Every adult needs a skill set that makes them valuable and employable. Sure, I love being an author, but there are no guarantees in this business. If this doesn’t last I must have something to fall back on, some skill I can rely on to contribute to the family coffers. That’s why I keep my training current so I’m prepared to, in an emergency, go back to the lucrative career of…weighing pigs.
This is my dad. My whole life he’s been a livestock order-buyer. When the kids were small and before homeschooling became a full-time job, I worked three mornings a week with him at the stockyards. The industry has changed over the years with fewer small farmers and more corporate customers, but every spring finds him in desperate need of help, and I answer the call.
You see, Dad isn’t a farmer or a butcher. He’s the one who brings them together. Packing houses specialize in certain cuts of meat, but a farmer has pigs of every size, gender and condition. Order buyers get orders from the packing house for a precise number of animals of a preferred size. Then they have to find those animals to fill their order. Sometimes there are more animals than orders. Sometimes they have to search for animals to fill the trucks. Supply and demand – the literal “Stock Market”.
Pigs (as well as most livestock) are bought and sold by the pound, so we have to know what they weigh.
This is my station when I’m helping Dad. I’m the Weighmaster. It might sound like an exercise device sold by Suzanne Somers, but the weighmaster is responsible for paying the farmers a fair amount. The scale must be kept balanced and the weight tickets must be filled out correctly so the farmers are paid for their hogs – and no one else’s.
This is my keyboard…
This is my walkway to the office…
So forgive me if I didn’t dress up enough for this post. At least the pictures aren’t scratch and sniff.
Thanks for letting me share my second career choice with you. Do you have any secret skill or unique career you’d like to tell us about?
Connect with Regina on her website (And thanks, Regina, for this hysterical – and heartwarming – post)
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