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Old 08-08-2019, 08:40 PM   #91 (permalink)
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When I lived in NC I lived about 1 1/2 miles from downtown out in the country because I couldn't stand living in the city, population 1904 as of 2017. When we moved KY we moved about 2 miles from downtown population 7073 as of 2017. The town in KY I grew up in and lived in until I was 25 had a population of 2111 as of 2017 so I guess I've lived in the middle of nowhere all my life.

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Old 08-09-2019, 12:51 AM   #92 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
....if you want some places on the edge of nowhere, try Ravendale, California, population 36.....
Our Ravensdale, WA has about 1000+people. Not nowhere. But long past coal mining accidents killed many people, & finally the coal mines shut down, which surely tried to turn it into nowhere. Guess the railroad tracks, crossing highways & regional logging(all, which still killed people) kept it going.

Last edited by litesong; 08-11-2019 at 10:50 AM..
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Old 08-09-2019, 02:04 AM   #93 (permalink)
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The school district put the position on hold. I asked what usually happens in that situation.

Nobody knows!

I apologized to the charter school and asked them to take me back. I filled out the forms on-line, with 100% of my takehome pay going to my savings account with its sweet sweet 0.25% interest.

If they will still take me, I can still get half the hours, and half the hourly rate, with 0% benefits, and zero retirement.

They said the district may come back in a week. If they do, I also expect them to offer less money, but I am pretty sure that I would have applied for the district's rate, 36% less.

My take-home pay would have been like seeing 13.5 clients a week, better than 68% of the paychecks that I have had in fourteen months.

The part-time position is like seeing another five clients a week.

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Old 08-09-2019, 11:24 AM   #94 (permalink)
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There are SO many opportunities to make money here in the US it is ridiculous.
Good. I'll take the CEO job, taking 3500 times more money out of the company, than the going rate paid to the scientists, technicians, blue-collars, secretaries, & minimum wage earners, who really build the wealth for the company. Then, I can cut off the billions dollar torrents of cash to company speculators, cut off the stock options & cash bonus's going only to the highest big wigs in the company, & give big pay raises to all the wealth earners of the company.....& I'll still be deliriously happy with my 1000 times pay cut. Yes, that's the way to make a healthy wonderful society & make nowhere places into somewhere places....if such occurred in all big companies.

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Old 08-20-2019, 02:11 AM   #95 (permalink)
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I started today. They gave me a small raise since offering me the job and I picked up a couple of students, so they offered me another two hours a week. My supervisor said she would be at the school an hour after me. I did not have any idea how to spend that hour. I just sat and waited. She spent six hours showing me different aspects of the job.
I do not see students until next week.
I drove half an hour and worked 6.5 hours. I finally got a hold of a family almost forty miles away and saw them for the first time. It took one hour to drive each way and I did two hours of therapy.
Accounting for gas and time driving, the school job paid 2/3rds as much as my home health job per hour.
I am in a Facebook group for speech assistants and someone asked how to get her training, so a couple of her suggested places to look. Some guy with the same first name as me told her to just forge the paperwork, SLPs will not teach you anything, they don't do therapy 99% of the time, just work you like a slave. Then he criticized my employer. He later posted that the owner of my company is being investigated.
I asked him twice for a source and he asked "What do you mean a source? It is true!"
I have a source that says the woman who owns an agency he promoted lost her license for illegal activities.
I told him that since he refused to provide a source I was unsubscribing. Apparently he does not understand the meaning of the word. He is still trying to argue with me: "And yes, forge the signature as opposed to doing work for free for [censored] organizations. Yes. Absolutely."

Where the heck is his moral high ground?

The full-time job posting finally disappeared from Indeed, but the site suggested "Speech Assistant jobs in Show Low, AZ (about 5 jobs)."

I want them to explain how one is "about 5."

The one job is a posting by the school district itself, offering 65% as much as the agency had.

"Hey HR Head, we have an applicant!"
"You charge too much, we will just go without."

It would have had twice as many hours and benefits of unknown quality. It is about as far away as the clients that I saw today. If you count drive time and gas, the job I started pays 15% more per hour, and I would have needed to drop one or two clients.

I also would have needed to drive a twisty and hilly road 400 times a year, with snow, ice, and bad drivers.
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Old 08-21-2019, 01:13 PM   #96 (permalink)
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I can't believe I never looked at this thread before. Here's my experience:

I lived in the middle of nowhere in northeastern Vermont for a few years. I absolutely loved it, gorgeous scenery and friendly people, but work was a bit scarce and cost of living wasn't much lower than being near a population center. I scraped by doing various things - fixing electronics (around $120/day), substitute teaching ($110 per day), sometimes both in the same day, and eventually started driving a van and replacing computer components and repointing satellite dishes for ~$48,000/yr 50-60hr week. I definitely needed some specialized skills and find a niche to do alright in the area.

After a divorce and my father passing, I moved to the Big City of Burlington VT, with a population of around 42,000. This is Vermont's major metro hub. Cost of living is higher but there's way more work here than there are people to do it, a perpetual shortage of workers in every sector. I drove past a place every day which advertised $15/hr to make bagels and they just couldn't seem to hold onto people at that wage. After I moved I went into IT, and then a year later into access control systems, biometrics/card access for colleges, medical facilities, data centers and the like, and am making around 60k now with a very generous benefits package and a work week typically around 45 hours. We're possibly going to lose some people who are making significantly more money doing freelance on the side.

My experience has been that wages in the area don't scale up like they do in more populous places (e.g. Boston) and I can reasonably only expect to make another 10-15k without taking a second job, but that entry level is much better relative to the cost of living. It's hard to struggle here unless you have major obligations (lots of debt/children), are single, or have some major obstacle/disability to prevent work.

