LJWorld.com weblogs In the Valley

making compromises for mental health


http://worldonline.media.clients.ellingtoncms.com/img/blogs/entry_img/2008/Dec/20/me_at_work.jpgOne evening in late September of '07, while working in Bartle Hall in Kansas City, I snapped.I had had enough.As I watched a coworker walk out the door for the night to take his girlfriend to a hair appointment,I thought, I need to go too. My ten year old daughter was home alone, and it was getting dark.I felt nine hours was enough for me to work that day,so I talked to the boss.My union steward, That night it happened to be the President of my union.(the stagehand union).He proceeded to rip me about not being dedicated, and those of us that worked mostly rock shows didn't want to give our all for convention work. In my case this just wasn't true.I actually like convention work.He demanded I stay. I was noticeably mad, so he said I wasn't needed and could go. But the damage was done. I saw the hypocrisy nepotism and favoritism clearer than ever before. So I set out to find work in the town I live. Having seen the events of 911 whitewashed and covered,then the lies that led us into Iraq,I became bitter. I felt and still do, I couldn't trust the media to give us the truth about anything. Millionaire talking heads working for billionaire bosses, will serve their masters, not the public interest. Anyway, I often worked for those same companies. It was about this time I tuned out of Television too. Also, I had watched the price of gas climb steadily as the oil companies made obscene profits, with the blessings of our dear leaders.My eighty-eight mile round trip to work was getting quite expensive! Then, Mr. Al Gore released a very interesting documentary. He told us how carbon is trapping heat in our atmosphere, and the future is not looking too bright. From the information I gathered since, I tend to agree with him. I have a daughter, and a few nieces and nephews,and I'd like the world to be livable into the future, both for them and life in general. These are a few more of the reasons I wished to work near my home. Sustainability, to sum it up in one word. I went to The Merc, and applied. Actually, I wrote a long cover letter, as to why they should hire me. I will post it below. I got a job there.I learned about produce, and became a ( I think) valuable asset to them. In my next installment, I'll tell you about my adventure at the Merc, and why I snapped again. (Maybe there Is a picture here, but I can't tell if it uploaded, or how to move it).


Nick Yoho 9 years, 3 months ago

Here is the letter I gave with my application:Why Nick & the Merc are a perfect match.Hello! My name is Nick and I'd like to be the newest member of the Merc family! Let me tell you why.Sustainability and footprintI currently commute to KC multiple days per week. I live less than one block from the Merc. I hope to live car-free in the near future. I would be able to eat more local and organic foods, which has become a recent priority of mine.CommunityAs a stagehand in KC, the nature of my work is transient. I meet people one day, and they are gone the next. I miss being a part of my community. My values have changed over the years (as have the people I work with; when I started doing stage work in Topeka, I worked with much more enlightened people.).There was a time, when operating a spotlight on a famous person, excitement outweighed everything else. That is no longer the case. Today I am the father of Sarah, a Hillcrest sixth-grader-to-be! It no longer seems practical to travel out of town to set up and tear down shows all hours, day or night. I'd rather work a more regular schedule, doing something I can feel good about: working toward local sustainability while being available to attend Sarah's softball games and theater events.

Nick Yoho 9 years, 3 months ago

My abilitiesI am a very strong 41-year-old man. I routinely unload and load semi-trucks full of lighting and sound equipment, band gear, sets, and other large and awkward pieces of equipment.I am very good at following detailed direction unquestioningly, with little supervision. (If you have ever pulled ropes during a theater show, you know how important this is!) I have assembled and disassembled countless displays for hundreds of trade shows and conventions, often working independently.I have an eye for aesthetics. Part of my job in setting up and tearing down trade shows is knowing what looks good--an eye for details.I am not too proud or afraid to do the dirty work. I routinely pick up trash after trade shows .I am willing to clean your bathrooms, if it gets me a local living wage.SafetyThe job I do requires my full attention to what's going on around me. Many things are being built or happening simultaneously. Safety is always the most important concern. Part of any job is making sure no one gets hurt.My availabilityI'm available pretty much 24/7. I'm used to working a variety of hours with lots of travel time to and from. Sarah is now old enough to stay on her own some, when not in school, and would be just half a block away during those times. I have 50% custody of her, with her mom usually available to watch her during my work hours.My heritageI'm Nick, father of Sarah, son of Kansas author Max Yoho, and deceased artist Rosemary Yoho. My family has strong area roots. One ancestor was married to the sister of the first white girl born in Kansas. My grandpa was the first president of Rubber Workers Local, Union #307, (Goodyear, Topeka) in the 1940s.I grew up in Topeka. I have a GED and was in the high 90s (percentile) in both math and science. I'm pretty smart, just wasn't interested in school back then. Apparently I was easily distracted. I am much more focused now.I worked as a tortilla oven operator at La Siesta in Topeka for about a year. Then I made and repaired eyeglasses for about five years. Those are handy skills to have. (I still straighten all my friends glasses!) I've been doing stagehand and decorating work for over twelve years.I have lived in Lawrence about ten years. I moved here to be around like-minded people, and to travel many less miles to my work in Kansas City. Unfortunately, out of town work has made it difficult to feel part of the Lawrence community. I'm usually too tired to get out much, or can't commit to anything because of my "on call" schedule. I look forward to being able to take classes, both at the Merc, and the rec center! I'm not big on organized religion, or of drinking lots of booze, so it's a bit tricky finding local friends. I seek to make friendships based on common values, rather than by convenience!

Nick Yoho 9 years, 3 months ago

My personalityI am a kind person, full of empathy. I am easy to get along with. I'm happy to share the humor of life with others. Over the years, I've learned to keep to myself (it's best, as a stagehand), but I intend to open myself back up when surrounded by good, smart people.What I value mostTo me, it's about living as simply as possible, taking responsibility for what you use and what you do. Being taught from birth that Americans are exceptional and deserving makes this much more difficult than it would seem. I value what our founding fathers valued: freedom from oppressive government, separation of church and state, and the right to pursue happiness. I value Justice.My ultimate goals: * Live car-free. * Work as close to home as possible * Get Sarah through college * Get and be solar, maybe wind powered * Change my yard into garden. * Become a highly visible roll model (living on Iowa St., people will see my yard garden and solar panels.) * Find a like-minded woman to share life with * Have health careAs you can see, many of the things the Merc stands for are also what I am striving for. Will you help me change my life?Please contact me at

Nick Yoho 7 years, 11 months ago

Well, THAT didn't work out so well! lol.

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