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I hate to go away from auto related here but,,....

I sent a text to Greg about an hour ago and called my brother who lives near Gregs establishment.

My brother says the place is open and is going to stop by for lunch. (He is acquainted with Greg, sort of)

A too hope all is well.

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Greg returned my text and was embarrassed about causing concern.

He is slammed at his business and cannot find help. That means more work for the owner, right?

He will be checking in soon.

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Steve, Jack, Daniel and James,

                                                                                Please accept my sincere apology for causing you any concern on my part and for my delay in responding to messages.  I will repent in sackcloth and ashes.  Nothing is amiss, I am in good health and all is good in the hundred acre wood.  

And Jack, thank you very much for contacting me this morning.  I just hadn't realized how quickly the time was slipping by.  You're a good friend and your concern is very considerate albeit a little embarrassing for me now.


You've heard the expression "sometimes life gets in the way" well, I'm living it in spades for the last few months.  Our labor pool here in the desert has completely dried up.  I've gone from a regular staff of 10/11 down to a staff of 5.  Luckily the remaining crew is very loyal and hard working but my wife and I are re-living our halcyon days in the business.  I am now the dishwasher, janitor, maintenance guy, sound engineer, fill in bartender, bar back, and cook as well (I'm not a very good bartender but I do have job security).  Eleanor is working doubles in the kitchen and out front behind the bar.  I don't really mind doing the work but I really need to lighten the load on my crew.   We've had to pick up all the slack of the missing crew so we're all working double shifts 5 days a week.  We decided to close Mondays and Tuesdays because we just don't have the personnel to run the extra hours.  So Mondays are spent cleaning all day, inside and out and Tuesdays are for shopping, restocking.  Get home at 3am sleep til noon and do it all over again the next day.  Very frustrating after having been open 365 days a year for the last 15 years and I hate turning anyone away, which inevitably happens every time we're there on Mondays and Tuesdays.  Business is steady the customers are there, numbers are decent but we can get overwhelmed pretty quickly if we have a big night and just a skeleton crew working.   I've been running employment ads for 3 months and I'm offering top pay but I'm just one of 200 similar ads listed locally.  Offers of $1,200-$1,500 signing bonuses are now commonplace for kitchen staff, ugh!  Every business in the valley is crying for workers, but especially the food/hospitality industry.  

Several factors have caused this.  The governor decided to extend the unemployment benefits way beyond the time limits of all other states, so many just sit home and collect.  Plus the state legalized recreational marijuana use and overnight we had an explosion of warehousing space built here in the desert to accommodate the trade.  Millions of square feet of new facilities have already been built and more are coming every day.  So all the younger generation feel their futures are in the weed industry and they've all gone over to pick leaves.  Easy work I suppose and fringe benefits too but the impact on the labor force has been crippling.

 I had a young guy moved out here from Michigan, nice kid hard worker too but when his temporary accommodations changed it was impossible for him to find lodgings.  Studio apartments start at $1,500 per month for a real shabby dump in the lesser part of town and go up very quickly from there, $2,000, $2,500 is pretty common.  Hotels have a 25 day limit and their weekly rates are ruinous.  If an apartment even comes available it's gone in an hour.  I searched for a week myself trying to find him anything but with zero success.  He was afraid he'd end up on the street and was left with no alternative but to go back to Michigan.  Then in a completely bizarre turn of events he stops in Arizona on his way home to visit relatives where he's shot and killed in some type of accidental discharge situation.  Still haven't got all the details yet.  Just 26 years old, heartbreaking news for us.  The housing shortage is a pretty familiar situation all over the desert and many landlords are really taking advantage of that shortage.


So all that being said, currently I just don't have the leisure time I used to.  I really do miss surfing all my favorite forums, with a cup of coffee in hand and sharing great info and a good laugh, especially here.  I noticed when I sat down to write this tonight, my keyboard actually had a thin layer of dust on it!  Good grief.


Anyway, to follow forum guidelines and keep this auto related, I noticed my car is making a noise in first gear.  I think it's the cluster gear.  It's not really causing a problem and the noise is slight, but I know it's there so I'll have to pull the trans and tear it down and replace the part... I'm thinking August maybe.

Cheers all,




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California unemployment benefits must be very substantial to be able to afford $1500 to $2500 to rent an apartment. When my employer went out of business, and I was on unemployment, I spent all my savings, ate mostly vegetables (cooked at home), learned to appreciate drinking water (never any soda pop, much less alcohol or tobacco), walked much more than drove my car(which luckily was paid for), and went to the public health clinic. Benefits weren't even at subsistence level.

Happily, it didn't last long. The most lasting effect was a great appreciation for being employed and having a couple of nickels to rub together. The experience was good motivation to get up and get going.

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