I truly hope I haven't exhausted all of the kindness and generosity of this group of people. If you can, please help Gator too. He is deserving. I know many of you are already stretched to the limit or beyond, so perhaps it's not really possible, but at least let those who can help, help.
Ill tell you this situation stinks. Ive been told I will not be able to return to work. In January my short term disability policy is done. I hope the SSDI people process the applications with a reasonable time frame. I know Tony has been off a long time and was not aware of Gator's situation. God wiling we will all make it thorough this OK. Ill help with what I can afford and hope I don't need some myself down the road.
I had always thought that Texas had a short term disability provision, but I found out that it does not. Federally, the only help available is for those who have a terminal prognosis, or are going to be unable to work for a minimum of 12 months. That part got pretty sticky when I checked into that. Apparently they want you to find something, even out of your normal field, as long as medically you are capable. Add to that for long term assistance and they want you to learn a new trade, subject to some age restrictions. If you are over a certain age, at least they recognize that training for something new and getting a job where you will be retiring in just a few years makes a new job very hard to get. It's really age discrimination, but I can see the reasoning behind it. About the time you get good at something, you leave. So they have spent company resources training and will not get the usual career length they hope for. It all gets complicated and there are many hoops to jump through (hard to jump on a broke leg), but it's a difficult system, even working with an advocacy group.
This bunch of guys (and gals) have made it possible for me to keep hanging on. Thankfully I do not have the expenses that many do, such as a home mortgage and a couple of car payments. That would have made this near impossible without seriously considering bankruptcy. That's not totally out of the picture, but I have an arrangement coming together that will take the pressure off. I'll meet with the big wheels Friday and see if we can come to terms, and even with my physical limitations there are some opportunities there I believe to change my position significantly. I sincerely hope so. The phone call came out of the blue from an old friend who is very successful in his business and wants to help me. He is very influential over the "wheels", so I have a great deal of confidence going in that some good will come of it. It may be that I will have to give up some of my independence, but I will not be an employee, so as a contract deal, it will still be a self employment arrangement. I won't give that up easily.
But Doug (if you're reading this), don't let that stop you from sending me the horological info. I still plan to follow that plan. What I have in the works is not going to change the fact that I plan to retire from full time work, and clockwork still looks like an ideal pursuit at that time. I'd love to get rid of all my big machines and do something more relaxing. And time wise, if I start working towards that end now, in a short time I may be comfortable enough at clockwork to take it on as a profession. I'd be proud to.
Tony I work on old clock movements as hobby once I retired. There are some businesses that appear to be able to survive, but I am not sure if it is from the servicing side or the selling of new clocks and other associated things.
It would be good for you to check out what the market is in your area for repairing old clocks. I.E. those that are ready and willing to pay a good price to have their old time pieces repaired.
It is a nice hobby in that it doesn't require any heavy lifting, changing out 150 lb chucks etc, but in my area most folks aren't able to pay for what it costs to repair their old clocks that have very little monetary value.
It is my pleasure Tony. I have been through my own tough times, and Imwas fortunate to have people help me out,Mao I am just paying it forward. I hope your recovery is progressing and you had a nice holiday season with your family.