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2022-07 #2 How I Joined GE

Updated: Jul 6, 2022

I did really well in HS but had a screwed up transcript from Australia mostly due to alternative schools and lack of records. I was pretty much a 4.0 student but at the end of my Junior year my counselor, Mr. Brown, basically a failed athlete who became a student counselor, told me that I would have to repeat Freshman year in order to graduate. Having always leaned forward I took the GED.

As a result of taking the PSATS in Junior year I was being courted by a lot of great schools including Boston College and Drake University. Unfortunately dad was pretty adamant that he would not be filling out any FAFSA forms as, "What I make is no one's business. Why don't you go to JC and get a trade. Then you'll know what you are unemployed from."

So I went to JC and got an Aviation Mechanics License. During aviation school I had a couple of jobs. I worked at Sailplane Enterprises in Hemet Ca. as a tow plane and glider mechanic. Later I worked for an outfit that delivered the Wall Street Journal from Ontario to Phoenix 7 days a week in an old Convair 240. This was during the peak of a gas crisis and the old crew chief, my buddy Bob Winteler and I filled a Cadillac, my Chevelle and Bob's LTD with AvGas a couple times a week and chalked it up to an "engine test run" in the logbooks.

Bob and I went to AvSchool together and he left to join GE's engine overhaul shop in Ontario around 1980. He started encouraging me to join GE but I liked general aviation and still was on a life plan to save money and go to law school Eventually I did go fill out an application at the guard shack and my application was dropped on top of a 2 foot tall stack of applications.

Bob asked me how many times I applied and I told him once. He said that will never work and that I have to apply every week. Of course when they hire they pull 2 inches of applications off the top of the stack. Of course, I lucked out and with one application I was pulled off the stack and after the interview was hired immediately in March of 1981 just shy of my 20th birthday.

I still had a plan to accumulate money, albeit faster with GE, and go to law school. Well, I retired from GE 40 years later. It was an awesome career that sent me around the world as part of the most fascinating industry one can imagine. To this day Joe Public still views flight as voodoo magic. I suppose in hindsight it is one of the most complex technologies out there and disasters can happen, and do happen, for the smallest errors. Ultimately dad was right. A law career would probably have not been as fulfilling or adventurous but he was also right about another thing. 3 short months after starting at GE I was laid off. At least I knew what I was unemployed from - LOL...

Two years after joining GE - The young foreman - boss of 10 - LOL... Like almost every young man, the first time earning a paycheck you buy a new vehicle. The first and only vehicle I ever bought new. And like every young man it eventually got repossessed. I was scheduled to go overseas and had no time to sell it. I drove it to the dealer, handed over the keys and said basically, "I'm leaving, you can have it." Back in 1984 there were basically no repercussions for this. I presume they just resold it.

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Cool story bro !

I remember you leaving Chaffey early, I was an idiot and took the long route. After finishing Chaffey in 1980 I returned to oz where I was told that since the US education system is not as good as Australia's I would have to do my last year over again. Oh, and because of the school year mismatch I would actually have to do one and a half years over again, ie Year 11 in Australian terms, Junior year in US terms.

I was convinced/told that I should go to Melbourne High School, a public school that had all the joys of a pratty private school - being hit by teachers, being yelled and at abused…

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