Jun 222011

I have been in and around construction my whole life.


At  15 years old my Dad put me on a cat dozer and said “go to work”.  He spent about 20 minutes with me showing me how to start the D8 Caterpillar dozer and showing me how to raise the blade and turn.   Dreamed of that day since I was 3 or 4.  Fun but very stressful.  Dad expected a lot from me.  I was his blood and had to be better than guys even twice my age.  It was a cable dozer.  No hydraulics.  Required a lot of muscle power and forethought.  I was immersed in the excitement of being on and operating this huge piece of yellow iron.  I was in control.  Stressed to the max.

I have aged some 42 years.  Not driving the equipment anymore.


Dad has been gone for several years.  I have been directing construction departments for owners and developers for some time now.  Miss my Dad.  Miss the stress of ownership.  This week has truly been the most stressful of my life.  An amazing amount of lost commitments from vendors to contractors.  Bad communications.  Huge cracks in the construction process.  Missed my first deadline for an opening.  Been close before.  Moved dates before.  But never had the media, our executive team, community and excess staff standing by at the last minute for a big open house.  It was a closed house.  Can’t open a store without the store front glass.  V.P.’s  calling every hour.  Lost truck with a palette of XIR laminated glass on it.   In addition another project in Washington was falling apart a week before opening.  Another closed house?  Stress to the MAX!!!!!


Feel like I have been in a week long battle.

How to relax?  How to pull it all back together?

Operate a large piece of equipment.  Tomorrow I am moving a large amount of dirt placed on a property blocking the best view of our brand new store.  No stress tomorrow.  Got the operating down.  Just spreading some dirt.  Time to unwind.  Time to clean up and pull it back together.


Tonight my whole focus and energy shifted.

At exit 19 in Reno was a couple.  A young man and a young women.  He was holding cardboard sign that said..”only need gas for car”.  She was sitting indian style on the concrete island.  Her back to the traffic.  As I stopped her tears caught my attention.  Real tears.  Not a beggars tears.

After filling up their car with gas and giving them a couple of bucks for dinner, I realized how blessed I am.  Never had to ask for money on a corner.  I have been blessed my whole life.  Dad taught me how to be debt free.  Always told me “either you have it or the bank has it”.  My mother taught me to give before taking.  It will always come back in bonuses.  Dad taught me that there is always time to find value in something or someone.    My first impression of the couple changed to respect and admiration when I looked closer and saw their true colors.  That which must be seen up close and personal…


The couple committed to me they would pay it forward within 3 days.  Either in service, a smile to a stranger or to each other.   Someway.

It brought me back to reality.  My stress’s really are minimal.  I have it pretty darn good.  Enough of the worrying.  Just get done what I can.  Can’t do more than that.

Looking forward to a time on the loader tomorrow.  Thinking about how lucky and blessed I am………………

 Posted by at 11:10 PM

  2 Responses to “Stress and Out of Gas”

  1. Boy, you know how to bring back memories…”KBH722 – 5 to 1″, dirt, pipes…part of growing wiser..You’ve always been a great example to look up to….even from afar…. OF

  2. Who can forget Gene Child? An imposing man in so many ways. What a mark he left on my life. He’s left behind an amazing legacy. Thanks Jim, for sharing your thoughts.

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