Some of you know that I am a stagehand at the Metropolitan Opera in NYC. Well, I'm still a stagehand, but I'm leaving the Met at the end of the month. After 14 years of way too many hours and sacrificing my life for the opera, I am moving on. I'm staying in NY, just giving up a full time job and going freelance. While I will lose the security of "the show that never closes", I will have the potential to make more, or at least the same money in less time. This has been a year from hell for my family. Cancer, broken bones, surgery, and the loss of a beloved pet have made me realize that it was time for a change. It doesn't help any the management at the Met has spent nearly all the money and lost a significant portion of its audience. Management's best solution has been to tell all of its employees to take a 16% cut in pay and benefits or be locked out in August. Its not my fault they spent all their money and my family is not gonna pay for it. If interested you can read more here. http://www.savethemetopera.com/ We have a decent severance deal and I have some accrued vacation pay so I should be able to make a smooth transition into new jobs. Thankfully, my pension and health insurance are through my union so there will be no gap or change on that front. Worst case is that I will have some more time to c/s/s firewood this summer. It scares the crap out of me to leave, but I know it is the best route for me now. Wish me luck. Oh, and just for old time's sake here's the view from one of my "offices" at the Met.