In late April of 2014 after two weeks of being unemployed, having been laid off from my temp job, I responded to a craigslist ad that simply read:
“Need help with Landscaping Business.”
That was it. No name. No other description. Just that sentence, and an email.
I was hired the next day. Started work two days after that.
When I first sent an email saying I was interested I thought, Well sure, I can mow lawns for two weeks and pull weeds while I find something new. I really wasn’t planning on sticking around longer. Needless to say it wasn’t the job I expected. One simple distinction to be made. It was not Landscape Maintenance that they needed help with. It was Installs. While maintenance was part of the job on occasion when I needed to fill in, the majority of what I did for this company was construction; in a way.
It wasn’t mowing lawns and blowing leaves, pulling weeds.
It was: rip this out, cut this up, throw that away…
…Design this water feature. Lay this pathway. Build this fence. Construct this pergola. Glue this sprinkler system. Plant this grass…
I got to drive all the equipment, sign for a lot of deliveries, and direct the crew. Virtually anything you can imagine someone might want outside their house. Poolside waterfalls? Two of those. An outdoor kitchen? Yeah.
Ponds. Retaining walls. Pavers. Rock walls. Plants. Grass. A big ol’ play ground structure for someone’s kids. Even set the stone veneers on a 5 bedroom house up in the hills on the wealthy side of town. I dug probably 4 miles of trenches by hand and set in that same amount of irrigation pipe and drains. Worked in the snow, in the rain, in 110 degree sunshine, and in 6 weeks of forest fire smoke, twice.
My boss taught me everything he could and trusted me with even more.
As a dead-beat 20 year old kid who had dropped out of college and had nothing on a resume except having been fired for drag racing a 5mph tug-cart on the airport tarmac…
I could not have asked for a better job. My boss was patient, understanding, and respectful. I got raises when I earned them and time off for holidays.
And I could go on but as life moves along, its come time for me to move on as well.
So no more digging holes for me. No more 25 degree mornings in the mud. No more 100 degree days in the smoke. No more running out of fuel in the work truck on the freeway at 7:00 pm after a 12 hour day as the sun goes down and I’m out of food, and my phone is dying.
I once left a job site out in the boonies where the bad cell service had killed my phone. I had worked a 10 hour day by myself in the pouring rain and it was getting dark. My phone died before I could text my boss about what I had got done. I drove the truck and trailer back to town, stopped at the first electronics store I could find and went in covered from head to toe in mud with my deceased phone in hand. It was like a country western movie when the ‘outsider’ walks into the bar and the piano stops playing and everyone stares. There were people signing up for cellphones in their nice city clothes and I just grab the first car charger I can find and drop it on the counter like: “I need this.”.. It was dead silent and half a dozen people just watched. I checked out without a word and left in a hurry. Plugged my phone in, to charge it in the truck, and texted my boss what had happened.. and just “ok.” he says .
I loved my time with that job but I’m moving on.
Tomorrow I start a job at a Machine Shop. I was offered a position by a man I know from church. They need help in the shipping and receiving department but he says they’ll teach me a bit of everything. They’re matching my current pay with a possible raise after 90 days. I can have dental, medical, holiday pay, and profit sharing. I get consistent hours, 5 days of the week, in all seasons. I get to work with a roof over my head while still driving big machinery. I’m really looking forward to it.
So hears to the last (almost) 4 years at Scofield Landscape..
And a new beginning at Sweed Machinery.
God alone can open and close doors in due time.