You Know Nothing… About Snow

, , , , , | Working | October 2, 2019

(I’m working at a farm in rural Vermont in the dead of winter. Sugaring — making maple syrup — season is coming and my boss wants me to shovel the snowy doorways to his sugarhouse — building used to collect tree sap and boil it in to maple syrup — for an open house he is hosting. It’s not the type of stuff I was hired for but I’m broke and it’s paying so I do it. I shovel the doorways and my boss comes over with his tractor, scooping the biggest piles of snow away with the bucket. Together we make the sugarhouse look nice and neat. I finish the rest of my work and go home. The next day I get to work and he greets me.)

Boss: “How come you didn’t shovel out the doorways?” 

Me: “Huh?”

Boss: “It looks a mess.”

Me: “What are you talking about?” 

Boss: “When I ask you to do a job, I expect you to do it and to do it right. If you can’t do your job then what am I paying you for?” 

Me: “Why don’t you show me what I did wrong and I’ll fix it?” 

(We start walking toward the sugarhouse. I am confused since I did clean the doorways and he watched me, he was right there helping me too. His directions are confusing sometimes and often he will switch topics mid-sentence and not even know it so his directions sometimes get muddled.)

Boss: “I shouldn’t have to be doing this with you. I shouldn’t have to do your thinking for you. You’re a big girl now and you need to be thinking with your adult brain.”

(I knew him when I was a kid but I’m 25 at this point. I am blown away by his rudeness, but I know if I say anything it will devolve into an argument I’m not going to win, so I grin and bear it. We get to the sugarhouse and I see the problem. It snowed in the higher elevations the previous night and the added weight made all the snow from the roof drop into the previously clean doorway. It now looks as if it were never cleaned at all.)

Me: “I see the problem here. The snow fell off the roof. That’s what happened.” 

Boss: “Oh.” 

Me: “How’s that adult thinking for ya?” 

Boss: “Well, why didn’t you say anything?” 

Me: “You watched and helped me yesterday; I just assumed I’d done something wrong.” 

Boss: “Well, don’t do that.” 

(I didn’t stay long after that. I got a new job and found out that a coworker’s grandson was working for the same guy, my old boss, a few weeks later. He said his grandson was fired for “back talking” to my old boss. Apparently, the backtalk was, “You’re being really rude right now.” Funny thing is, my old boss wondered why he couldn’t keep help for his farm. He surmised that it was because “nobody wants to work anymore.” No, people don’t like being berated for doing their jobs in 10F degree weather all winter for minimum wage. But I’m just a dumb girl who can’t think, so what do I know?)

1 Thumbs
581