The One Wielding the Chainsaw is always the Boss
by, 21-Dec-12 at 03:06 PM (4321 Views)
I have been in this specific line of business for many, many years. Yet people continue to amaze me with their absolute obtuse disregard for common decency, not to mention their refusal to use either the fleshy decorations proudly displayed on the side of their heads, or the grey matter between them.
Recently I was appointed by the Trustees of a Body Corporate to do some tree felling (removal of two dangerous trees, and pruning of several others to render them safe) and maintenance. I came so highly recommended that they never even bothered to obtain another quote.
I have some post-graduate qualifications in this specific field, and about 20 years’ experience, also in training chainsaw operators in everything from safety, to mechanics, to rigging and rope work of dangerous trees. I know trees; I know how they will react when you prune them in a certain way, when they are likely to break and during which seasons it is better to do which kind of tree surgery. I can pinpoint within 30cm or so, exactly where a 40m high tree will fall, if felled correctly.
At this specific complex, I was merrily working away when some strappy young dude of a ripe old age of approximately two decades came to confront me. His particular problem involved the way I was pruning the tree in front of their flat, which was about to break and take down their entire living room with it.
I am a reasonable person; speak to me nicely and I will almost certainly find a way to make your life easier. Treat me like dirt, and you will meet the most uncooperative being on the planet. Ask my ex – I never fought back, and you start feeling slightly silly after a couple of minutes of fighting with yourself.
The dude was rude, making it clear that he is of the opinion that I don’t know what the hell I’m doing. After asking what he did for a living, and receiving the spine-tinglingly exciting reply that he was an accountant, I asked whether he makes a habit of listening to horticulturists off the street telling him how to balance his books. I don’t suppose he got it, because I was threatened with: ‘My father is on his way here, and then we’ll see!’. Well, I only but shivered in my steel-toe capped safety boots. (I managed to slip in the fact that I had more experience than he was old, too).
Oh my, did his father ever arrive. It started out quite pleasantly, as my mother came from a good family. But the moment I started explaining what we are doing, he did that thing that men with small appendages do, especially in the presence of women. He started talking non-stop, right over my words. And when I smiled, he became aggressive. Then he told me that I was as corrupt and dishonest as the ANC government, the only difference being my colour, and that I was killing the trees, and that I was a money-grabbing bitch. (Obviously he works for the love of it only – it’s quite clear that he doesn’t need any money, judging from his modest flat and mediocre transport). I could not really believe what I had just heard, so I repeated it, word for word, asking him if he really did just say that to me. He said yes, he did, and that the ‘f’in’ tree in question would not be touched by me that day or any other day. I asked him whether this attitude of his normally results in his desired outcome, and he said that he ALWAYS got his way.
I then told him that today is not really going to be his day, and calmly walked away.
Eventually he had to leave, to go to the job which he works at for the pure joy of it, and I could prune the tree in peace, and exactly as I would have anyway. (He must be hopping mad that the Trustees have formally requested him to apologize in writing, or face a 25k defamation suit. Not the cleverest move insulting someone in front of six witnesses.)
The moral of the story is:
The one wielding the chainsaw is always the boss.
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