“Ok, now! Go, go, go, GO! And don’t go anywhere where you have to stoooooooop!” Amanda’s voice trailed off as I zoomed down the hill.
Seconds before, I was perched precariously on the edge of the HaulAll with my foot on the gas as Amanda applied the jumper cable clamps to the battery. I had walked up to the barn earlier that day to find Josh replacing a belt on the glorified golfcart, but he didn’t have a chance to jump the battery before the end of his shift. But Amanda and I have “got this”! We backed her little car up the barn and set up the charging circuit being careful to avoid either touching the clamps together OR applying them to the wrong terminal and thus making the whole thing go BOOM. You see, golfcart batteries (and gas tanks and belts and…and…and) are underneath that bench seat BUT you can’t just turn the thing on and let it run like you can with a car because the motor only runs when you are pressing the gas not when the cart is idle. Amanda’s job was to remove the clamps and slam the bench seat back down all the while I was to rev the engine with my right foot, swing myself across the seat while still holding down the gas, and take off before the engine lost its charge and died again. The tricky part of all that was that I had to make a sharp turn seconds after all that to avoid the manure trailer. HA.
Success came after only two tries and I took off for a scenic tour around the ranch that doubled as a charging session for the battery. Amanda works as one of our vet techs here at the animal sanctuary, but she also doubles as one of the coolest people I know. She’s not only hardworking and self-sufficient, but she can fix ANYthing. In fact, her car doubles as a traveling tool kit. She has more supplies to repair and alter things in that small car than I ever would have thought to own much less carry around. Is that stall door a little creaky? No worries – I’ve got WD-40. Is the bench seat on the HaulAll a little loose? No prob – I’ve got another metal plate for those screws. The top latch on Big Boy’s stall is tough to get it into the slot? I’ve got a screwdriver in my car. I’ll just move it over a hair! She may only be 5′ tall but she’s a real hard worker.
A couple of weeks ago I was watching a few episodes of the Worst Cooks in America on Food Network. The premise of the show is that the chef takes those with NO culinary prowess and teaches them how to cook through various challenges and competitions. I mean, these people are the kind of culinary folks that believe that milk and cereal in a bowl constitutes a recipe. Well, forget everything I just said about food and culinary training because it was something that the lead chef said that really stuck with me. He said that his trainees were “so real.”
Maybe he meant that in a derogatory way, but that stuck with me because I think that the people that I work with every day at the farm are “so real.” They are what they are. They don’t pretend. They didn’t even need resumes for this job. They either knew how to work with horses or they didn’t. They either knew how to use a tractor or they didn’t. They either work hard or they don’t.
Yep, a lot smoke.
Some don’t have a higher education than high school.
Many live out in the country on farms of their own where they have to worry about things like their well running out of water (I never even thought of such a thing).
I know what you’re thinking… “Where is she going with all of this?”
Well, this stuck in my head because of some things that I experienced in the corporate world. I experienced some people that didn’t seem “real.” They were a souped up resume because that’s what gets you “good” jobs.* They were fancy clothes because that’s what the dress-code mandated or that’s what client’s wanted to see. They were tight-lipped because otherwise their manager would report them. They were head-down-do-your-job kind of people.
Something about all that has made me a little gun shy about proceeding with a “real job”** Nope, I’m not saying that people who work in corporate America are all fakers, but during that time I got this feel/vibe/aura from the whole experience that some people were trying so hard to be “something” (Accepted? Perfect? What the mangers wanted? Successful? Promoted?) that it was as if they were a cog in the wheel instead of the person that they really are? I don’t know (shrugs)…
I get a hesitant feeling now whenever I continue to piece my resume back together*** because I feel like I’m trying so hard to be perfect with this piece of paper and with the cover letter and in the interview simply to achieve acceptance. I get it. Tons of people now have college degrees. Bunches get amazing grades. Bunches more are looking for jobs. I get it. Companies have to sort through human resources somehow. And that’s why we have applications. And resumes. And cover letters. And interviews.
I still don’t like it. I’m annoyed with the workshops. And the classes. And the articles. And the lectures. All about how to write to right thing, and say the right thing, and wear the right thing. I mean, heaven forbid you wear fuscia to a job interview at THAT company. FOR SHAME.
Am I dramatic? Yes. A pride issue? Probably. Immature? Yup. Millennial. You betcha!
But these are the thoughts going through my head right now. I’m loving my down to earth (literally) job with down to earth, hardworking people. I love working with my hands, dripping in sweat, and covered in dirt from head to toe. I love working with animals that are just plain down on their luck and in some cases close to death and needing loads of selfless care. I love that I get to go out to the tool shed and find nuts and bolts and nails to fix things in the barn. I love that I get to build relationships with helpless, loving, but (sometimes) unbelievably frustrating four-legged individuals. I even love that I get to work for an old, cranky (but brilliant) millionaire. I am not “above” this position. This position needs someone like me.
In fact, right now, it’s just what I need.
What things are you doing these days to keep you “real”?
*No, I don’t mean that there were lies on their resumes. Only that they are well-groomed and perfectly words and edited to make the absolute best impression. But no one operates at that level of aptitude all the time…
**Although I define a real job as any thing that you do and get paid to do. Some things that you do and get paid for simply have extra benefits…like paid time off and insurance. They’re all real, though. They just offer different returns on investment, ya know?
***It’s gone through a lot of remodeling over the summer and I’m just not happy with it right now…