Heinar`s Website

                              Years Full Of Work

 

 

 
I have always been interested in electricity. This interest came to light when I was 3 years old and stuffed the holes of an outlet with putty. Later I went on with my interest and often burnt the fuses. I was not rewarded by my father for this activity, especially on this evening when he was listening to the Voice of America. After when I was 10 years old I learned to fix the fuses myself and it was no longer a problem. I made all kinds of switch boards which were completely useless, but offered me great interest. And when it came time to choose an occupation, there was no doubt what I wanted to become.

 My first working place was a small workshop, I started on 1-st of August 1960. It consisted  three other men. I was the fourth. Our job was quite rare. Many electrical components generated  high-frequency waves which disturbed radio receptions. We had to fix this trouble. It was easier said than done. Though we acted like specialists and talked wisely there was little we could do. The very simple reason being we could not solve this  with such limited resources. But the order came straight from the Moscow Ministry of Telecommunication. The work must be done at least on paper. Our another job was checking and measuring of electrical systems everywhere in Estonia. We had to travel almost every month to different parts of Estonia. This was quite a jolly time. We visited a lot of enterprises and other places. There were only few places in Estonia we had never been. The most exotic place was the island Kihnu and the treasury of the Estonian Bank to say nothing of other places. At the same time I went on studying in the evening school until I had got my degree.


Our team was small and rooms more than modest. Our standing seemed to
be quite low  since every time when some another department needed new rooms we were relocated to other rooms which usually were in very bad condition. After major repairs we did ourselves we could be sure that after some time we would have to take our things and leave the rooms. So our rooms had been in 7 different places during my history in that job. Once there were rumors in the air that because there were not rooms for us our department would stop existing. Luckily we got a new room of 15 m2 where we had to spend a year. Then we were really lucky. We got a new place in Tehnika street. These were  big rooms in the basement floor of a dwelling house. Half of them was a workshop of repairing and wrapping  electrical motors. This was really a kick of Fortune for me. Soon we were friends and a little later I asked them to teach me. Technics has always been my strongest side and so after some months there were nor theoretical neither practical problems in that job too hard for me. It was a splendid alternation to our gypsy life. At last I felt that I do something useful. And so happened that I changed my profession and I have never regret this decision. My salary became higher and the work itself was interesting.

Years went by, our company had grown and our administration decided to replace all small workshops over Tallinn to relocate to a new recently completed house. One can guess, that this decision was not pleasing to workers who had enjoyed of quite  free life. A lot of them including our team lost their hackwork. Many of us decided to quit. After working for 18 years in this company I found another job in a factory which was much closer to my home. My duty was still checking and repairing electrical motors. I felt good with my new job. Now I had no given terms, because this was I who made the decisions. I could also do some hackwork. Besides this I got an after-hour job with a state farm Ranna where they paid a good salary. Who knows how everything would have been if there was not an unhappy incident.

I had worked in this place 12 years already and was satisfied with my condition. My work was not hard and getting on with my co-workers good. Nothing forecast ending this when suddenly ... ! In an early spring day 1989. my mother who lived alone in my aunt`s house, fell and broke her thigh bone. Since she was living alone she needed help immediately. The same day I left from my flat and went to live with my mother to Nomme again. How could I guess that this place would become  my home again for the next 25 years. What to do next? My place of work was quite far now but my mother ńeeded help practically every minute. Hospitals refused to take her in even to check her leg. One surgeon told me without any shame, that my mother is too old for an operation. (Later for 300 rubles she obviously became younger.)

An Estonian proverb says: When you are in trouble you will find help closest to you!  A previous colleague of mine had established his own firm and asked me to join him. The job was the same: repairing electrical motors of agricultural enterprises. I took this job with great pleasure. Now I could be the master of my time. I took my work home and could be close to my mother every minute.

Once again I had won the battle with my destiny. My life was in order again. There was a lot of work in my new place and the salary was good. My days were not very long and as I already said I usually worked at home. So the next five years went by and everything seems to be good. But my devious destiny had another trick to play on me. Estonia got its freedom and independence. Our new prime minister decided to clean our country  up from everything  that could be a reminder of the Soviet Union. As state farms and collective farms were a part of this their activity was finished. All good functioning agriculture was destroyed and also our work decreased. There was less and less work and I decided to quit. My mother died in 1991 and I did not stay home any more.

I have never had to search for work. Always work has found me. This happened once again. One of our familiar Finns had established his firm in the other side of the town. He asked me to work as the unit manager. Though the work was completely different I agreed. We made overshoes of latex with nails to avoid slipping  in Winter. They were good, but not good-looking. I was not only  the foreman in the factory, but had to do all - to organize work, to prepare materials and even to clean rooms. Our workers did not bother to waste their time cleaning as they were not paid for that. My days lasted quite often 10 hours. Unlucky for us our boss had no diplomacy communicating with our possible customers and so the life the company was quite short. I started working in September 1995 and in March 1996 the company was already a history  along with our salary. The last thing I did was drop from the table, where I was standing taking off a switchboard and broke my heel-bone. Perfect!

When I came out from the hospital I was jobless again. It seemed that for the first time in my life  my destiny was against me. But no! One of my pals introduced me to a company which rented building equipments. I got a job at once, though in an unofficial capacity. Later the master of this company in the straight meaning of the words holding my hand, took me to another, bigger company with the same profile. On 26-th of December 1996. began the last period in my working life. My job was repairing all kind of tools and electric motors. Since the company entirety was bought from Finland as a failed one, all the tools and equipment were quite old. There was a lot of work and troubles for me. As the only electrician I had to check tools, install material and personnel hoists, repair them and later demount them. I was always very busy.

Salary was quite small. Later I understood, that in our company we had the lowest salaries except for that of the white-collar. My work was interesting but very tiring. I had to travel again everywhere all over the Estonia as I did in my first working place. Once I had to go even to Finland where I had to install a hoist our company had sold. There are very few high places in Estonia I have not been. The fact that I was too old for this kind of work did not interested my bosses. I am not afraid of hight. This fact some of workers used as an excuse to avoid this work. So I had to go on with this. In 2000 I damaged my back and was taken to the hospital an operation on it. I spent many months on the sick-list.

I had worked 9 years already. In 2002 I reached retirement age but  I went on working. My bosses had nothing against this. On the contrary. The suggestion came from them.  In 2005 I decided to retire to part time work. In 2006. I had a conflict with one of our spiteful workers who obviously was just envious for my privileges. As the older  people say: The wiser give in. I decided to finish and retired finally because I had already worked for 46 years. And since then I have lived a concise and eventful life of a pensioner. I have never regretted this.