Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Enlightenment with a Shovel

It seems like another lifetime ago, until I put on my boots...

Two and a half years ago, I invested in a gold/silver exploration company. I figured that one of the best ways to keep my eye on that investment would be to start working for the company, so I took on a job in marketing and investor relations. During my time there, stock prices went from .90cents to over $2.60, I truly enjoyed meeting new people and traveling around the country. One week I was in Toronto, Vancouver and then to Chicago. (I never knew Deremiah then or I would have dropped in for a hug.) I touched three different Oceans in a month and met thousands of new and exciting people. Trade show after trade show, I grew my knowledge of what to do and what not to do, not only on the stock market but in life. This was a very expensive education but worth every penny.

When I started working for this company, I was excited about the freedom to create the type of position that I wanted to have. We had open door meetings where everyone in the office learnt all of the happenings of the business, this was key to being transparent and helped us all to support the stock and our investor pool with honest and open information sharing. Each member of the Team was valued for their strengths and encouraged to grow, study and share.
After finishing a tradeshow in New York, 3 of us in the marketing department were sent to help out our field crew. This was a fantastic idea since all of the men and women working onsite were the backbone of the company. They were the ones who drilled, cut, and logged the core to be able to give the office staff the results they needed in order to offer more financing to support more research and all of the marketing we were doing. (Just to give you an idea, the company had about a $1,000,000,000 per month burn rate.)

There is nothing on earth that I know of, that compares to the thrill of riding in the front seat of a helicopter while it flies over the tops of the mountains. Our camp was located on the tip of Alaska in northern British Columbia half way up the side of the mountain. My second trip to camp was one that I will never forget. With around 30 people living in the middle of nowhere, we got to know everyone quite well. Even with showers, washer and dryer, internet, and sat phones, we were very isolated. The occasional mountain goat was the only other life form that would dare to venture to the area. So when something stops working…let me tell you, camp life can turn unpleasant at a moment’s notice.

Brent and Kelvin had been working for hours the night before on unblocking the shower flow to stop it from backing up onto the feet of anyone how hopped in the shower. Picture if you will a pool of gray water, full of scum, grease, hair, etc. I knew that was something that needed to be fixed right away, so I thought that I would give it a go. So picture if you will, me…bucket in hand, scooping out the 4foot x 3foot x 2foot pool of gray water. After removing every drop of gray sludge… I hopped in the hole. I figured that I needed to make it bigger so that the water pipes would not freeze with the upcoming weather. So I began to dig…and dig …and dig. Now keep in mind that this is a mountain, nothing around for hundreds of miles, nothing..so that is why what came next is just sooo crazy.

As I dug down deeper, I began to hit soft, squishy ground that stuck to the shovel, weird I thought being on a mountain; but I kept digging. I dug down until it was about 4.5 feet deep..Then I realized what I was digging in… Somehow, years and years before there were prospectors traveling by pack and mule, probably camped close to the same location. At some point, they must had built..in the very spot where I stood that day…an outhouse! Well, I knew it had to be done, so I never let fear and common sence stop me, so I kept digging.
I unblocked the hoses and did a fix that MacGyver would be proud of. I never found gold that day, but I did find a true friend. I had to undress outside the shower room and leave my cloths there...I was covered from head to toe, and did not smell to pleasant..( I can’t believe that no one took a picture, that could have been great blackmail. ) When I got out of the shower, I was shocked to find, Brent washing my boots and scrubbing my black coat red again.

This event in my life, taught me many things…
1. True Friends are there even when you are covered in Shit and are there to clean you up…
2. When you think that you are in Crap, if you keep digging, you will get covered in it.
3. No matter how shitty things may seem, you can always get cleaned up.

4. Even old crap...splashes.
5. As far as the company goes, as time passed, the deeper I got the more crap I found.

Stand for Peace


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