Everyone Loves a Field Trip

Like many of you, I am blessed with the job of being a parent. Like most jobs, its got its ups and downs, Sometimes it’s the best thing in the world, and other times I can’t imagine why anyone would choose to subject themselves to such torture! (Sounds just like a real job, doesn’t it!) Lately, one of the rougher parts of my job as a parent has been getting my daughter out of bed in the morning.

trying to wake my daughter up so I can get to my home inspection job

When she was younger, it was easy to get her up in the morning. Each day held surprise, and she was always eager to jump out of bed to see what new adventures awaited. Now she’s become the dreaded teenager. Since she’s sure she already knows everything there is to know about life, there are no surprises awaiting her in the new school day, simply more classes and lectures. School mornings have become quite the battle scene.

Today, however was different: today is field trip day for her class. This morning she jumped out of bed and was genuinely excited to get ready for school. Without the routine back and forth of trying to pry her from the grip of her comforter and bedsheets, this morning was actually a pleasurable experience!

Enjoying a relatively stress-free morning allowed me a few extra minutes to sip my coffee, think back and enjoy some memories of my youth. I reflected on my time in grade school, recalling the days when my class would take field trips. It was always an exciting time. My classmates and I were happy to be leaving the classroom, getting to enjoy an adventure that provided a break in the monotony that was our normal school day.

We thoroughly enjoyed the change in our daily routine, leaving the monotonous, repetitive drone of our normal lesson plan for the challenges awaiting us in a new adventure. Looking back now, it seems almost cruel to allow us to catch a glimpse of the possibilities of freedom, only to subject us to the monotony of school life when we returned to the classroom the next day.

For many of us, this memory hits all too close to home. Contrasting the enthusiasm of field trip days with the repetition of our normal daily routine can easily describe our lives. Many people go through their professional careers, knowing each evening that they dread returning to their job the next day. This is such a familiar thing, there’s even a commonly used phrase to describe our distaste for our jobs: the daily grind.

Many people become frustrated by their careers; going to the same office, pushing the same paperwork, interacting with the same coworkers, day after day, week after week, year after year, decade after decade, all their working lives. The same thing. Every day. My life, on a never-ending loop. Play. Reload. Repeat.

Even the lucky ones, the ones that are fortunate enough to be doing work that they enjoy, even those people aren’t immune to this workplace vitriol. While we may actually like what we do for a living, the attitudes of our coworkers can cause problems, poisoning our daily lives with the anger that comes with feeling like you’re trapped in a life that you don’t enjoy.

In my last career, working in the construction industry, I was in a strikingly similar situation. I thoroughly enjoyed my work. I got to work with my hands, creating something new or fixing something that wasn’t working properly every day. Each new day presented some sort of challenge, and I went to work each day with a positive attitude. Unfortunately, the vast majority of my coworkers did not share my upbeat outlook on life. In short order, I would lose my daily dose of optimism, quickly brought down to earth by the undercurrent of constantly negative attitudes.

Fortunately for us, we get to lead a different life, a charmed life: the life of a professional home inspector.

Not much monotony here. It’s a new day, and new job, a new client at every turn. One of my favorite things about my home inspection career is the fact that there’s a constant change of scenery. We’re always in a different place, in a different house, and dealing with different people. A seemingly endless bounty of variety!

For the most part, everyone we get to deal with is happy. Both the buyer’s and seller’s agents are happy, as they about to earn a commission check on the sale of the house. The buyers are happy, as they’re about to move into a new home, starting a new chapter in their lives. And the sellers are typically happy, as they’re often moving up from a starter home to a bigger and better location. (Granted, there is sometimes a divorce involved in the sale of a home; but in that case, at least one of them is probably happy…)

For the most part, everyone we’re dealing with in the transaction has a smile on their face. Unfortunately, the world is not a perfect place, and, on occasion, we do have to deal with someone that’s an asshole (pardon my French). Thankfully, we only have to deal with that unhappy person for a few hours at the inspection, typically never having to see them again.

During most of our daily business, we’re in unique situations, with new and interesting people. This variety helps to keep the our jobs fresh and exciting.

Now let’s face it: having to work for a living will never top lounging on the beach, drink in hand, breeze blowing through your hair (or flowing over your bald scalp), without a care in the world. Working will always be work. But being a professional home inspector is head and shoulders above the monotonous grind that most of us were subject to in our previous jobs.

Yes, being an inspector can certainly be taxing at times, especially when its 150 degrees in a summertime attic and the Realtor is demanding to know how much longer it’s going to be before we’re finished, ’cause they’ve got other things to do…

Just remember that we get to go on a field trip every day of our working lives!

being a home inspector is just like going on a field trip every day of your life

We finish today with a famous quote from Confucius, a Chinese teacher, editor, politician and philosopher, who said “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

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Thanks, Joe

pic of me, Joseph Cook Jr, home inspector

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