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Sunday, 7 August 2011

One Shitty Job

Up some big rough-barked gnarly oak of a horrible sleety winter stormy day may well be some people’s idea of a shitty job, and it takes a lot of soul searching in that situation to keep the spirits up - exposed to winds that cut your face off, hands as cold as toothache; my backside has been completely numb, I’ve had karabiners frozen shut which I’ve had to blow on to release (getting your mouth frozen to a karabiner while at the top of a tree is hilarious - to your colleagues) and then some wee whippy twig twangs you right on the tender part of a frozen ear, it’s a better man than me who doesn’t swear.

Of course, I’d had other jobs which were challenging in their own ways - jobs I may have enjoyed at the time but more than glad I’d long since moved on. Many moons before I was ever a tree surgeon, I worked with special needs students (or whatever the latest politically correct term is these days - it’s hard to keep up with all that stuff) and for the most part, it was a good job - the students were good crack, it paid the bills and let me drink beer on a weekend, however there were also plenty shitty backsides, toilet rolls and rubber gloves involved - and that is a great education. Nothing will teach you humility like looking after a stranger who is utterly dependant on you.

I remember felling trees on a railway one February nightshift where it was so cold the icy rain was freezing on contact with the rail-head. Many of the lads were bleating and whining about how bad it was - like that‘s ever going to improve things. And that’s when it’s good to have at least one shitty job in your past - ’cause then you can always remind yourself - at least I’m not wiping mad people’s arses for the minimum wage.

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About Me

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up in the hills, Co Durham
tree climber, painter, stilt walker, musician. After 20 years of city life and all the late nights and fun, returned to my country-boy roots. Open fires, tranquility and muddy boots.