I've been working for Ci-Leather Products, a.k.a. "The Saddle Shop", for more than 9 years now and I can honestly say that it has been an amazing opportunity. Of course there have been ups and downs but that is to be expected when you are working at any typical company out in the world, and it's the same with Ci. And that, I think, is actually one of the best parts about working for Ci, it's as close to a real job as any of us can experience while we're incarcerated.
Working for a company with real-world customers, who ride and enjoy the saddles I build, has also been awesome. This type of interaction with the world is rare in CDOC and it is something that few outside of Ci get to experience. Knowing that the product you build has a meaningful purpose is very rewarding. I've even been fortunate enough to see saddles that I've built on horseback, but also in magazine ads placed by our customers which is a bit surreal.
By far though, the best part of working for Ci has been the financial independence it has offered. We all know what it is like to be a burden on our families, to have to ask them to send us money when we need a new TV or a pair of shoes. Thanks to the better wages offered by Ci I haven't had to ask my family for support in nearly a decade. Also, because Ci offers a "Dependent Support" option for PIE wages, I've been able to send my wife and kids money each month directly from my wages. It's a great feeling to not have to be a burden on my family, but it's an even greater feeling to be able to support them from the inside!
As I said above, working for Ci has had it's ups and downs, just like any real job, but I would recommend it to anyone looking to work at a meaningful job, that affects real-world customers, and which affords opportunities unlike most in CDOC will ever have.