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Topic: Goodbye, prepress (Read 49520 times) previous topic - next topic

Goodbye, prepress

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?
Hicks • Cross • Carlin • Kinison • Parker • Stone •  Colbert • Hedberg • Stanhope • Burr

"As much as I'd like your guns I prefer your buns." - The G

So,  :drunk3: i send the job to the rip with live transparecy (v 1.7 or whatever) and it craps out with a memory error.

Member #14 • Size 5 • PH8 Unit 7 • Paranoid Misanthropic Doomsayer • Printing & Drinking Since 1998 • doomed ©2011 david

Re: Goodbye, prepress

Reply #1
Sorry to hear this,i wish you best of luck on whatever you decide to do.

I've given a lot of thought on this,for i 'll soon probably be in the same position with you.

First scenario is to work as a freelancer,offering all kind of services-photography,design,sign making,printing and site constructing/maintaining-thats why i was asking-.
Do what i can on my own,''outsource'' the rest.

I see a lot of people offering such services without basic knowledge of basic things,so i think i could make a living of some short.

Second scenario-more difficult- would be to provide a kind of support/training to surviving small shops who can't afford ''official'' suport.

Thinks i'd like to do and believe that are '' recession proof'' but for various reasons for each one are hard for me to get into are:

Food trade.

Servicing/maintaining medical equipment.

Anything to do with specific agricultural production-special herbs etc-.

ps I never feel nostalgic about the ''good old days'' -drum scanners,stripping and stuff-,i'd really like a change,but i'd feel-and i'm already feelin- sorry for all that reading and experience to be thrown away just like that...

Re: Goodbye, prepress

Reply #2
Look at the medical field Gnub. Check and see what qualifications are required for radiology, MRI, etc. You are already comfortable with digital imagery. Demographics show that us boomers are starting to fall apart now so the med field can only get bigger. Other than that check out any suppliers to the medical field. We got into pharma packaging about 20 years ago and haven't looked back.
Sweet FA right now.

Re: Goodbye, prepress

Reply #3
Wow. I would try to open a business. Ice cream shop, something small no franchise. Or get into freelance design work which I started doing but it takes awhile to get going. Starts off family and friends and then you get referred. I just made $250 on a logo design. I like cash jobs. Although that's great money, those jobs are few and far between. I'd have a hard time getting out of printing. I love it like I hate it. It's what I do. Gnub, I predict you'll be back. But good luck finding something you like.
Rampage 11.1 • Preps 5.32 • Fuji Film Sabre P-9600 CTP Platesetter with inline FLP 1260 processor • Rampage •  ManRoland PECOM using CIP3 data • HP DesignJet 5500 42" 6/C • Epson Stylus Pro 9880 • Xerox Docucolor 8000 with Fiery • Mutoh ValueJet 1604 • Océ Arizona 250 GT • Océ Arizona 365 GT • Onyx Production House/THRIVE • ManRoland 700 5/c + coat and 2/3 perfect • and a coupla' Heidelbergs and other stuff

Re: Goodbye, prepress

Reply #4
That's one thing I'll NEVER do. I'll shovel shit before I get into medical. I think that's where you start anyway. :laugh:
Rampage 11.1 • Preps 5.32 • Fuji Film Sabre P-9600 CTP Platesetter with inline FLP 1260 processor • Rampage •  ManRoland PECOM using CIP3 data • HP DesignJet 5500 42" 6/C • Epson Stylus Pro 9880 • Xerox Docucolor 8000 with Fiery • Mutoh ValueJet 1604 • Océ Arizona 250 GT • Océ Arizona 365 GT • Onyx Production House/THRIVE • ManRoland 700 5/c + coat and 2/3 perfect • and a coupla' Heidelbergs and other stuff

Re: Goodbye, prepress

Reply #5
No doubt the medical field will always be there. I couldn't do that though. Gravedigger or mortician are pretty secure too.

Woodworking (like cabinet & furniture making)? Be prepared to to buy about $100,000 worth of tools and machinery and a big shop to put it all in.

Around here about all of the tile work or carpet laying has been taken over by Mexicans. Not really any money to be made in it.

You could move to Colorado or Washington and start a pot farm. :laugh: I think it will be hard for an individual to survive in that market place though.

Locksmithing could be interesting. The old method of a lock with a physical key won't be around for much longer though. But there will always be locks.

Web Developer? I keed...I keed! :laugh:

Really, if there was something else better wouldn't we all be doing it already?
Mac OS 10.12 Sierra | Prinergy 7.5 | Adobe Creative Cloud 2017 | Two Luscher XPose 160 CTP units

Prepress: One who does precision guess work based on unreliable data provided by those of questionable knowledge.

