hey david, you got a minute?

Anyone else cringe when they answer the phone and this is the first thing you hear coming from the other end? Never fails for me because as you probably know, this isn’t usually followed by a “small” favor that your friend is trying so desperately hard to play it off as. I’m kind of sounding like an ass but whatever, I am here to be honest. Jack, if you’re reading this buddy I still love you and would help you take out another tree anytime buddy! Maybe buy a little bit more beer next time though.

Let’s not get carried away most interesting man in the world, I’m cool with Dos XX.

i think i’ll always be the tree guy

Having so much experience working with trees from my hay day, I guess I should always expect to be the one my friends and family calls whenever they have any troubles with trees or anything in their yard. Seriously, am I the only one these people know who has ever cut down a tree before? Unless we are talking about a 30′ cedar here, cleaning up and trimming trees really doesn’t take rocket science to do. For some pruning and shaping you might need a little experience but most of the time it’s just hard work and you don’t really need an expert there but God knows I’m not going to bring that up with any of my friends. And I hope they know I am keeping a very detailed record of all the work I’m doing for them and you better believe I will hold that against them in the future if I ever need anything. Buuuuut until then I will drag my truck and equipment to help out whenever they need it.

Yesterday was a little bit different however and wasn’t a typical job that my buddy, Jack called me over for. So Jack is a pretty well off guy. He is a friend of mine that I’ve known since high school and he went the standard route by going straight to college after high school, graduated in 4 years, and immediately got a job at some financial advising firm. I don’t know how much he makes exactly but let’s just say he could probably retire in 5 years and be alright. He has a wife and 3 kids, all under the age of 12 and lives in a huge house a couple of towns over from me. So Jack has a pool in his backyard (of course he does) and after yet another storm blew through the other night, a huge tree limb broke off and crashed down onto their fence around the pool. Doesn’t sound like a big deal but it isn’t the typical chain fence that you’re probably thinking of. It’s one of those “safety fences” that people have put in to stop their dumb little kids from wandering in it. Jack’s kids aren’t dumb by the way, I love them I’m just trying to throw a little humor in this thing after my long day. Anyways it looks like one that these guys are selling here. So this enormous limb falls down and basically destroys a section of Jack’s fence.

Alright Jack, I know you’re not the strongest and most “handy” of all the men out there. But if a tree limb is already off of a tree and on the ground, do you really need to call in an expert to help clean up the mess? I’m just giving him a hard time and I would say all of this to his face. But seriously Jack, I expect a 12 pack and filet next time you decide to call me for an “emergency.”

Why can’t my friends ever just call me for some coding on their computer or to just say hello instead?

Hey, I can’t complain too much. Every time I do one of these favors for a friend I always leave feeling happy that the chapter of my life actually having to do this stuff for a career is over.

Pros And Cons of My Second Career Choice…


So if you have read any of my other posts you probably got the hint already that I love my current career as a software engineer. I worked for many years in a tree care company and after going through that misery I think I would be much happier doing pretty much anything else at this point but don’t think I could be much happier with where I landed as a software engineer. 


There really are too many things for me to list about what I love about my job but the first thing that comes to my mind when I ask myself this question is the actual labor and work part of the job is pretty much at an absolute minimum. I don’t think I really need to explain what my environment and cubicle look like for you out there but for any of you who have absolutely no idea what a software engineer does, I sit at a computer desk for about 95% of my work day and type away on my keyboard. I never in a million years thought that this would ever be something that I would say I would be enjoying but I think I am a little biased after working a labor job for so many years that this is just my ideal work place. I don’t have to worry about waking up with a sore back in the morning or have the ever looming little thought that today might be the day a bone is being snapped or a limb is being dislocated from some freak accident (thank goodness himself I avoided that whole nightmare…) I really have no risks doing my job and it is absolutely glorious.

I really don’t want to sound arrogant in any way shape or form but I must say that the pay is another huge pro of this job that I can’t ignore. I’m making almost double what I was pulling in as a tree guy with no risk of injry at all. I’m not filthy rich by any means but I’m definitely making more than I thought I would be when I was younger. I can afford a decent 2 bedroom house and can go out to eat whenever I want… That is definition of success in my book.


There really aren’t many cons I can think of to be honest. I guess the only thing I can really think of is the people I work with. Let’s just say that they aren’t necessarily the type that I would go to the bar with. The majority of the guys I work with are in their mid 40’s or 50’s and live the typical family lifestyle which I really can’t relate to quite yet. Their idea of a crazy night out on the town is heading to buffalo wild wings without the wife and not using a napkin on their lap. Hey, more power to you if you can have the time of your life at the big BW3 but I haven’t quite gotten there yet.

