Q&A with PMG Machinist Brian B.
How long have you been working in manufacturing?
Since 1994. I’m a machinist – it’s how I think and it’s in my blood. I like it because you can take a chunk of metal and make it into something. You get to be able to see the beginning, make things work, then see it at the end.
What drew you to the trade?
I got out of the air force after four to five years and was doing different kinds of jobs. A friend recommended a company that was hiring. I went there and was hired as a QA inspector. They needed more operators so I jumped into it and pretty much taught myself. It’s all been history ever since.
Have you had any formal training?
Just the school of hard knocks. Started with tool joints for oil pipe. Then a CNC lathe Mori Seiki and I’ve been all self-taught since.
Before working at PMG, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
Before PMG, I was working for Baker Hughes and I kind of got put in a place where I was doing all prototype stuff. It was interesting because it was pushing things to extremes with the machine, methods and materials. I was always figuring out new things.
What do you like most about working for PMG?
I had my resume on CareerBuilder and I’d been getting emails and ignoring them. Then one day, I came home feeling frustrated and unappreciated with where I was working. I was talking to my wife and she asked if there was somewhere else I could work. I said, ‘Well I’ve been getting these emails.’ She encouraged me to call them. Now, I’ve been with them for a year and a half and I’m on my third assignment.
What I like most is first, I have to give a shout out to PMG Project Manager, Laura. She’s the most awesome person I’ve worked with before. She’s amazing. But the different companies I’ve been at have been great too. The people there. The assignment. They’re all great.
Second, I really like the opportunity to have the variety in my work while doing the same thing, if that makes sense. Different machines, processes, materials, components, industries. All of it.
Lastly, I like that, when you go a place on vacation, you see things but you don’t get to BE there. When you go on a PMG assignment, you get to BE there and it’s great. It’s exciting and I love it. It’s an opportunity I wouldn’t have had anywhere else.
What is one thing you miss or wish you had with you while on the road with PMG?
My beautiful wife. We talk several times a day on the phone. We use FaceTime. She helps me pick my next destination so it’s somewhere she’d like to go. Then she’ll come stay for a week or so at some place. I like just seeing different places. Different houses, different places, different stores. It’s always unique. I like seeing it and being part of it. I also like getting out, hiking and just seeing a new area.
What are some career lessons you’ve learned thus far?
It’s going to sound weird but honesty. Right or wrong. Up or down. As long as you’re honest, it’s always going to be the way to go. Machining specifically – don’t be close minded. Listen to other people and look at things differently. You can always find a better way to do things even if you’ve done it the same way a hundred times before.
When you’re not working, what sort of hobbies do you like to do in your free time?
I like being outside. Hiking, getting on the nature trails. Just sightseeing the natural world.