Re: Goodbye, prepress

Reply #6
We have this conversation in my house every few weeks any more, some times more often. It kind of boils down to - what else are you good at, that's marketable and in demand? I'm good at what I currently do and short of learning coding or web development, phone app creation I don't see moving out of the industry honestly. I guess I could do medical imaging, and I bet it pays pretty well but it seems like such a "blah" 8:30-5 grind I don't think most of us are geared towards that kind of monotony.

Or, how much are you willing to sacrifice to do something way outside your comfort zone or means? As Joe said, a lot of the things we think would be fantastic are also costly as shit. Franchises require a ton of cash-on-hand and you're still playing to a corporate entity's fiddle. Starting up a small business & getting a loan, these days? I don't know, maybe it's feasible depending on the business, who's loaning the money and knowing what the fuck to even do to make it work.

I think you're a lot like the Wife & I, in that we don't have kids so in theory we have a lot more freedom & fewer financial consequences. Doesn't make taking a risk any less daunting, but maybe you're ready.
A little diddie ‘bout black 'n cyan...two reflective colors doin’ the best they can.

Re: Goodbye, prepress

Reply #7
Good comments, especially Joe.  :laugh:

The thought of doing freelance design work interests me about as much as anything medical related. I don't really want to pursue anything that involves a lot of direct contact with people, especially customers. Maybe gravedigging is for me. I am considering sign making, it's the one part of my last job I didn't totally hate.

I thought of woodworking because I saw some ads on craigslist looking for help, one was to build cabinets for an existing business, in their workshop. I want to start at the bottom of what could grow into a valuable skilled trade, not invest in $100,000 of equipment to start my own business. I hear you about Mexicans and I predict a lot of the things I'm after will result in awkward situations like showing up for a job and being surrounded by 20 Mexican men. I won't exactly fit in.  :laugh:

Why do you say physical lock/key won't be around much longer? I know a lot is now electronic (which is a failure in itself being dependant on the grid to operate when it isn't necessary), but as far as I know at least 99.9% of people still use normal keys & locks on a daily basis. It could be a long time until that's phased out. I've heard stories about newer key fobs for cars and just chuckle. If your key is lost you're looking at anywhere from $200 to $800 to replace it. Why are people even accepting this technology?

Our country & society is going through many changes and they are happening fairly quickly. In looking toward the future, I am taking a step back to the past because I think that's where we're all headed.
Hicks • Cross • Carlin • Kinison • Parker • Stone •  Colbert • Hedberg • Stanhope • Burr

"As much as I'd like your guns I prefer your buns." - The G

So,  :drunk3: i send the job to the rip with live transparecy (v 1.7 or whatever) and it craps out with a memory error.

Member #14 • Size 5 • PH8 Unit 7 • Paranoid Misanthropic Doomsayer • Printing & Drinking Since 1998 • doomed ©2011 david

Re: Goodbye, prepress

Reply #8
Ya, Slappy. I don't have children either so that's a load off my back, and am kind of a free spirit. I move a lot. Just tired of spending my days doing something I hate and being treated like crap. I'm not married, have no family, so I pretty much rely on myself to survive.
Hicks • Cross • Carlin • Kinison • Parker • Stone •  Colbert • Hedberg • Stanhope • Burr

"As much as I'd like your guns I prefer your buns." - The G

So,  :drunk3: i send the job to the rip with live transparecy (v 1.7 or whatever) and it craps out with a memory error.

Member #14 • Size 5 • PH8 Unit 7 • Paranoid Misanthropic Doomsayer • Printing & Drinking Since 1998 • doomed ©2011 david

Re: Goodbye, prepress

Reply #9

Why do you say physical lock/key won't be around much longer? I know a lot is now electronic (which is a failure in itself being dependant on the grid to operate when it isn't necessary), but as far as I know at least 99.9% of people still use normal keys & locks on a daily basis. It could be a long time until that's phased out. I've heard stories about newer key fobs for cars and just chuckle. If your key is lost you're looking at anywhere from $200 to $800 to replace it. Why are people even accepting this technology?


They accept it because it is easier to press a button then fumbling for a key in the key hole in the dark or in a driving rain/snow/sleet/hail storm.

Well, like with cars, there are no old fashion keys anymore and yeah the gadgets they use for keys now are damn expensive to replace. I can see all locks moving to facial recognition, fingerprint scans, serial numbered systems of some sort, etc. Though criminals will start cutting off peoples fingers so they can break into their houses. :laugh: So I don't think you will see many of the traditional key grinders for making keys in the future. They will be miniature circuit boards with a chip built into them. Or an access card like with hotels. So yeah, the physical lock will still be around but not the traditional keys.

