It was a great talk. It reminded me of all the Cowboys and Oldsters that schooled me and would not survive in today's work place.
Below is a story that I first posted in 2011. It's about a guy that used to ride me like a donkey, give me shit from sun up to sun down and then buy the beer. Enjoy.
This is about Howie.
I was thinking the other day about this guy, one of my first crew chiefs, he went by a certain name but when I found out his middle name was Howard I immediately dubbed him Howie. (He hated it).
Howie was a nasty son of a bitch. He chewed Copenhagen, smoked generic cigarettes and drank coffee all day. At night it was a 6 pack of Old Style and the cheapest TV diner he could find. He was a connoisseur of prostitutes and had the clap 11 times that he knew of.
He would go to Saudi Arabia for 2 year stretches and sleep in the back of his Land Rover to avoid housing bills and then vacation in Thailand every 6 months, get baked out on Thai stick and bang hookers for 2 weeks, hence the clap so many times.
He carried a 270 behind the seat of the truck just in case he saw a wild burro. He would shoot them on site claiming that they would pull out stakes. (Note: This is true, I have had it happen and they set them neatly over a hill and crapped on the nails.) I suspect that he was part burro himself that’s why he hated them so much.
He avidly hated anyone that worked in the office and referred to them as “office pukes”, he had zero use for anyone wearing a white hard hat or white shirt and was convinced that anyone that wanted to work in an office had a vagina.
While he was all of this, he was an awesome field surveyor (only) and passed his LS the first time. (Early 70’s)
This nasty Mofo made me tough. I was already pretty tough and still am but he would go out of his way to make things very hard on me. He was an agitator. He would mess with your physical and mental status, he had a way of making a person continually question themselves, therefore I became a check freak. I still am.
He had a method to his madness and his training. Those with a weak mind or the PC pussies of today would have never made it with him. They would have quit and cried to mommy. I actually witnessed people quit on the spot because of him.
Bottom line is that he made people good surveyors. That was his main goal with youngsters and he accomplished it well. He was a living breathing survey machine and he wanted to teach. He loved it, but only on his terms.
Today, he would be written up, fired, sued and have the book thrown at him.
But that won’t happen because one day he was on vacation with his mail order Philippine wife in an undisclosed location, he smiled at her and dropped dead from a massive heart attack. Death was quick for the old surveying donkey.
If you were on his good side he would treat you well after hours (I was), but on the job it was take no prisoners. If you were on his bad side you were total shit and he wouldn’t spit on you if you were on fire.
Speaking of fire he had an eye-man burn one of his trucks to the ground. Imagine how the rest of the time those 2 spent together was. My question is: how the hell do you accidently torch a truck?? What goes through your brain before and during that??
I know a lot of you my age and older were brought up by similar guys of the older generation. I personally loved these old guys. They were tough and the work ethic was hardcore.
I would love to be able to send these new/young guys back in a time machine and give them 6 months of Howie. They would come back much better having done it.
So let’s all take a moment to remember the guys that trained us. Good, bad or ugly, we all learned a lot.
Because of them, I am who I am today, just a whole bunch more refined.