Goodbye, prepress September 21, 2013, 04:56:28 PM As most of you know, I've been working for a small shop where conditions were so poor the entire staff walked out three weeks ago. This is a union shop and we (the employees) are currently in talks with the union to try to work out an agreement but the business owner has so far refused numerous requests for a meeting and has locked us out of the building. While the other employees want to fight their way back into their jobs, I really think my days in printing are over. I started updating my resume and even had an interview last week with a screen printer. I was given a 1 hour skill test – guess what it was? Make a vector out of a shitty JPG. I sat there squirming for an hour, thinking "Why the FUCK do I want to do this again?". There's an ad on my craigslist for a graphic designer and the background check includes "SSN/SIN validation, education verification, employment verification, criminal check, search against global sanctions and government watch lists, fingerprint verification, credit check, and/or drug test" WTF? Go through all that shit so I can sit in front of a computer all day fooling around with crappy JPGs and designing things that go straight into the trash? The salaries are getting lower and lower to the point of no longer being valued as a skilled trade (which it is) and the level of stress & sheer boredom just isn't worth it. I've really put a lot of thought into this and I think I'm saying goodbye, prepress.I'm still on the low side of 40 and I want to get into some other skilled trade, one that is more recession-proof and might allow me to one day be self-employed. Some things that interest me are locksmithing, woodworking (like cabinet & furniture making), welding, electrical work, tile work, or pretty much any trade that doesn't require heavy labor or lifting. I'm a 125# female so I'm not going to pretend I can get a job at a construction site pushing wheelbarrows of bricks or running a jackhammer. Most of you know I'm really into vegetable gardening, but I just don't see much profit in doing farm work and I probably won't learn anything I don't already know. Go work on someone's farm all day, then come home and tend to my own garden? Seems dumb.Planning on responding to some classified ads, enlisting with staffing agencies for temp work, checking out the state workforce services, and even contacting companies that interest me offering myself as a minimum wage slave in return for training. Might look into classes at the vocational college.What kind of work would you guys do if you just dumped prepress today? What types of trades do you feel are recession proof and will always be in need? Do you think I'll encounter obstacles due to my age or gender?