Thursday, September 06, 2007

pruning boy #010: orkkin man returns

In the ever evolving series of “pruning boy”, Agent B tries to find meaning and purpose in his toils at "Son and Dad Tree Service, Inc." – a part-time employment gig, confirmed by the CEO of the universe in a dream of Agent B’s last February...

On the pruning boy gig, there are basically three types of manual labor jobs we perform: tree work (trimming, chopping, removal, etc), lawn care (mowing, etc), and tree spraying (mostly pecan tree spraying four times a year along with fertilizing twice a year).

My favorite is tree work. The cons are: it’s a short job (two hours average), very strenuous, and extremely dangerous. The pros: it’s very dangerous. I need this element of risk in my life to keep me going. Something about having my ass half way up a tree with a loud chainsaw or standing on a steep slippery two-story metal roof dodging the oil drips from my saw is, I don’t know, sexy? Or it reminds me of my mortality.

The lawn care part is what it is. No element of surprise or danger. Actually, it’s pretty boring. But this is when I get some of my best thinking time in. And sometimes I can hear the CEO when my brain is on auto-pilot while pushing these cool high dollar honda mowers. This is usually where I come up with most of these agent reports.

And then there’s tree spraying. Or pruning boy: the orkkin man edition. I don’t care for this part of the gig. There’s chemicals to deal with. And it’s gay. And not gay as in boys loving boys. Gay as in, it’s gay-ass. The pros are that we only do this work six times a year (including the fertilizing). And usually these are two or three day stints. And it’s guaranteed 8 to 11 hour days. We work from sun up to almost sun down and straight through lunch. We eat our sandwiches driving from house to house. So, I usually get a modest check the month we spray.

This is my third orkkin man gig since working this job for the last six months. And each time, I get mildly depressive and contemplative while doing this. It’s slow. It’s very easy work. And I get to see the ugly side of the wealthy.

For example, I am amazed at how some people in the upper middle class live like pigs. I mean, they have a very nice house, the front looks all clean and trim. Nice cars. But the back looks like freaking Sanford and son. Like, they have so much shit, they don’t know where to put it except all over the damn yard and alley. Maybe I’m too judgmental, but I’m thinking if you can afford to have FOUR lawn mowers sitting around your yard then, I don’t know, GIVE three away or something. Sheesh.

Also, I get a huge kick out of how some of these wealthy people receive me when I come to their door with the bill. My boss calls all 100 plus customers a week before we spray. So they know we’re coming. But sometimes, the spouse of a customer is unaware of our arriving. And they’re pissed as hell. Those are the ones my boss sends me to deal with (how nice).

Still, I’m convinced this job was a directive of the CEO. It’s very humbling. Perhaps I needed that.

God help me. Open up a new door for me, here in the desert...


Talitha koum said...

I agree. The sexy part and the give one away part. That was great.

ericaprosser said...

oh my goodness, me too. AND... if you need more time with the Lord, we have trees and a junk pile! hee hee hee