Adam’s Summer Purgatory, 2008 (2013)


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DRAYTON VALLEY, AB July 10th

Yossef is gone.

The last time I saw him was over lunch in Edson, right after the confession. He told me he didn’t stash the trees - he was claiming responsibility out of largesse. He said he knew the person who stashed the trees would not admit to it, and he also figured he would have the easiest time finding another job. He didn't want everybody to get fired. He didn't want to see Rhino's reputation suffer for someone else's cowardice.

So. An act of self sacrifice.

I told him I didn’t believe him. I told him I knew he stashed the trees.

My crew threw a party on Yossef’s last night. People said they would miss him, that they were sorry with how things turned out.

If Yossef told the other planters what he told me - that he was taking the fall for someone else - then I am pissed, because then I am still a likely perpetrator, a coward, a rat, someone whose achievements are thrown into doubt, someone to be watched closely.

It bothers me.

I know Yossef is guilty. I know Yossef’s planting style. The crew does not. I get the sense Cam knew about Yossef’s stashing all along. We haven’t talked about it.

I am now the only planter riding in Cam’s truck.

When we returned to camp, things were different. I looked for suspicion in every gaze. A new crew had arrived - a bunch of strong, older planters from another company that had run out of work. They had come to plant our trees because they had no more. There are less trees this year than there were last year, in total, and that trend seems set to continue into 2009.

Now there are too many planters. Foremen are looking at their slower planters, knowing they can hire a pounder to replace them. The only thing keeping the weaker planters in camp is a feeling of obligation and loyalty held by management, and it is now being tested. The new faces mean business - the new backs are longer and leaner.

Tallies, Shift Six, Drayton Valley
Day One: 3,600
Day Two: 3,930
Day Three: 4,005
Day Four: 3,360
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Total: 14,895
x
.09 (cents per tree)
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$1,340,55
YTD Income (net): ~$14,850

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