ROLE: Transportation Manager
HAILS FROM: The MD
DOWN TIME: Hunting, fishing, farming
What does a typical day look like for you?
Just running around, making sure everything’s going good, and just attacking the day as it comes. It’s always changing. There’s nothing ever static here. She’s always an ever-moving target.
So you’re basically prepared for anything and everything.
A of the time. Yeah, basically.
What are the types of tasks that you do or the types of problems that you tackle?
Well, just lots. Like today I ran into a beaver problem. Culverts backed up and stuff like that. It’s just lots of little stuff, making sure my team has everything they need, and John has everything he needs to keep the guys going for the different projects. And then right now we’re starting to think about budget time, so starting to get ready on that stuff.
Have you always lived in the region, or if not, when did you move there?
Yeah, I moved here when I was four years old. I think I’ve been here 27. Yeah, 27 years. Mom and dad had a farm in Busby for a few years, and then they moved up here. And I don’t see myself going anywhere anytime soon.
How long have you worked at the MD?
13, going on 14 years, I think. Something like that.
And did you go to school for what you do now or did you grow into the role?
I grew into it. I went to Lakeland College for some ag stuff, but just doesn’t really lead over to this stuff, so now I just kind of started here and grew into it.
Personally, work-life balance is number one. More than dollars and cents. I can go work in the oil patch and make more money, but why? You’re never home. You’re never doing anything. Especially with little kids. My daughter’s five and my boy’s two.
Have you worn other hats at the MD and what was that like?
Oh, yeah. Well, I started as a Weed Inspector and then was a Labourer for a bunch of years. Then an Equipment Operator, then Foreman, and now I’m a Manager. Started from the bottom, worked my way up. It showed me…I have a better feel for the whole end-to-end process now.
Expand a little bit on what your job entails. Is there a lot of office work? Is it more in the field kind of area where
Right now, with all my foreman positions filled, I’m going to say I’m 99% in the office and then 1% in the field. Depending on holidays and stuff like that, I’ll get to play in the field more. But right now, no. I’m basically an office guy.
As far as workplaces go, how would you rank the MD?
It’s good. I get along with everyone, but I mean, I’ve worked here. I’ve worked with all these people for ten-plus years, so obviously if we weren’t going to get along, I wouldn’t still be here. So yeah, I think it’s good. I enjoy the people I work with.
That longevity in your department says a lot about the MD
I’m trying to think. Our average years of service for my department, I would have to think it’d be close to 10. Somewhere in there.
When you’re not working, what are you doing?
I run cows with my dad and brother, and basically hang out with the family. I go hunting lots. A little bit of fishing, not much. And of course the rodeo. Just saddle…bronc rider.
Wow. Okay. So the MD is an ideal setting for you, isn’t it?
Oh, yeah. Working, getting basically every weekend off. Then I can go most of the time.
What about your colleagues? Do you find that they are local folk or are they coming in from outside of the MD?
Most of them are born and raised here, or have been here for quite a few years. Only one or two moved into the area and then moved on.
Do you feel that there’s further room for you to grow your career at the MD?
Yes, 100%. I feel like there is. I never would’ve guessed five years ago I’d be doing what I’m doing now.
What’s one of the best things about working at the MD?
Work-life balance. Flexibility. Say I have something wrong at home. I can just go home, take care of it or whatever. There are no questions, no demands to ‘get into work right now.’ It’s quite flexible, which I really like. And you’re home every night. That’s a huge thing. You’re not working away.
So you don’t find those to just be fluffy words. You find that’s a legitimate statement for the MD? The work-life balance?
Personally for me, that is the number one. More than dollars and cents. Everything is just the work-life balance. I don’t want to, yeah, I can go work in the oil patch and make more money, but why? You’re never home. You’re never doing anything. That’s huge for me. Especially with little kids. Kids want to be home. My daughter’s five and my boy’s two.
What are the sorts of things that you take them to do on your days off?
Oh, we do lots. Go check cows. Go pull trail camera cards, you name it. Go find berry patches, whatever else we see fit to do. We’re always doing lots of stuff. Go check out lots.
As far as I’m concerned, it’s the only way a person should raise kids. It’s just the best.
That’s a really great opportunity to be able to raise ’em in the same sort of a similar world to how you grew up in
Yeah, no, exactly. As far as I’m concerned, it’s the only way a person should raise kids. It’s just the best.
What would you consider the top things about living in Lesser Slave River?
To be honest, the hunting. Yeah. There’s really good hunting up here. I don’t know if lots of people, well, I think there’s lots, lots of hunting traffic up here, but it’s really, really good up here in, I mean, obviously the lake’s a big draw because not many municipalities have anything close to a lake of that quality. It’s just unreal. I mean, it’s not my cup of tea, but I know people love the lake.