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DakotaBBQ
04-12-2010, 04:12 PM
Hey YALL!!!! Well I hope it's OK to vent here. Been a long winter.

Here is the scoop. And this is the shortened version. Back in July I lost my job of almost 5 years. (Fun layoffs at work) Our whole department lost their jobs. We all saw it coming, but didn't really expect it so abruptly. Well it wasn't so bad as I ended up getting a small severance package and my wife was working a semi-decent paying job. Besides, how hard could it be to find a job, right?
I went home and filed for unemployment. Of course since my severance package was going to get paid out over the next 6 weeks I wouldn't be getting any pay from them until that was done for. That's cool, we will be OK on my severance and my wife's pay.
Well guess what! Two weeks later my wife loses her job! She had an interview for a job at a really nice company and the next day her boss caught wind of it and she was walked out. And boy what a blessing in disguise. She got the job about a week later with the company she was fired for interviewing with and almost doubled her salary! Technically she was making about what both of us where before I was laid off.
Six weeks went by and many applications later my phone hadn't rang. Bills got tight through the transition in to her new job.
A buddy of mine since middle school approached my wife and I and told us his mother wanted to get an apt. closer to her job in Dell Rapids (about 20 min. north of Sioux Falls (where we lived at the time).) He says it's a little small but it would be CHEAP! Well long story short in September we moved up to Dells. Things seemed like they were looking up.
Severance pay ran out and unemployment began. With my wifeís pay we were doing ok. I have been dreaming of starting my own BBQ vending business. I decided to get this BBQ idea rolling. I got my wifeís blessing and started planning. I decided to keep looking for a job and work this BBQ at the same time.
July, August, September and November went by with very few problems. I had the ideas written down and plans on buying a smoker from a company in MO. All of the sudden sales went down to almost nothing at my wifeís job.
Plans changed. I figured that I wasnít going to be able to save up the money for this smoker. And NO job offers. Or even calls!
After looking at our situation I decided to forgo the whole vending idea beings that we donít think we will be able to get everything in time for this summer. We changed our wannabe schedule from vending opportunities to competition opportunities. For the last 4 or 5 years I had been penning down ideas about competing, so I started digging. I ended up finding an idea that I had sketched out at work for a cheap smoker, Built around the double barrel stove concept. I showed it to my roommate and that night we sat down and started drawing up ideas.
So come December we would start building a trailer to hold it.
I made a list of the BBQ competitions within a dayís drive of us. I decided to pick the ďHonky Tonk BBQ CompetitionĒ in North Platte, NE, sanctioned by KCBS. I told myself ďno matter what, this will be my first competitionĒ.
Well, I should just be a punching bag! Of course if itís not one thing itís another. Punch after punch came in. Iíd say I can be a boxer but every one of the punches that got thrown hit me square in the gut.
So here I am in April and less than 3 weeks from the competition. I worked my ass off on this trailer and I am still working my ass off to try to get to that competition. Trailer is not done but it is road worthy. Still working on getting it thing licensed. I have cooked on it so I know it works. It's still missing one barrel but that can be put on later. Itís just going to have to wait. I raided the coin bottle last week and bought me enough Ramen for a week and fenders to put on the smoker trailer. Figured the Ramen would feed me up until I get my next unemployment check. HAHA
Well, counting on having my check tomorrow (13th) I get a letter today saying that my unemployment benefits have been exhausted.Ē HEY THANKS FOR THE WARNING YA LITTLE PRICKS!Ē When I called to find out why, they told me that everyone that was on the extended unemployment benefits lost it. So according to them about 200 people got that letter and they are sending more out. Congress never passed the extension before they took their TWO WEEK PAID Easter vacation. So everything has come to a screeching halt. Sales arenít there at my wifeís job and no job offers from all my apps.
So called in a favor to a buddy of mine and I am picking up some cash hours with him. So come hell or high water, Iím going to work my ass off to get this thing rolling down the road and to North Platte! That competition may as well be the American Royal, I want to get there so bad! It is still in my sights. I don't know how but I am going to get there.
Why am I posting this? Well donít have much of a support group beyond my family and I am not one to go complaining to them. Guess Iím looking for some moral support. I have worried myself sick (literally) trying to get this going. I didnít expect it to be easy. I didnít expect it to be this hard either. I have reached ďemotional wreckĒ status. Wish I got paid for worrying. I don't know where I would be without my wife's support and faith in me. What an incredible woman she is!
Well it has been since Superbowl Sunday since I have been able to cook any BBQ and I am wigging out! I canít wait till the only thing I have to worry about for a day is a meat thermometer!
I JUST WANT TO COOK SOME BBQ!
PS. Thanks for letting me vent. :wink:

DakotaBBQ
04-12-2010, 04:14 PM
http://hphotos-sjc1.fbcdn.net/hs514.snc3/27001_423196784815_216320484815_5227508_3641068_n. jpg (http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=5256678&id=216320484815)
The Beast!

smoke it if ya got it
04-12-2010, 04:31 PM
Nice job on the beast! Maybe you should take orders from others and start building those for others. I too have been layed off for awhile and UI has run out I'm competing this weekend and start vending the following week. I'm down to my last few hundred so I know how ya feel. Let me no when you decide on your prices, I'm currently using 4 UDSs to vend and compete. Your trailerd Beast would be an improvement. I'm way out in Wash state so distance would prevent me from being your first customer. Keep chugging along as I will to and above all have FUN!! THANKS I DONT FEEL SO ALL ALONE NOW!

CajunSmoker
04-12-2010, 04:31 PM
That sucks dude. I haven't cooked yet this year either:evil:

chibi
04-12-2010, 06:34 PM
I will be at North Platte. anything you need let me know.
good luck.
what name are you competing under?

Michael

DakotaBBQ
04-12-2010, 06:56 PM
I will be at North Platte. anything you need let me know.
good luck.
what name are you competing under?

Michael

I will be competing under The Flaming Q. Good luck to you as well! I can't wait!

Mike