My partner moved in with me around a year and a half ago and took a job not in her field, working for a contractor that provides services to schools - one-on-one support for children with behavioral issues or special needs. They pay $35,500 with good benefits, the average week is around 43 hours, and one can work there with a high school diploma. They are severely short-staffed, with no interviews on the schedule. She just took a second job, "respite care", where (generally) she helps children and families which are struggling (e.g. single parent, autistic sibling, disabilities, etc.), it pays $15 an hour with mileage compensation from the moment she picks up her car keys, and there's no cap on the number of clients (and therefore hours) she can have. Most days she picks up a child, takes them out to eat (paid for by the program), then goes to an office provided and does arts and crafts for an hour or two or does something fun, like a trampoline park or kayaking or w/e. Occasionally we'll have a child over for the night (to give the family a break) and she's paid even while they're sleeping, albeit at a lower rate. The waiting list for a family to get these services is months to years long, as there just aren't enough people who are willing to take a job paying "so little".

Between the two of us, we just bought a house and are on track to pay off our mortgage in around 4 years.

I'd love to hear how other people are doing in other areas right now.

Last edited by Ecky; 08-21-2019 at 01:38 PM..
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Old 08-21-2019, 01:41 PM   #97 (permalink)
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Interesting story Ecky. While it's not the middle of nowhere by ND standards, ND is the middle of nowhere by most standards. I live in a town of ~6,500, the 13th largest in the state. I commute 42 miles to my job just north of a town of ~15,000, which is like the 6th or 7th largest in the state.

I do quality control of aftermarket pickup accessories, mainly roll-up tarp style, and folding aluminum tonneau covers.

My last job was in the town I live, doing quality control for a company that builds basically all the framework, and suspension and engine mounting components for motor-coaches, as well as some other parts for them, and a few much smaller customers.

Unfortunately though my current job pays better, and has much better benefits, I have about 40% the workload, and am WAY overqualified for what I do heer, and spend most of my time bored silly. I've reached the point where I know more than my manager, and can easily do his job, and could easily do the position of QC manager at pretty much any company that does metal fabrication, and such like; except they all require a bachelors degree, experience in the field be burned.

Considering going to college to get a mech. eng. degree, but with 4 kids, a wife, a house, and a rental house it's not terribly feasible. I could make a little more money if I moved elsewhere, but outside of ND the "Everyone needs a college degree" mantra is even worse.
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Old 08-21-2019, 01:47 PM   #98 (permalink)
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You're right, not as "middle of nowhere". Burlington is 2 hours from Montreal and 3.5 hours from Boston, and you can get just about anything you could desire here despite the small population. There's also an international airport.

Eastern Vermont is very scarcely populated, most towns are only a few thousand people and have a very isolated feel (3-4 family names in total and the streets are named after them), but you're never more than 1.5-2 hours from Burlington or Boston due to the state's small size. I live half an hour north of the city now in a town with around 10k people - property values are around half here what they would be in town and I have a lot more land.
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Old 08-21-2019, 01:54 PM   #99 (permalink)
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You're right, not as "middle of nowhere". Burlington is 2 hours from Montreal and 3.5 hours from Boston, and you can get just about anything you could desire here despite the small population. There's also an international airport.

Eastern Vermont is very scarcely populated, most towns are only a few thousand people and have a very isolated feel (3-4 family names in total and the streets are named after them), but you're never more than 1.5-2 hours from Burlington or Boston due to the state's small size. I live half an hour north of the city now in a town with around 10k people - property values are around half here what they would be in town and I have a lot more land.
I was actually talking about my area with that comment. However, between my town of 6,500 and the town I work in, there is only two other towns, together less than 500 people. Past the town I work in, it's 100 miles to the capital city (~80k in the 'metro'), and one town of about 800 between there. Past the capital it's another 140 miles to the next city of 25,000 or so, with nothing between but cows, some wheat, and a couple bumps in the road that consist of a gas-station and the people that run it.

50 miles east of my town is Fargo, with a 'metro' population of ~250,000. While Fargo seems like a big deal to us up here (my wife and I actually buy all our groceries there, much cheaper), on the national scale it's still quite small.

That's all on the I-94 corridor, away from the interstate it's even thinner, perhaps matched only by mountainous Wyoming, and for some reason western SD.
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Old 08-21-2019, 05:20 PM   #100 (permalink)
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This page shows Show Low as the sixty-third largest thriving metropolis in Arizona, out of 437. Page is #77, but as I have mentioned, the next-nearest town is a couple of hours away.

You know, I took things for granted in Page, a dedicated therapy room, my own desk, and my own computer. For four years I have usually been able to look at goals, grab activities out of my bag or the supply cupboard, and get to work, but I want to leave my iPad and speech bag in the car so that I do not leave anything I need for my clients.

I spent ten hours coming up with activities for twenty-five students--using my phone and a pad of paper.

I hate to think how much faster this would have been on a computer and not in a busy classroom, but what would I have done with the rest of my time?

My co-worker from the agency did not understand why I accepted a job that paid so poorly, but I enjoy it here. I just hope that I acclimate to two jobs and ten-hour days quickly.

One complication is that my two new Monday clients live on the reservation, and I had zero coverage at least twenty minutes from there. I sent two messages to other families trying to schedule appointments, but I realized today they did not go through. I needed to look up something in the family's home, but I did not have a connection, so I needed to improvise, with mixed results.

There is a carrier that is supposed to have great coverage there, but a worse connection in-town.

I do not see how it makes sense to buy a second phone unless it is a prepaid one in my glove box, in case I break down.

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