bour·geoi·sie [bo͝orZHwäˈzē] : the bourgeois social class; whose values and beliefs are typically characterized by materialistic pursuits and petty concerns.
ref·u·gee [refyo͝oˈjē]: an individual seeking refuge or asylum; fleeing impending natural or political disaster in search of a better way of life.
Former Account Executive
My former label was “Account Executive.” It sounded smart, but my administrative responsibilities were far from senior. I didn't attend board meetings. I didn't get my own parking spot. I didn't have any employees. I spent entire days cold-calling for new business. Fancy title. Shitty job.
I was raised in the industrious and sometimes prosperous rust belt of America. When I was still in high school, I decided to participate in a “co-op” program with an insurance agency. It was a “work-study” program that allowed me to skip classes so that I could put in hours. Insurance wasn't necessarily what I wanted to do with my life, but it allowed me to buy a car.
When I turned 18, I got my agents license and was able to start working full time to pay my way through university night classes. It was nice already having job experience when a lot of my friends were just getting started, but being so serious about making money at a young age may have limited my early learning experiences in other ways. Then again, maybe it showed me just what I needed to know.
Throughout every transition in my career, I spent most hours of my days dreaming of backpacking trips, kayak excursions, jumping out of airplanes, or basically anything other than shuffling papers, tabulating accounts and trying to hit quotas.
At my last sales job, the frontier of my sales territory was 150 miles from home. I had to drive for two hours just to get to my clients. It gave me a lot of time to consider the progression of my life, although in winter time, my focus was more about just trying to stay on the road.
One winter I was on my way back home in the middle of a snowstorm. I had decided to cancel the rest of my appointments to try and get home before the storm got too bad, but it was already too late. I ended up squarely in the middle of a blinding whiteout. I knew there was a semi-truck just in front of me, but I couldn't see a thing. There was no way to know what was going on ahead or behind. Then I caught a glimpse of people standing around in the median. Through breaks in the swirling snow, I saw carnage all around. Cars were smashed up in the ditch. Trucks were jackknifed and rolled over.
Emergency crews were nowhere in sight. I felt helpless as I watched in horror. I wanted to stop to help, but there was nowhere to pull off. I was afraid to stop, not knowing what was behind me. All I could do was creep along white knuckled through the slow procession of chaos. It took me six hours just to get home that day. When I got there, Scott was watching the news. There were more than a hundred vehicles in the pile-up. Had I been passing through just a few minutes earlier, my life may have taken a much different course.
Spending so much time on the road definitely gave me lots of time to consider my future. After my SUV was totaled by a garbage truck on my way to work, I certainly considered my fate. What's it worth making a living if you end up not alive?
Former Automotive Engineer
I used to help make the thing that takes you to your job. At an early age I developed a fascination with machines. I can't say where exactly it came from, but my best guess is the little blue case of Matchbox cars that I toted as a child. It was like a tiny portable parking garage full of dreams.
My brother and I had a stack of orange plastic tracks that we could assemble into a Colorado freeway down the stairs of our split level home. We'd carefully select our best cars to race side by side. At the bottom of the steps were twin vertical loops where your car could seemingly defy the laws of gravity as they rocketed through space. It was like an exit ramp to the future.
At some point I started playing with real machines. There was a broken electric can opener that mom let me take apart, then a broken lawn mower my dad got from a co-worker. In first grade, I took a broken windshield-wiper pump from my uncle's 1971 Chrysler and turned it into a foot pump that could fill up a glass with water. It wasn't exactly brilliant or meaningful, but at show-and-tell, my first grade peers gave me a standing ovation. Then they thrust me upon their shoulders and paraded me up and down the halls. The next thing you know, I was an engineer.
My work at the Dream Machine Factory was much different than my expectations of it. A lot of things about it didn't really make sense. We spent a lot of time and effort constructing something that, like I mentioned, takes you to your job. Perhaps my biggest misconception was that despite my desire to become a master of machines, I seemingly ended up the intellectual property of one.
Fortunately, I met Kim, and together we discovered sailboats. A sailboat is like a hybrid somewhere between a house and a car. Better than that, it's a vessel that can carry your whole life, dreams and all, through time and space. Now we live and work on a play-fort that is propelled by the wind.
Allie C. Biddlestein
Public Relations Executive
From a bleak existence of chasing fiddler crabs and playing with cigarette butts down by the wharf where she was once abandoned, Biddlestein has leveraged a lowly position as a Waste-Stream Realignment Technician to a high standing within the PR community. By nurturing strong industry networks, increasing awareness and developing an enviable corporate image Biddlestein has managed to execute effective communication and media relations programs. Her responsibilities include directing the social media teams to engage audiences across traditional and new media as well as coordinating all PR activities, eating crunchies, chasing mice, and napping.
Our vessel/home is a 3rd Generation custom aluminum sloop - 3rd Generation because the build has been ongoing over the course of three generations. It is a French hull driven by an English powertrain and augmented with Caribbean and 'Merican (China/Mexico) parts.
Owing to the extremely technical nature of a 3rd Generation build, the project is continuously evolving in new directions. Currently, it is undergoing a major refit to equip it with better comfort and hygiene for accessing higher latitudes with better attitudes. We are in the middle of gutting, rearranging and rebuilding both the front and rear berths for better access and functionality. We are also moving the head from the front of the boat to the rear and adding heat and indoor shower facilities.
Other projects include, but have not been limited to: adding a functioning windlass, rewiring the entire boat, insulating the hull, sail repairs, adding an inner forestay with running back stays, major engine work, fitting a decent sound system, building a water-maker, sanity maintenance, and searching for a way to pay for it all.