Today I hit my second job fair in a week. It has been a tough week. Plenty of rejection in the job hunt. Over the weekend I was hit hard with thoughts of failure and being over the hill. A majority of my old unit is deployed to Afghanistan and I miss "the guys." After going to the job fair, I decided to take advantage of being in the suit and hit a couple of private business here in town. Both are fairly well known in the industry. One is an AR manufacturer amongst other things, and the other is in the AR500 body armor industry.
The HR person for the first place was out for the day (maybe), but it was suggested to me to contact them on Monday (they have every other Friday off at this business). I will do exactly that. In person. The second place is in the process of moving to a larger facility, so only the receptionist was there. Ok. I can check again next week.
Determined to try to grab some normalcy out of the day (heck, the week, month, year...), I saw and then stopped at a gunshop just blocks down from the second business. I have not been to a single gun shop at all since we moved here in January. Part of that is due to the job situation. Why put myself through even more disappointment? I keep abreast of the industry and the market via the internet, plus I have not gone shooting since we got here. Sometimes it is even hard to look at the emails I get due to the fact that I want to build more rifle, but do not have the means to do so.
A small place when I walked in, they cater to painballers, airsofters and gun owners. I noticed right away that their prices were a bit higher due the fact that their stock was low and it was a brick and mortar place. But the best part was the conversation that I walked in to. The classic argument of 5.56 vs 7.62 NATO, in light of the recent news stories about Big Army looking to augment soldiers' firepower.
I stood there listening for a moment, drinking it in. The last two years before I left home for college there was a small gunshop half a mile down the road from where we lived. Just about every afternoon, after school, I could be found there, sweeping the floors and sitting in listening to all the conversations going on. This was a SMALL shop, barely 20 feet by 20 feet. But local police, sheriff, and state police officers all frequented it. There was also a devoted following of local gun owners that visited a lot. I learned a lot about people, debating and discussing history, philosophy, religion, and politics there. Nobody took anything personally. It was great place to be at that age.
That is what I was reminded of when I walked into the gunshop today. Vigorous, passionate, and enjoyable discussion and debate. But nobody was "offended" by differing opinions. I needed that unplanned stop more than I realized. So, I took a breath, begged pardon of the folks in the discussion, and dove right in. It was the best 30 minutes that I have had all week.