Dirty Jobs! But I LOVE THEM.

Three Dirty Jobs

Job #1

This is a SWEATY, physically painful job. There is Travel and constant weekend work. It has an unimaginably, inconsistent time schedule and I work with very uncooperative co-workers. At times I freeze and swear at the wind which always seems to blow in the wrong direction. It is muddy, slimy, and sandy. It is also Heartbreaking almost every year.

BUT, I absolutely LOVE it. I love all that goes with it, and all the people that are connected to it.

Job #2

Job #2 is dirty. It is Stressful. This job makes my clothes smell like dust/oil/factory. This job consumes way too much time. It keeps me up at night worrying. This job has me on the brink of being fired from job #1 and MAY have been a final nail in the coffin of the breakup of my marriage.

But, I Love the men who work there and the People surrounding it and the Legacy that it carries on.

Job #3

No one tells you how dirty this job is or hard…you have to find out for yourself. I get yelled at constantly and talked back to. I repeat myself over and over and over and over… I have totally unreliable “coworkers” who either wake up way too early or Don’t get out of bed at all until you call them, yell at them and threaten to “FIRE” Them. My feet are wet, dirty, and I seem to track mud everywhere. I pick things up to find that I have to do it again WAY TO SOON to the point where I wonder why I even bothered to pick things up at all. There is little to no sleep at times and the job is not a 9 to 5. IT NEVER ENDS! Oh and there is poop!

THis is my absolute favorite job…and I would do it again and again AND AGAIN!!!!

The Jobs

I love them ALL. I wake up Happy. I do, however, have Guilt. Because of all these jobs I feel that I don’t (can’t) give 100% to all of them. This could lead to #1 or #2 being downsized or eliminated (but this is a really, really hard decision). Job # 3 is a FOREVER job and is my FAVORITE. In fact I am thinking of bringing on more of these Unreliable “Employees”. I just need the right “Business Partner”.

I don’t know exactly where the shift happened. Maybe my LIFE just got better in general. I studied in college to be a Teacher. I became a teacher and my first two years of teaching were NOT GOOD. I think it had to do with Coaching Football. I HATED IT!!! (Probably had a lot to do with being an assistant and not having control over my schedule). I traveled to Asia, Europe,and across the U.S for a year to “find myself”. I found out that you make your own happiness.  When I returned I became a Teacher again and absolutely loved it!!!. I left that job for an out of State Teaching Job and was not so happy. I was just another employee…I did not matter. Then I became the Head Cross Country and Track & Field Coach at Westminster College. It wasn’t a job it was ME. There is an old saying: “find something you love to do and you will never work a day in your life”.

Eight Years ago my Dad passed away. He owned a business. The guys who worked there were like my older brothers and were in their 50s. I was worried about their future, so I took that responsibility on. I hated it at first; I had no idea what I was doing. I stressed over how to make payroll each month and that I didn’t really know how to generate business. Long story short…I kind of figured it out.

My ex-wife and I struggled to have kids. We went to specialists. We had so many miscarriages I lost count. They were completely devastating each time. Then boom, Boom, BOOM- Three kids in a row with hardly a breath between. Being a Dad added to stress level because I wanted to be a great Dad…like the one that I had. So coaching my kids’ sports (or just playing with them) now became another chunk of time and other things (like recruiting calls to prospective Student-Athletes or sales calls to clients) were seriously squeezed.

So as I was unplugging a Track & Field Steeplechase pit I couldn’t help but think about the DIRTY JOBS I have.

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Here I am the HEAD XC/TF coach at Westminster College and because the PLUG in the pit was jammed, I was the one who had to go in and get it. I lay on my stomach and stuck my hand in. This water was GROSS. Rain water, slime, mud, environmental dust, leaves, slugs, etc. The water was brown…I couldn’t even see the plug. Yes, I could have had an assistant do this. One has small (as in length) arms and would have been in the water and one is a distance runner who probably wouldn’t have the strength to pull this plug out due to all the water pressure. I pride myself in leading from the FRONT. Don’t make someone do something that you aren’t willing to do yourself. Well, I wasn’t willing, but what other option was there. You think Nick Saban (Alabama Head Football Coach) or Urban Meyer (Ohio State Head Coach) have to do stuff like this?!?

But doing this made me laugh. It was just another funny story. Like the time my assistant and I had to move the high jump pits inside and realized the cover must have had a leak and the foam was full of water and FROZE. We basically labored to move frozen blocks of ice. Or the trip to NCAA nationals to Wisconsin years ago when we found our Women at a bar talking to some Men that we had met earlier that night and thought they were shady characters. We chased the guys off and took the girls into the elevator and we all busted out laughing. The People I coach are amazing. They are so busy…way busier that I ever was in college. They are truly STUDENT-ATHLETES that are way OVER INVOLVED. I think this is why I seem to connect well to them. I know how they feel. Each spring I have to say goodbye to the seniors. And that is the hardest thing about my job. I watch them grow up before my eyes. I see them come to my school as boys and girls and see them leave Men and Women. I am a CRYER….so yes, it makes these goodbyes unbelievably hard. While I hate Crying, I am so fortunate to be in a job that I get to share so much LOVE, JOY, and Pain.

Before this season started I started to wonder if I wanted to do the coaching job anymore. My kids are getting older and I am going to be forced to chose between my job and some of their extracurricular activities very soon. I expressed to one of my Long Time Assistant coaches that I was thinking of leaving. He told me to stop being a WIMP (Slight word Change) and that most people have to REALLY WORK. It hit home…yeah, I have a job I love with a lot of flexibility.

At my shop, 20 years ago we used to joke that Hollywood should make a sitcom about THE SHOP. Then Reality TV hit and those types of shows got popular. I think we missed our chance…but a reality show about The Shop would have had unique personalities and regular visitors that would have been an entertaining watch.

The guilt is the part I struggle with the most. Because I try to be everywhere (school, shop, home) I often feel like I am nowhere. I can leave my house at 7:45 AM and get home at 7:45 PM (pretty typical day) and feel like I didn’t accomplish much. It is hurry up and get to the next job, or hurry up to pick kids up, or hurry up and wait. I can see my colleagues at either job saying “Tim is NEVER here”. Heck, I feel like I am never there!

I don’t know how to solve this problem, but it is a good problem to have. I know people that punch a clock for eight hours a day and hate their job. I am fortunate that I work 10-12 hours a day and it feels like I am not even working. Then I get to be Dad.

My dad was an awesome dad. He was my first and forever coach. Each day as I play with my kids, help them with homework, talk to them, take them to practices, bike rides etc I realize that I am trying to be the Dad that my Father was. I can only hope that I am as successful as he was.

Three on One Parenting is very difficult. Because at Home there is no MOM, I have to fill that role (a whole post can be filled on gender roles…but for now… I make lunches and dinner, do laundry, fold clothes, etc). Each stage of my kids’ lives is a joy to watch. I miss them being little…but hey who knows…maybe the right woman will come along and I can bring a few new “UNRELIABLE EMPLOYEES” on.

My life is a Journey. I would like to say that I am picking all the paths that I want to go down on my journey, but I would be lying. There are times that things are so out of control and I end up on paths that are unfamiliar and scary. I picked some of these jobs and some of these jobs PICKED ME. I am happy that I chose to be COACH. I am happy that this Business picked me to be BOSS. AND I am VERY HAPPY that my kids call me “DAD”!

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