Almost anything just to keep your mind off of what it is that your doing.

By the way…

I’m going to need some help trying to get this moped too.

So you know…

I was thinking of a crowd funding campaign.

Maybe like if I could get EVERYONE to invest like FIVE DOLLARS into Joe’s Moped Mobility Fund…

Sounds like this thing is coming together already..!

OK.

Just throwing that out there…

So, the day continued. And at 2 PM, I took my break.

And just like I envisioned, I went inside, found who I needed to find…

THE OWNER of the bingo hall..!

I introduced myself as “Joe,” the guy outside holding the sign up. And I said I’m also an artist who specializes in mural painting.

He was very interested in this and there seems to be a good chance that I might actually be able to line up some mural work at this place.

Oh, and not to mention…

PAINT NITE WITH JOE EVENTS..!

I talked to him about those, too. And he seemed very interested in that, as well.

And what a location this venue would be for those…

He can probably seat 500 people here..!

Just I have no idea what he is going to want as far as money goes to rent this place for those events…

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It’s a really nice location.

We’ll see what happens.

I have to put together some ideas and meet with him next week.

There is a good chance this could turn out to be my first mural job in the free world.

All because I decided to swallow my pride and do whatever I must to get by right now…

Well, I say do whatever I must…

But I’m not too sure about all that entirely.

I mean, and this is going to sound wAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAy out of left field…

But I found this guy on craigslist yesterday who wants to buy my dirty underwear.

How’s that for an ending leaving you wanting more..?

Or, maybe way less.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Getting played by a company that exploits people in desperate situations

Yesterday I went on a job interview where I got completely played…

First, I find a job ad talking about 15.00/hr…

Something about talking to customers…

Handling questions…

I’m thinking its some sort of call center.

I get a call from a chick about the job. She sells me on it even more.

I’m completely blinded by the fact they’re talking about 15/hr and that my record won’t matter.

Then I get another call at noon telling me I’ve got an interview and I need to be there at 12:30..!

So I haul ass, get dressed, call uber, and get over there as fast as I can.

Even during the interview, I still have no idea what all this is about.

But then I start to piece it together…

The empty boiler room of an office…

Talks of going out and setting up client meetings…

Turns out they want me to buy some kitchen knife from them, then go out and try to sell them..!

“Oh shit…”

What the he’ll have I gotten myself into..?

I’m sitting here selling myself like a motherf@&er and this is all bullshit.

Wasted 30 damn dollars in uber rides to go do this..!

But, I learned a few things…

1) I can get ready for ANY interview at the drop of a hat and go in there and nail it..!

Hell they told me to dress nice…

Khakis….

Only pair I have are the PRISON ones I got released in..!

Had to wear those and I still looked as good as the others who got played right along with me..

I also learned…

2) not everything that sounds good really is…

A little cliche, I know. But really true.

I mean, desperation can lead you to move hastily and without better judgment.

So I gotta remember in the future to always analyze the prospect fully before diving headfirst into a potentially shallow grave.

Yesterday I did complete my resume. So I plan to start using that in my job hunting efforts.

Because I really have to find a decent job.

Today, I’m holding a sign up on the side of the road like a liberty tax Statue of Liberty person…

You gotta do what you gotta do until that right thing comes along…

I just hope someone will see my resume and think that I have the right qualifications for the job they are seeking to fill…


Hopefully.

Hey and check out the latest episode of The After Prison Show if you haven’t yet seen it..!

Click here to for The After Prison Show.

Watching a fly die, a video, an interview, and a robbery.

The other day I watched an old house fly die.

It was kind of poetic actually…

This thing was HUGE.

It was buzzin’ around slowly. Not really going anywhere in particular.

Skipper, my cat, was chasing it around, as well.

He might have had a few swings at it.

But then, later, I noticed it in the window…

Slowly walking across the glass.

For every few steps it took, it fell a little further down the window. Until finally, it was at the bottom and on the window sill. Almost completely lifeless.

A few shutter movements.

A twitch.

Then nothing.

It was quite and interesting thing actually.

And somehow and for some reason, I thought to myself that this vanquishing of life from this bug represented something so much more…

Maybe it represented my chances of succeeding out here in the world.

Or my dreams…

Vanquishing.

But then, just as quickly as I thought all of that.

I stopped.

Hell, it was just a fly..!

Figured I’d open with that because it had been something I had wanted to mention since I witnessed it.

Yesterday, I shot the second installment to a series for The After Prison Show about jobs and resources for ex cons returning home after incarceration.

It turned out really well, and if you haven’t yet seen it,  please do so here.

Also, something else and totally off subject…

But a web magazine called Virginia Flair just published an interview they did with me from two months ago.

Something is off with the page layout and there are a few errors in the text about exact words I said…

Like “minimums” instead of “minimal s.”

And fish “packing,” not “tacking” house…

But other than that, I was very blessed, and also honored, for the opportunity to be featured.

Click here to check out the interview.

Also, something ELSE totally off subject from all of that…

I was googling something this morning…

Looking for the perfect image to use to advertise my latest video…

So while googling “options for ex cons,” guess what I found a picture of waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down at the bottom.?

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Me.

I found my own damn picture.

Pretty crazy,right.?

I guess I’m an option for ex cons..!

Or more so The After Prison Show. Because it was clicking the link included that took me right here..!

Just thought I ‘d share all that with you.

So today isn’t looking too promising for work right this second.

Hopefully something will pan out. Regardless, if it doesn’t, I’ll just try to make it happen my own way…

And not the way a guy I know from prison just tried to make it…

Heard last night he robbed another guy I know from prison…

The revolving door keeps revolving if you keep revolving with it, I guess.

Whelp, that’s my time folks..!

Have a great one as I attempt to do the same.

Do not be beaten and keep fighting the good fight.!

Take care.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A video that explains a little more.

Well today I had some work and I was thankful for that….

Turned out to only be half a day though. But that’s ok too…

Left me plenty of time to shoot part two of an episode for The After Prison Show about jobs and resources for ex cons…

Check it out here.

Let me know what you think.! Comment and subscribe..!