Was also kidding about grave digging as 1) have you ever tried digging a hole 6 feet deep and large enough for a vault with a casket inside of it with a plain old shovel (hard-assed manual labor)? and 2) you would need a backhoe or some type of equipment so bring out that big checkbook again.
Mac OS 10.12 Sierra | Prinergy 7.5 | Adobe Creative Cloud 2017 | Two Luscher XPose 160 CTP units

Prepress: One who does precision guess work based on unreliable data provided by those of questionable knowledge.

Re: Goodbye, prepress

Reply #10
I was in the same situation a few years ago.  I had a great job at a good company and the Bank pulled the plug on our credit.  That was that.

I thought long and hard about what else I could do but my options were limited - I don't drive and I have RSI so bad I can't do any kind of manual labour.

I ended up going freelance.  I picked up a few customers who I knew from before and it was great for a while. 

If you think you can handle it I would try freelance - you might need a part time job at first to keep you going but it's worth a try.
Time flies like an arrow - fruit flies like a banana

Re: Goodbye, prepress

Reply #11
After this week of hell I might be in the same boat Gnub. I tried to get out but was dragged back in. I'm now in a worse state that I was a year ago when I started to get fed up with all the BS that goes on here. My body is falling apart because of the stress and I don't see an easy way out.

Speed doesn't kill, rapidly becoming stationary is the problem

I'd rather have stories told than be telling stories of what I could have done.

It's more like grip, grip, grip, noise, then spin and 2 feet in and feel shame.
I once knew a plus-sized girl and this pretty much describes teh secks. :rotf:
They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.
         —Benjamin Franklin

My other job

Re: Goodbye, prepress

Reply #12
I can "FEEL" a lot of the sentiment in this thread, I think most people here are in this same boat.
I'm a 37 year old, experienced, adaptable prepress operator, who is currently reduced to feeding on a 40inch Komori, ... it's not what I want, but the money is decent enough that I'm still doing it.


From my experience (with my patent) the most harsh lesson I've learned so far: If you're going to go "freelance" you either need to BE a decent salesperson or have some existing connections like what StudioMonkey mentioned.

Re: Goodbye, prepress

Reply #13
I want to make this printing thing work. The guys in the back are good workers. The fact that it's been almost a year without a platemaker is maddening. I catch hell for proofs not matching (we have changed plates, ink and press chem since it was last footprinted) and I don't even make the plates. Yes they are close but is this seriously how to run a business? You claim that you want better printing than other shops and our guys can do it. You outsoruce plates to a place you can't control that's running a different curve and you're surprised things are going wrong?

Whenever the fact that the proofs aren't matching it's like it's the first he has ever heard of it. He keeps holding on that maybe a retired tech that doesn't really give a shit anymore is going to bring our platemaker back from the dead? I'm also part of the problem. I'm really good with tech and can figure out a lot of things. I managed to adjust the curve when we changed plates because we were busy and couldn't do a proper color test. That was years ago and it hasn't changed. There are issues with the proofs matching but we have struggled though it. That makes it ok in the eyes of the boss to keep doing that.

Just because something can be done doesn't mean it should be done.
Speed doesn't kill, rapidly becoming stationary is the problem

I'd rather have stories told than be telling stories of what I could have done.

It's more like grip, grip, grip, noise, then spin and 2 feet in and feel shame.
I once knew a plus-sized girl and this pretty much describes teh secks. :rotf:
They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.
         —Benjamin Franklin

My other job

Re: Goodbye, prepress

Reply #14

After this week of hell I might be in the same boat Gnub. I tried to get out but was dragged back in. I'm now in a worse state that I was a year ago when I started to get fed up with all the BS that goes on here. My body is falling apart because of the stress and I don't see an easy way out.


It isn't getting any better, is it? Seems like each job I get things get shittier and shittier. Or maybe it's just me...

My last job was the final straw. I was bribed over the weekend to go back to work, get my old job back. I declined. I'd rather donate plasma than go back to that shithole.
Hicks • Cross • Carlin • Kinison • Parker • Stone •  Colbert • Hedberg • Stanhope • Burr

"As much as I'd like your guns I prefer your buns." - The G

So,  :drunk3: i send the job to the rip with live transparecy (v 1.7 or whatever) and it craps out with a memory error.

Member #14 • Size 5 • PH8 Unit 7 • Paranoid Misanthropic Doomsayer • Printing & Drinking Since 1998 • doomed ©2011 david