Jacks: My time running a Colorado mountain ranch
January 20, 2017
Gentle readers, have you ever had to go through the humiliation of being FIRED? I have, and in this particular case it was like a heavy load had been lifted off of my weak shoulders.
It was only eight months ago that I had moved my family a thousand miles from the flat lands of Texas to this beautiful mountain ranch. How did it come to this you may ask?
Truth be told, it was simply oil and water when it came to lifestyles, common sense and morals.
As a young lad I always wanted to be a cowboy up in the mountains and here I had a chance to manage a 30,000-acre mountain ranch with many good benefits.
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As it turned out, the owners who were there only on occasion, were folks like I had never encountered and it was as difficult for me to accommodate them as it was for them to relate to me.
"We understand that you and your family go to church on Sunday?" the lady inquired.
"Yes ma'am, I countered, is there a problem with that?"
"No, not really, we are just not used to our employees leaving the ranch on Sunday morning to go to church!" was her reply. Does that give you any indication as to what we were dealing with as a family?
It got worse, a lot worse. I could write a book concerning the struggles and conflicts I had during those eight months.
"We are private people and we do NOT WANT you going over to Ralph Lauren's ranch to visit his manager and family!" She meant it too.
Our son and the manager of Lauren's ranch's son played basketball together and they were our friends. We could not have them as friends, it was just that simple.
"We understand that you have been having company from Texas since you got here! I have told you that we are private people and we don't appreciate people coming and going on this ranch that we don't know."
Yes, we had several folks come by the first couple of months we were there. None of them stayed over two days and they certainly didn't interrupt my responsibilities on the ranch.
What it all came down to is a simple matter of me not ever going to be able to fit into the type of lifestyle they would prefer that I live. I needed to be more like them to make this deal work and I was strictly business, with no B.S. on my plate.
I was expecting to get that phone call. It came on an early Sunday morning. How appropriate!
"Jack, we are going to replace you as manager. I want you off the ranch as soon as possible. I will have our finance officer contact you and work out a settlement. I know that we may not have given you a fair shot all of the time, but it's obvious that we don't like you and you don't like us! I will tell you this, you ARE AN HONORABLE MAN!"
End of conversation. I'm thinking, man ya sure don't want anyone with any morals or honor working on this outfit! I did receive a settlement and actually had secured another job as a "cowboy" on one of the other ranches.
My son had one more year of high school left and I was not going to make my family relocate until he finished up his high school obligation.
As a result of my being FIRED, my secretary quit along with one of my cowboys. The finance manager who settled with me also left after 20-some odd years with these folks.
He told me he understood what I had been going through and thought I was really getting a raw deal. It took several years for us to get back on our feet and some really good things came from all of the struggle we had to go through. That could have been a dream job.
Out of 85 applicants (I was told) I got the job! It was just working for the wrong type of folks that I just couldn't communicate with in a meaningful way.
Their general office staff hired me because I was dedicated to duty and it was hoped I could make the ranch cash flow. I almost did!
Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion and expect a few curve balls tossed your way during this game we play called "life". I'll c. y'all, all y'all.❖