Another con I would have to pick would be the lack of any demand for any type of physical labor. You could do my job if you were the next star of TLC’s my 600 lb life if you can move your hands and use your brain. Other than moving your fingers and wrists you really don’t have to leave your chair to do what I do. I am loving every moment of this now but I can’t help but worry a little bit about my health and looks down the road. But we will cross that bridge when we come to it. 


Pros and Cons of my First Career Choice…

way more cons

So if you couldn’t guess by now from my previous posts, I could not be happier to be out of this business and am thankful every day for it.

It wasn’t all bad though. I met a ton of great guys that I will be friends with forever and have a lot of great experiences and memories that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. Buuuuut that being said, I never want took at another tree again.


This will be a lot shorter so we will start with the pros…

The biggest thing that comes to mind when I think about the things I liked about that horrific job is the people I met. They were all “guys’ guys”” for lack of a better term and they were all maniacs. Literally some of the funniest guys I have ever met. Every day we all gave each other shit on a regular basis and were just ball breakers. Everyone was on the same page and we went to the bar after work almost every day. And these guys could drink. Almost every night there was some “incident” that would happen that I would carry the memory of for the rest of my life. These stories will have to be saved for future posts; there are too many to list here.

The only other thing I can really think of that I would even consider a pro is the physical exercise I got from the job. It really did keep my body in check and helped work off the calories that I drank the night before. 

Other than that I really can’t think of anything that stands out to me as far as enjoying the job. It really sucked. 

Now let’s move on to the cons, shall we?


I don’t even know where to begin but I’ll try and sum up the worst parts.

This sums up a lot of what I had to do in my job. This shit is as hard to clean up as it looks. After a big storm would hit, I knew that non-stop cleaning up was going to be my life for the next week or two. If you haven’t ever seen these or know what entails look at some more pictures at treeservicesdc.com or other sites. These jobs took sooo long to do and the labor parts of it were horrible. I’m not out of shape by any means but I am also not gonna be the next cover of a men’s health magazine. These jobs really wore me down and I am still paying for it only working in the industry for eight years. 

Another thing that was just God awful about this business was working outside.

That may sound glamorous to some of you but don’t just to your conclusions my friends…


Granted, the majority of the jobs we did were in the warmer seasons and winter was definitely our slowest times but the few jobs that we got were enough to make anyone go crazy, I have never done well with snow. I hate everything about snow. Is there anything more annoying than someone who tells you they actually like winter??? The misery of trudging through feet of dirty cold condensed piles of evil water is something that I will remember doing forever and will make me resent it for the rest of my life. 

The fact that I never have to really work outside in awful weather conditions for my job (hopefully) is enough to make me appreciate my new career choice more than I could have ever imagined. I hope I’m not making anyone out there who might have to work outside too angry…

But hey, maybe I’m coming off as a little bit 6 year-old girlish who can’t man-up and you are all just laughing at me? 

My Current Career

Little Bit of History…

When I was in high school I really had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up. This seems to be a more and more common occurrence these days with the state of the country and job market changing at such a rapid pace. When I was growing up, technology was a new thing and was just starting to really take off. I know this is going to be hard to understand for any of you young ones out there that might be reading this, but I actually did not grow up with the internet at my house. 

I know I know, you can’t even begin to fathom how that’s possible right? Well it’s true and I don’t think I need to explain how crazy everything got in such a short amount of time after the internet exploded in regards to other forms of technology. If you would have showed me the iPhone that I am holding in my hand right now when I was a kid, I would have thought it was some sort of evil yet beautiful sorcery.

So when I was in high school I wasn’t aware enough, or really cared enough for that matter, to see that technology was obviously going to be exploding over the years to come and that it will definitely be in the highest demand when it comes to real careers. I really didn’t think about any careers in great detail when I was in high school or even starting college (which I was soon to deeply regret) and didn’t really have any plan or direction in my life. I was working 2 jobs while trying to go to school and not even knowing what I wanted to do when I was done.

After my first year at a local community college I wanted out, and fast. I was spending thousands of dollars (yes even at a community college) taking classes that I had 0 interest in and was just spending tons of cash to daydream while staring out a window. My buddy Joe decided to skip this whole process and started working for a tree service company right out of high school and loved it. I was jealous and wanted to do something different so I jumped on board and he got me a job with them. I didn’t mind it at first but as the days went by I found myself becoming more and more miserable with the way my life was going. Was I about to be cutting trees down for the rest of my life just barely getting by?

Why Software Engineer?

I couldn’t do it. So after 8 years I decided it was time to grow up a little bit and make something of my life that I could be proud of. And no offense to all the tree service and blue collar workers out there. I have nothing but respect for you guys, my body just isn’t cut out for it.

So I realized what I should have so many years ago that technology is where the jobs are at and even though I was a little bit late in the game, I was always good with technology and computers so I decided to go into software engineering. It was a huge risk because I had only talked to advisers and did my own research about the job before dedicating my life to it and never really talked to anyone personally that was in the field. It was the greatest decision I have ever made.

