My Path To Becoming A CNC Machinist

This blog entry will be all about how I got into CNC Machinist. Am I telling this because I think it’s an interesting story? Not really.

…I just spent the past 10 minutes staring at the computer screen and wondering why the fuck I’m even writing this. I do that a lot. Fuck it. I don’t need a reason to write. I’ll just keep writing and hopefully interesting bits will come out of it.


First off, I should know what a CNC machinist is but I don’t. I’m a pretty happy-go-lucky guy who just goes with the flow. Except I’m not a happy person. I guess I’m an unhappy-go-lucky guy? I think CNC stands for computer numeric controlled. I could google it and find out for sure, and I should do that, but I won’t. I don’t know why I’m being a rebel about such nothingness.


As far as I know, at this point without doing any research, a CNC machinist’s role is to set up large factory machines in warehouses that build shit. I think there’s a position called CNC programmer and they write the programs for these machines and the machinist just changes a few variables at most. If anyone knows more about this job, please educate me.


I came across this job by super random chance. I was originally going into Manpower, a work agency, just to get a manual labor job. There were two written safety tests and I scored perfect on both of them. There weren’t any good jobs but it was a decent meeting overall with one decent-ish job prospect. On my way out of the building, I was riding on the elevator with another dude who also just finished his meeting at Manpower. I was wondering if I should try talking to him just to practice talking to people for my sales job but my introverted nature got the better of me. I just kept to myself but then he started talking to me and I was happy to reciprocate the conversation. He asked how it went for me and I told him it went alright. I asked him how his meeting went and he told me he didn’t do so well on the numeric test. I didn’t have a numeric test so I asked him about it and he told me that it’s for CNC machinist and there’s paid training for it. It sounded really good and I jokingly said that I should go back up and apply for that. Then I got to thinking… why was I joking about that? I should seriously do that. So I thanked him for the info and I went back up.


I spoke with a new agent about this new CNC thing I just heard about. I don’t get nervous and I just generally do very well in interviews so I aced that part. Next she gave me a 54 question test with a time limit of fifty minutes, or so I thought I heard. After looking through the first sample page, I told her this seems easy enough for me. She did not believe in my confidence and ensured me that it’s hard and many people don’t have enough time to finish it. I wasn’t extremely cocky about it, but I was probably a little cocky, and I told her that it looks similar to IQ tests and I excel at those. She said it’s not really like an IQ test. I decided to stop fighting her on it. So the test starts and I’m flying through it. I thought I had almost a minute per question and I was finishing each question in under ten seconds.


The questions get harder and harder and as I was just finishing up the last question, she told me time was up. I was surprised and that’s when I realized that the time limit was fifteen minutes and not fifty minutes. She had a really thick accent… It didn’t matter though cause I knew I aced it anyway. I don’t think the mark actually matters because it’s a pass/fail thing and I didn’t get to see my mark but I’m sure I did great. I probably scored one of the highest scores she’s ever seen. Most people who go to work agencies aren’t wildly academic because those people are able to find jobs without going through agencies. When she heard that I was a university dropout, she probably didn’t expect me to be intelligent. Few people can fathom that I actually effortlessly get pretty good grades in university and I dropped out simply because I didn’t feel like doing it, not because it was hard at all. I’m not a genius or anything; I’m just definitely well above average. The agent was not an enthusiastic person. I wish she would’ve given me a better reaction to how well I did. When she told me I passed, I asked her if I did pretty good and she answered with a simple “yes”.


That’s pretty much the story of how I stumbled into doing CNC. I feel like I should end this entry better but meh. To be continued I guess.