I grew up immersed in the job. Stopping in on check day with my dad, buffing fires, reading magazines and books. It was my childhood and now is my life, for that I’m extremely grateful. How many kids grow up to have the job they always wanted?
The downside of all that immersion is this; I can’t be stagnant, I can’t not put my best foot forward, I can’t not wear a uniform shirt or make sure my gear & tools are in order on the rig, I can’t let ALL of those guys down. “Those Guys” Encompasses everyone from my dad, who to this days keeps feeding me solid job & life lessons to the guy from Philadelphia Engine 27 who we met randomly on a family vacation when I was 8 and gave me the hat off his head!
The older I got the more that became apparent. Sure there were guys who didn’t love it but they didn’t take time to show me how to rebuild the saw on a hospital towel after a job so you don’t lose the parts or give me cooking lessons as the meal was running late or sneak me in to overhaul when the bosses weren’t looking, the guys who lived the job did.
I made a deal with myself a while back, that for all those reasons above, I can’t not be 110% into it. I love the job; I really enjoy my current assignment. I get to tiller 90% of the time (yes, the truck with the extra steering wheel) I have a solid boss who lets us bring ideas to the table, operate independently within reason and keeps me laughing all day.
That’s all a home run! … I’m still not content.
I tinker around with tools on the rig, take classes on my day off ,but am I moving forward? I can’t say I feel like I’m gaining much ground.
But next day I’ll still take the 75 minutes to check the rig, because “Those Guys” always did and that counts for something.
Thanks again: Dad, Jack, Eric, Ray, Joe and everyone else who got me off on the right foot.