Friday, July 21, 2006


I hear a lot about father and son bonding. I’ve experienced it firsthand on a fishing trip or on a trip to buy my first car. However, I have never had a bonding experience while WORKING with or for my dad.

I can only come to ONE CONCLUSION: We are BOTH too HARDHEADED to truly get along in a work environment.

Don’t get me wrong, I respect my dad. I understand that he has years of experience on me, but he WILL NOT admit that he is WRONG about anything. It has been like that most of my life and it hasn’t changed in 45yrs.

My dad got me into the Millwright Union when I was a kid. I went through 4yrs (split up with 2yrs in between) of apprenticeship. The union said I was good enough to be a journeyman millwright after 4yrs, but if I ever worked on a job with my dad (and I have)…you would have thought I was a 1st year apprentice who didn’t know his ass from a hole in the ground. Not only that but GOD HELP me if I got on a job and my dad was foreman. I might as well have been a RED-HEADED STEP CHILD. My old man would work me TWICE as hard as anyone else. I understood his reasoning behind it, but that didn’t mean I had to like it. Whatever happened to nepotism? Couldn’t I get ONE TIT JOB?

I volunteered to do a job for my dad (clear 300ft of land for a fence line) and now it’s like I’m a 1st year apprentice all over again. Apparently I can’t read a tape measure? Apparently I can’t set a bench mark? Apparently the bench mark that he set is wrong, but it’s my fault? No! I know I set the damn benchmark in the RIGHT PLACE! He knows I set the benchmark in the RIGHT PLACE! But he ain’t gonna say so. Nope, he is gonna go with his memory and come off of what he thinks is the right benchmark which is the corner of someone else’s property and not the corner of his property. Yes dad there is red flag there, but it’s not your red flag…your red flag is where MY BENCHMARK IS!

Frustrating as it all is, I’ll finally acquiesce and end up clearing half a frigging forest and then (and only then) will it come out that my benchmark is right.

I love the old man, but damn he’s hardheaded…so, I guess I come by it naturally.

I need to keep a firm reign on my tongue, do as I’m told. I don’t know how much longer he’ll be around... No need to let a fence come between us.


At 12:06 PM, Blogger GUYK said...

HAHAHAHAHA Yeah, I know what you mean. I have seen it happen several times. But I was lucky I reckon. I started working with me Dad by the time I was big enough to do anything and he taught me everything that he could. Leter in life he respected my judgement on most things because as he said," Hell, boy. I am the one that taught you."

But until the last year or so of his life it was seldom I made a major move in my life that I didn't consult him first. I didn't always take his advise and sometimes I wished later that I had and there were times when I did the right thing by nor taking his advise. But one thing about my Dad..he always gave me a thought out and logical opinion whether I liked it or not.

At 8:30 PM, Blogger Ron Southern said...

My dad was always fair with everyone, even me. He didn't like it that I wasn't quick to absorb the skills he had as a mechanic, but he didn't cuss me much. Mechanics cuss, without even being mad at you, because they're mad at the equipment!

At 9:54 AM, Blogger Ron Southern said...

Later I also got a poem and a post out of this. Thanks.


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