What? you may ask,what did you lose?
The amazement of what glass bending is, the possibility of being able to make a neon sign or neon art or whatever neon and being self employed and independent, having the freedom of making money without being employed, being free.
I have been making neon for so many years now that the amazement has disappeared it went away, not present anymore, but i remember when i was working as an employee in a certain sign company of which the name i can’t say because it could cause legal problems, well ok i’ll say it it was Federal Heath Signs Co. in Oceanside Ca. after the fourth year working there i remember thinking that that was not a life, i don’t mean the company, that was ok (had benefits and vacation and everything, 10 minute breaks, free coffee etc) but the robot life was killing me, i called it “Robot Life” because i would get up at 4 am go thru the same motions every day , drive to work , go straight to the coffee machine, then walk to the neon room and get started, then it was bending glass all day till 12 hours had gone by, and then i would go home and have a few hours of family life and then to sleep,and then the next day it would repeat itself again like in that movie “Groundhog day” you know which one.
I was on my seventh year there and i was going crazy, i could not take the robot life anymore i had to do something to get the hell out of the robot life, so i started to plan my escape from “The Robot Life”.
But fate had a suprise for me, one day i started to notice that there were people missing and i started to ask my co workers “Hey what happened to Joe and where’s Bill , and they said “Laid Off” what? i said, are we in bad shape? i asked , well it seemed so. more people started to disappear, and then they came for me, “Juan can you come to the office for a second, sudenly i saw everything like in a tunnel,the world was in slow motion andi heard myself saying wa wa what, i new they were cutting heads and i could here the chopping, no i said i don’t want to go, i was joking of course, i didn’t have a choice,”Sorry we have to let you go Juan” the production manager said”
When he said that i started to feel an overwhelming sense of joy, a smile came over me that surprised the manager, i was the only one happy to be laid off, at last i was free and i could pursue my dream of being independent, i got out of that place as fast as i could fearing they would change their mind, but they didn’t , i got out of there and never looked back.
I was laid off in November of 2006, and by January of 2007 i was already set up and making neon, with all the energy that a new hope could bring you.
It’s been 10 years and it hasn’t been smooth sailing, but it was sailing.
There was something i dreamed of doing when i was working at that company, i dreamed of going to the beach on a wednesday at 10 am, to me that meant breaking the robot life, because for 7 years i was chained to a schedule of 6 am to 6 pm monday thru friday, and 6am to 2 pm on Saturdays, so being able to have the freedom of taking off to the beach on a Wednesday at 10 am was an act of freedom, it could have been any day at any hour. So i did my breaking of the robot life thing (going to the beach at 10 am) several times until it was not necessary anymore.
So it’s been 10 years of freedom , being self employed and now i have lost that amazement of being free, you also get used to freedom and underestimate it.
So i am in search of my amazement.
I have decided to visit other neon shops, i have to socialize with other neon benders, i know that there are several shops in Los Angeles i just hope they speak English,i know a bender in San Diego and i am going to visit him and see if he knows of other benders in the San Diego area.
So i will shortly be posting my findings on this blog.
I will probably title it “In Search Of The Elusive Neon Glass Bender”