Best Practices, Operations, V10I2

Perils of the Profession

(Photo courtesy Justice K from Pixabay)

There are many perils in the life of a shed builder. 

Some of them are obvious. Saws cut. Hammers pound. Air nailers have no compunctions against shooting their cargo into sensitive flesh. Your foot might slip when you are perched at the top of a ladder.

Other perils catch you by surprise. In my first shop—a tarp-covered hoop building—I stood up on the roof of a higher-than-usual shed. Wham! The blade of a spinning ceiling fan caught me just above the temple, and the second blade followed suit a split second later. 

Thankfully, I managed to get off the roof of the shed before I had to lie down.

And then there are the perils that catch you completely off guard. Something so off-the-wall that you’re left shaking your head and wondering if that actually happened, or if you were dreaming … 

One early August evening found my family in the pickup, climbing the hills outside the town of Charlie Lake. A man named Martin had bought a used shed from an acquaintance— we’ll call him Seth—and Martin wondered if I could move it for him. 

No problem! I was glad for the opportunity to use my trailer. We agreed to meet at Seth’s place to load up the shed. The long daylight hours of our northern summer should allow us plenty of time to load and deliver.

We found the address and entered the wooded driveway. Surprise! Here was the man, presumably Seth, toting an assault rifle, and acting very uneasy. We began to share those uneasy feelings as well, just watching this nervous man pacing around with his gun.

His eyes darted here and there, his finger never far from the trigger.

Seth told Martin and me that hissing cougars had welcomed him home from work that evening, and one of them had nearly gotten his wife not long before. He was anxious to get rid of the intruders. 

For myself, I looked around at the innocent-looking trees, and Seth with his rifle, and I wasn’t sure which I feared more.

My wife opted to stay in the pickup with our 1-year-old daughter while we loaded the shed. Martin and I were in a hurry to get out of there. 

All while we worked, Seth kept striding around as though his adrenaline was at a fever pitch, clutching his weapon.

And I kept holding a mental debate: Is this man deranged? Or is there really a cougar lurking in the trees? Which is the lesser of the two evils?

I watched out for him as carefully as I could while trying to fit this shed on the trailer that wasn’t made to fit.

Finally, the loading was finished. We were ready to leave the pacing gunman behind. No cougars were to be seen in any direction as we traveled to Martin’s home on the shore of Charlie Lake. 

The unloading was challenging as well—wiggling the shed between a boat and the neighbor’s fence in the cramped quarters of a lakeside development. 

Finally, the job was done and we could head toward home.

Were cougars really lurking near Seth’s home? Martin told me that Seth had been in an accident years before and had a concussion, so his mental powers could have been hampered.

But, on the other hand, cougars had been seen around Charlie Lake, and several dogs had gone missing. So, maybe we were that close to seeing one.

For my part, I was just glad that any resident cougars had stayed in the trees, and that Seth hadn’t had to put his ready rifle to use! 

And thankfully, a typical day in the shed business isn’t beset by the perils of guns or cougars!

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