Wednesday, August 15, 2012

"Strength and honor."

Every morning I wake up with a song or a phrase in my head. It's weird, particularly when the song is something by Miley Cyrus. But today it was Russell Crowe in Gladiator. As the soldiers are about to go to battle, he says to them, "Strength and honor."

How apt that that phrase resonates on an endless loop in my head today. Overall, things are good. Business is up, morale is mostly up, and the trucks are mostly in good working order. But that's not to say things are easy. Far from it.

In the last few weeks we've had two trucks break down. We were notified that our big DOT safety audit is scheduled for the end of the month. It's a routine thing -- if all your paperwork is in order. (And as anyone who has any familiarity with the back end of the business knows, paperwork is not my strong point.) We have one of the strongest crews we've ever had, but their numbers are dwindling -- guys are going back to school, looking for other, less physically demanding work, etc. Finding solid new guys -- "solid" in terms of physical strength, integrity, goal-orientation, etc. -- is a perennial problem. We have about two more weeks of busy season left, and we could break records if only we had the guys to do the work. After that, we'll be on the street in funny costumes flipping signs around. "Will move for diesel fuel."

Then there's the cloud of little to-do's that I just call "static." That's the endless list of little things that require a phone call or email, a scheduling commitment, attention... Most of these things aren't important to the overall mission of MTB, but they're still important. Some of them are very important in a broad sense (like compiling move statistics for marketing purposes), but they don't put jobs on the calendar RIGHT NOW.

And then there's the myriad vital things a good and available husband and father should do. On that front, well, I need a lot of work.

On days like today, the static threaten to drive me into the nearest movie theater and toss my phone into the nearest dumpster.

"Strength and honor." Again and again in my head.

Push through. In a couple of months there will be time to sleep. In a couple of months all these pressing worries will be replaced by one overriding worry: the work slowdown. Right now, that sounds wonderful, actually. I know I won't feel that way when the trucks sit outside my office window for days at a time, of course.

Another Gladiator quote comes to mind: "On my signal, unleash hell." Yes. I'll start there today. I'll start by unleashing hell on this trashed office. Yes. That feels like work...

No comments: