My Absense

I’ve been in Kansas City the last nine days without a computer, or for that matter the time to even look at one.  I have a few jobs up there with hard deadlines and the only way I felt that I could make them was to be on the jobsites to manage them from there.  It has been a number of years since I’ve actually worked for a living, let alone out of town working 10-12 hour days nine days straight in freezing weather.  To say that I’m tired is an understatement.

It does allow an opportunity to explain why I’m a conservative though.  Back in the day when I would run jobs, or for that matter when I was just working, I worked very hard physical labor for every dollar I earned.  I never forgot those times as it is kind of hard to ignore our employees that come into my office on a daily basis looking like a truck just ran them over.  I have a good group of guys that work for us, and spending time working side by side with them on a jobsite reminded me how lucky I am to have come such a long way in life with so very little skills.

This is a great country and I am thankful for all the opportunities it has presented to me.  I’m got home late last night after a 16 hour day and trying to catch up on all my paperwork before finishing my Christmas Shopping tomorrow.  I leave again for Kansas City Sunday morning and will return after I complete these two projects sometime late that week. 

This New Years Eve while most of the nation is out partying, I’ll be more than likely working trying to finish a job that has a midnight deadline.  I have remembered the things I miss about working with my hands, the sense of accomplishment at the end of the day.  The pride when you tear down the scaffolding and look at the completed work.  The ability to not have to answer your phone or your email.  The relationships you make with your fellow employees and the other trades on the job, all working for that goal of finishing the project on time.

Over the years I’ve told some of our more recent employees that  weren’t around when I used to work in the field that I would never ask them to do something that I haven’t done.  In the last two weeks I’ve proven it to them once again.  I sometimes wonder if I’ll be doing this when in 20 years when I’m 63, and with the nature of the construction business that question pretty much answers itself.

On another note, there was a letter to the editor in the paper aimed at me today.  I’m too tired and busy to go into a detailed explanation of why I think the author is off base so I will make it simple.  As a member of the Planning and Zoning Commission I am intrusted to recommend approval or denial of items based upon our Unified Development Code and the Zoning of the City.  It was my belief that the Racetrac did not meet our UDC and that it was not the best use of the property.  If the author felt I beat up on a Fortune 100 company, he’s mistaken. 

Have a Merry Christmas and I’ll catch you after the New Years.


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