Men at Work

Working with men has an interesting dynamic.
I’m not saying I prefer it to working with women because they always smell nicer but it does have a certain feel about it that I’ve spent much of my life working around.
My buddy Matt and I were digging post holes in his yard with one of those motored augers and, while hanging on for dear life I yelled “Part of me is hoping your wife is taking a video of this in case it spins and knocks us out!”
Matt just chuckled. If you’ve ever wondered what working with men is like it’s a pretty fair example.
How much research did we do before we started? Zero. Research is for cowards or people who can read, and we don’t have time for either because the holes weren’t going to dig themselves with books. The books would be about augers so we skipped a step.
Another fair example:)
Every disaster we averted reminded us of other disasters on the job we’d either averted or experienced (because of a lack of research), and then we’d have to tell the story. The best thing about terrible experiences is they make the best stories.
“Hey, one time we hooked onto a post with a rope and….” It always ends up with someone getting hurt or someone almost getting hurt, or something far worse… their truck getting damaged, which gets a laugh every time.
I love the simple philosophy of some guys I’ve worked with. They’re not in a career because they find it super fulfilling or wake up every day looking forward to it, they’re in it to feed their families and provide a good life for them. Most things I experienced were on the hard side of things working, or extremely boring which is worse, but rarely did we ever think: “We should get up early on our day off and build one of these because we like it so much!”
I think the younger a man is these days the more they could use the kind of wisdom that finds humour in the day to day grind. I never had a boss whose main object was to help me “find myself” or “have fun” (though I think I’m mostly a fun boss, as long as a ridiculous amount of work is happening at the same time:)
Starting to get a feel for it?
When young men work with career men they often find it a rite of passage with a lot of unknown rules of etiquette (waaaay too fancy a word for it), aka they have to learn to walk before they crawl, but an even more important lesson is how to TALK.
Most men hate working with braggarts and insecure people. This leaves a tricky space in between where you have to be confident but also the first to laugh when you screw something up, as long as you don’t screw the same thing up tomorrow.
There was always good natured trash talking on my sites which the young men found difficult to understand. It was the career man’s way of letting issues be known with a grin on their faces. “Are they seriously mad, acting mad because they like making me nervous, or joking altogether?” With guys it can actually be all three.
There are lines you never cross with each other like standing in our personal space when you don’t absolutely have to or talking about our feelings, which is gross. No, nobody wants to hear about your wife hurting your feelings before work unless it’s funny, then by all means tell us! No, we’re not really interested how you mended a relationship, but speak up if you figured out how to fix your car!
Girls have this creepy simpatico with other girls that guys don’t have. We actually like it when another guy gets in trouble because that means at least we didn’t.
The closest thing I can think of to describe the kidding around we do with each other is by watching animal puppies (or whatever little animals are) wrestling and tackling each other because they’re bored and sort of want contact but no cuddles. We’re not really allowed to fight anymore which is probably good, but there still needs to be a contest where there can be winners.
It’s competitive often, but not in a bad way. Done right it’s almost a brotherhood that challenges men to be their best, where loyalties can last a lifetime, and where we all have each other’s backs…
Once you earn the right that is.
Maybe that’s the piece that’s a little different…

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