I feel secure in my job, make great money, and I don’t have to go to bed worrying about what aches and body pains I’m going to have to be dealing with all of the next day.

I don’t want to make these too long so stay tuned and I can go into more detail and stories on future posts.

Not My Problem Anymore…

A Thing of the Past…

Remember that storm I mentioned before on my first post? Well guess what? We had another one. Not a week later and we have had another crazy storm plow through and tear our neighborhood apart. This one was actually even worse than the first and I am so thankful I decided to go back to school. On my way home from work today, I saw at least 5 trees that were laid out in lawns and I even saw one on top of a car. Who leaves a car in front of a tree before a huge storm? Maybe I only know to move my car because I have experience in this horrific industry. These removals are a nightmare as I have mentioned before. Take a look at some of the pictures from this site treecarefortwayne.com and try to picture yourself working on some of these sites. I remember the first time we pulled up to one of these jobs and I just remember asking myself what have I gotten myself into?

As I drove through the neighborhood I could not stop grinning at the thought that I never have to take care of one of these messes again.  People really don’t think about the tree service industry a lot and I don’t think they get the credit they deserve. I actually read an article recently that said the tree service industry is among the top most dangerous jobs in the country right now. Even I had a little bit of a hard time believing that but if it’s online it must be true right?

I Was One of the Lucky Ones…

Although I have some occasional body pain and aches; I luckily never had any serious injuries on the job.  i have seen a few though.

I remember one year I was working on a job site with a few other guys and we were taking out a couple of trees for some big business building. Now when you do a tree removal, you can’t just chop it down and call it a day. For the big ones, you have to take out branches from the top to bottom and cut it down in sections. To do this, you have to use either a bucket truck or harnesses to reach the top like this:

Me and my buddy Greg were about 25 feet up in the air taking out branches when one of the latches on Greg’s belt snapped off and sent him straight to the ground. Luckily, there wasn’t anything on the ground that could have made the fall worse but that being said, the ground isn’t exactly soft.

Greg ended up breaking his tailbone from the fall and was out of work for months. We actually worked for a really respectable company and he got paid while he was recovering but it was still an absolute nightmare for him and his family. I couldn’t imagine being in some of these guys positions in certain fields that get hurt so badly and don’t even get paid for the time they have to take off.

These days the only thing I have to worry about hurting are my wrists from all the typing and computer work and I am totally OK with that. I might feel a little bit of carpal tunnel down the road but there aren’t many jobs out there these days that will have 0 impact on your body somehow down the road.

Welcome! Anyone Else Getting Sick of Storms?

So a few days ago, we had an enormous storm hit where I live and it’s been a long time since I’ve seen one do as much damage as this one. I swear I thought there was a hurricane outside (even though we can’t get them where I live). We got really lucky and didn’t have any damage that I couldn’t fix up myself. The whole time the storm was going on I was just picturing my basement glass door breaking open and releasing the flood gates. Buuuuut luckily my house survived it and didn’t cost me any money. Picture this but at night with crazy rain and lightning, and maybe without the fun music.

I think I might be a little jaded when it comes to big storms because I used to work for a tree service company back in the day for a little over 8 years. Why would this make me hate storms you may ask? Well whenever a big storm came around, that meant a living hell for the next week. If you’ve never had a tree torn down in a storm consider yourself lucky. It’s expensive if you’re not cleaning it up and it absolutely SUCKS if you are among the lucky ones to clear up the mess.

Just seeing pictures like this gives the chills from all the memories and work I had to do. Some jobs took up to a week to totally finish up and when a big storm hit our phones would ring off the hook for days. We really couldn’t keep up sometimes.

Those days are OVER!!!

So I can pretty safely say that I hated my life during those 8 years of working with trees. It was a pretty dead end job because I had 0 passion for it and never wanted to own my own tree company or manage for one by any means. For the most part, I worked with absolute animals. I mean that in a good way. Seriously, these guys were crazy. Every night was a party after work and they drank like fish. Don’t get me wrong. I definitely like to have a good time and back in the day I could put away enough Johnny Walker (black label only of course) to put a horse to sleep but these days my body just isn’t what it used to be and I have to be prepared to spend the next 24 hours in my bed if I’m gonna throw a few back.

After years of hard manual labor and ridiculous hours to make ends meet, I decided to go back to school and finally get my degree. I was terrified to do it for years and was always afraid of being that old creepy guy in the back with all these 20 something year old kids around me judging. Turns out it wasn’t at all the horror movie that my mind convinced itself it would be.

Now here I am, early 30’s single guy working in a corporate office that I never thought i would be doing and I am LOVING it. I am a software engineer for an upcoming company and I make great money without the worry of throwing out my back and being bed ridden for weeks on any given day.

So for anyone reading this that is considering going back to school, DO IT!! Stay tuned to my blog for reasons why this was the best decision I’ve ever made.