Thursday, August 02, 2018

Not for me

I'm a little claustraphobic. My older brother locked me in the trunk of an old Chevy parked in our backyard when I was in kindergarten. The little prank cost my brother a butt-whuppin' from my mom, but it also left a memory etched on my brain like as homemade tattoo.

Fast forward - Today I covered a media day event for the local college. It was to talk about a class for new miners. The 15 that graduated start to work tomorrow for a coal company. The average starting wage is $85 K. Experienced mine electrictions routinely make $150 K and more. 

The presenters took the media through a mine simulation environment. Mentally, I knew it was a metal building configured to look like the inside of an underground mine. But my childhood experience made this the longest 45 minutes of my life. 

I remembered what my lovely wife teaches. Just breathe. I did. Soon I stopped feeling my heartbeat in my throat and temples. I never got comfortable, but I managed to make it through without bolting.

When I got outside, I looked into the sky and thought, "I know miners earn a lot of money, but the work is not for me."


  1. Or me.
    I don't like enclosed spaces and am not even comfortable in basements. Heights are fine, and air is a necessity.

  2. I have a son who cannot handle tight places. I wonder many times the 'seed' behind that. YOu made an interesting entry here. Thanks. I also did not know the pay was that good, but for me also I like to see the sun. I never wanted to serve on a sub in the navy.

  3. Although mining is much safer than it used to be, those men earn every cent they are paid. Not everyone can do a job like that and it wouldn't be for me either. Glad you remembered to just breathe!

  4. Interesting tid-bit about your past. I can see why you don't like enclosed spaces. I wouldn't want to work in a mine either but I had two brother who worked in the mine until it closed. They made pretty good money. They both are retired now.
    Hugs, Julia

  5. What an incredible time! Part of me says, I'd love to experience that simulation. Then the little Voice of Reason reminds me, I don't even like being beneath the water. I'm amazed automation hasn't taken over mining; equally amazed how much $ they make. Easy to understand why so many choose to ignore the dangers.

  6. Anonymous12:32 PM

    Not for me, either!!

  7. My aunt married a miner. He died of black lung and emphysema. He insisted that none of his sons ever work in the mines. None of them did.

  8. I like small spaces but not tight spaces. I do not panic or feel like im gonna die but get very uncomfortable especially if I think a bug might be around.


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