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  • My son, Jesse, had been unemployed for over three years. With no technical skills, and little higher education, his eleven years at a warehouse/manufacturing facility taught him skills that were not in high demand in today's economy. Most jobs of this type, have gone overseas, or to Mexico, which was the case with his job at Columbia Lighting. Today, I learned that he finally found employ, and had started that very day.

    My daughter, Janell, his older sister gave me this good news, as none of the text messages Jesse had sent me had seemed to come through to me. This morning, she and I were discussing this, and the company with which he had been hired. The manufacturer, with whom I am somewhat familiar, Is located next to where we worked at Columbia Lighting, in Spokane Washington.

    They had been customers of Columbia Lighting, and had purchased the first run of a line of product that had been transferred to the plant in Juarez Mexico, that would eventually replace us completely. The lighting troffers they received filling this order, were defective. Some did not work at all, some actually caught fire on installation, and Hubbell Lighting, who was the current owner of our company wanted to return the units to Juarez for rework. The customer rejected this plan, and requested that the rework be done at our facility, as we had a good reputation for the quality of our work. I found profound irony in the failure of those that were to replace us, and the customer seemingly agreeing with me. Hubbell was unable to grasp this fact, and our jobs went away none the less.

    I was trying to relate this story, to my daughter, Janell, who, whether she was just in a bad mood, or being condescending, (as I have observed of her many times while staying in her home, and where am I presently), snapped at me curtly, impatient with the tell of the story. The conversation went somewhat as follows:

    Me; "I know that company, they make pizza pans, among other things. They were right behind us at Columbia Lighting"

    Janell; " Well, He started yesterday, I think."

    Me; "I can't remember the name of the company, but they were right behind us in the Industrial park (repeating myself). They ordered lights from us, and when they got them, they were defective. They were the first of a line of product that the Mexican plant produced." (she knew the story of our closure)

    Janell; (irritated) "Can't you just get to the point? I can't understand anything you're telling me. Just keep it short, it doesn't have to be so long a story."

    Me; "If that were true, War and Peace would have been just two pages."

    Janell; (curtly) "Don't be an asshole!"

    Me; "I wasn't."

    Janell; (louder, and more irritated) "YES, YOU ARE!!"

    Perhaps I should have said, 'they bought defective lights from us', and left it at that. End of conversation anyway, and probably the end of communication of any kind, for a little while.

    I love her dearly, but she can be a royal pain sometimes. I love my son too, and I'm delighted he finally has a job.

    I have forgiven her already, in fact I forgave her no sooner than the words left her mouth. It will be her loss, that she misses a good tale now and again.

    Maybe being a storyteller, is akin to being a prophet.

    "A prophet is not without honor save in his own country"
    [Words spoken by Jesus to the people of Nazareth, the town where he grew up. They refused to believe in his teaching because they considered him one of themselves and therefore without authority to preach to them.] (source:
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