Farm Life

7 Tips on Being Less of Jerk During Harvest

Do you know someone who tiptoes on the verge of being downright intolerable during harvest?
7tipsharvest
Well I put out an S.O.S. call to my friends, guys and gals, young and old to put together what would be somewhat of a checklist to give to the people that just can’t seem to handle harvest like they may be capable of. My promise to the submitters of content?

Complete anonymity.

I’d like to thank them all for their submissions, (you know who you are) and the giggles I got, while receiving message upon message with their funny stories. Also, if you think these are all about my family… well some of them are (hello hand signals), think again. I couldn’t divulge all of our secrets now, could I?

Processed with Snapseed.

*Special Note: This is merely a funny-ha-ha post, as I am well aware of harvest being a busy, stressful season. What isn’t funny, is that sometimes there is so much on the line, even entire family farms, and they are completely dependent on the income from a single harvest to keep going until the next year. The intention of this post is not to mock, or minimize the stress that people endure during harvest, rather, perhaps offer chuckle when reading that other families deal with some of the same ‘situations’ on their farms as well.

Curb your hand signals.
Stuff your over expressive appendages back in your pockets where they belong and pick up a two way radio or your cell phone. Better yet, take two cleansing breaths, use your ‘jazz hands’ to pull that Fun Size Snickers bar out of your lunch box (in case your rage is blood sugar related) and stuff it in your mouth. Then calmly dial the person you are trying to reach, and communicate without the hand sigs. Because let’s face it, they rival the overly excited gestures of a first-day air traffic control employee who has had 300 cups of coffee.

Check your attitude if it rains or something breaks down.
Let’s face it, no matter what kind of farmer you are, shit is going to break and the weather will always find a way to be as uncooperative as you can only imagine. Your pissy attitude will not fix your combine, get the cows back in or help anyone’s moods. Remember, things like this happen to everyone. Every. Single. Farmer. Ever. So, get over the feelings of persecution and crank that pouty mug back into neutral or half smile status and move on. Oh, and don’t be a dick to anyone giving you a ride or running for parts. Mmmm kay?

Tell everyone thank you.
If you live on a “family farm”, like 98% of farms are… someone is running like a hamster on a super charged mega-wheel to get your kids to school, church class, soccer practice, livestock fed and cared for, your mother to her annual doctor’s appointment etc. So I know you feel so busy sitting in your combine all day, fixing things, running the grain cart, hauling to town and more, but don’t forget: life at home doesn’t cease in the name of harvest. Crap only gets busier and more hectic. Don’t forget where that bread in your ‘perfectly packed lunchbox’ is buttered. Say thank you, and say it often.

Leave my radio stations alone.
I finally get my radio stations set, the air vents pointed in the precise locations that I need them to be to sustain maximum comfort in the tractor all day, and you think I need help with this? So you come in and upset my ‘harvest house’ by swapping stations and using my ‘stuff’. That toilet paper you ask? Yep, its mine. So, if you plan on using 100 yards (typical) to take care of yo’ biz, make sure you replenish my stock, okay? PS: I know you used my Chapstick too you sicko, and I cut the top layer off with the pocket knife that I’ll use on you if you, deplete my toilet paper stock EVER again.

Don’t watch me work.
Teach me to do something then keep helping me (if I need help to be safe) with kindness or do us all a favor and: walk away. Having you breathe down my neck, eagerly correct my mistakes and watch me attempt a task I’ve just learned or don’t do frequently is no definition of fun. Farming isn’t always fun. Farming sometimes sucks. Learning from people who are patient teachers just means that the task to be mastered will come much easier and be retained at a higher level. I like to learn, I want to learn more, and I like to learn from you when you are nice about it.

Do a dish. Fold a towel.
Do we really need to explain this one? Our house isn’t a one stop shop for laundry and dirty lunchboxes. Do a load of your dirty clothes, as soon as you get in. I’ll even spot you one and throw them in the dryer after I get the baby to bed. Oh, also find the warm, half eaten ham sandwich in your lunchbox and toss it to the dog, throw the empty pop can into the recycle bin and the baggies and candy bar wrappers go in the garbage, in case you forgot. If you are on it, this entire to-do should take about a minute and a half.

*PS:

Regarding your evening meal:
Oh…you’re tired of that casserole? Your fries are soggy? I’m sorry that my kitchen and your favorite burger joint aren’t out in the middle of your field. I cooked that meal while nursing your baby, playing with your toddler, and working on spelling words with your kindergartener. Then I loaded them in the car (along with the dog) to deliver it as quickly as I could to you all. Meanwhile these kids are screaming and hungry in the delivery vehicle and the family dog has his butt in the newborn’s face and is licking everyone’s beef burgers. So for the love of God and all that is holy, if you see me in the driveway come get your food, ASAP. That chisel plow takes 3 years to get down and back in this field. Your auto steer will put you right back where you need to be, I promise.

Again, thanks to contributors from 4 states, two countries! I’m still giggling!
None of this is news to my Snapchat friends: Find me at: CristenCClark

Also: This post literally broke my blog the first time it was added. (I guess there are more “harvest jerks” out there than I thought! Well after 4 hours on the phone with tech support, 5 fun size Milky Way Bars and several beers for supper last night, I think the issue is resolved. It included me having to re-publish this blog post. So if this ended up in your inbox two times, I owe you a favor. I added a few other tidbits you may have missed in the first post, so it is a bit different.

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2 Comments

  • Reply Fran November 19, 2016 at 3:58 am

    Thank you. I laughed my ass off reading this, in between nodding my head and reminiscing about many past harvest seasons. There’s nothing easy about it!

  • Reply ceil slings January 1, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    Haha so true!

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