A new Perspective

I read a great deal.  I travel a good bit as well, which then becomes a cycle of reading, travel, reading travel..  I also have the privilege of working with excellent arborists from around the globe and engaging in. conversations ranging from work, to fitness to… well whatever.

 

The text below is an interesting perspective on the arboriculture industry, our attitudes and interpretations of incidents.  I enjoyed it and hope you will to.  Thanks, Craig Bachman for allowing me to include it and for your insight.   For some reason I could not post the original link, but if you would like more from Craig look him up at Tree133 on Facebook among other social media sites.

 

Today, I found myself thinking about two words: euphemism and rationalize. Bear with me… these both relate to arboriculture, I promise.

eu·phe·mism (noun)

a mild or indirect word or expression substituted for one considered to be too harsh or blunt when referring to something unpleasant or embarrassing.

ra·tion·al·ize (verb)

attempt to explain or justify one’s behavior or attitude with logical, plausible reasons, even if these are not true or appropriate.

As a contract climber, I spend time in the field with lots of tree workers at many different companies. Each company has it’s own culture. Through these experiences, I’ve noticed a common and concerning theme – a very casual attitude about the risks of working with chainsaws.

This attitude was illustrated by a comment on the jobsite the other day. After showing the 6-inch scar on his left forearm, the individual said to me:

“I was pushing over a top and tickled my arm with the saw.”

Hmmmm… Tickled? Seriously? Not cut. Not injured. Not lacerated. Just tickled????

So, here’s where the first word applies. A euphemism is a coping mechanism. It enables one to intentionally understate something unpleasant or embarrassing. Plus, it sounds way more badass to say, “I tickled his arm with a saw” rather than “I received a near-fatal injury from a power tool.” This is particularly true if that injury is the result of using the tool in a dangerous way.

And now for that second word: Rationalize. Telling “war stories” is part of the culture in tree work. I get that. However, when we show off scars and explain them with euphemisms, we normalize that experience – like somehow cutting yourself with a chainsaw is normal. This is just rationalizing a dangerous behavior, and it’s is a huge problem.

Put yourself in the shoes of a new person in our industry. You are settling in with the crew and begin hearing stories – and seeing scars – from chainsaw injuries. You watch the “experienced” guys cutting one-handed in the tree, cutting without chaps on the ground, and it all seems normal. You’ve never seen anything different. Little do you know, the stories and scars are the direct results of these risky behaviors.

And what about those funny euphemisms? They just hide the blood and screaming, the tourniquet, the stitches, the pain killers, the days off of work, and the possibility that next time that chainsaw injury might be fatal.

So what can we do about all this? How can we be a positive influence on our coworkers? How can we reduce the risk of injury to ourselves and others?

It’s pretty simple. Do the right thing. Wear your PPE. Put two hands on the saw. If something goes wrong, be honest about the experience. Most importantly, let’s stop rationalizing avoidable injuries and hiding behind euphemisms. It is NOT normal to cut oneself with a chainsaw. We are better than this.

Work Smart. Work Safe. Go Home.

Ps. Chainsaws are awesome tools that make our work so much easier. They are essential to modern arboriculture. Of course, they are also the world’s most-dangerous power tool. According to research by Dr. John Ball, the average chainsaw injury requires 110 stitches and costs $12,000. Please use them with the caution they deserve.

 

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Equinox To Soltice

A glimpse of the highlights of this spring.  Unfortunately I cannot capture video at all the courses I do.  I apologize if we visited this spring and you are not represented!   However,  when I get the chance….

 

Recent Training Course

Here is a short montage of a recent training course Ed Carpenter and I conducted a few weeks ago.

A always prepare for the worst, plan for the best.

I will be offering some printed copies of my new novel for sale next week in Baltimore at the TCI Expo.  Come on out and say hello!  If you can’t make it comment below and I will be happy to ship you one.  $8.00 plus shipping.

 

The E-book version is available on all major online retailers.  The printed version is only available from me!

 

Tony

It’s Done!

It is official!  The new book is out.  Currently it is available on all e-book distributors.  Just search for Anthony Tresselt and/ or Fall Factor.  I also reduced the e-book price on the first novel as low as possible before I started getting “nastygrams” from Amazon.  The paper version of Free Falling is as low as the publisher will allow.

For those of you with short attention spans, feel free to forego the long wordy post below!  Just get the damn book!

Since the fall of 2013 when the first novel came out, it has been different journey.  Not epic, as is all the rage to label things now, but sublime, introspective, informative.  The publishing industry is changing and changing quickly.  Just 5 years ago, publishing works of fiction the way I do now would not have been possible.

I know, you see, I have been writing my whole life.  Submitting, resubmitting, going through the motions.  Putting in the work, the time.  Admittedly inconsistently, but doing it all for many years to the best of my abilities.  I have a file of rejection letters, much fatter than acceptance letters.  I keep it to remind myself about humility, effort and tenacity.  A lesson from one of my mentors.

Today self publishing thwarts all that.  Anybody willing to spend the money, can publish just about anything.  I don’t mind.  I do not feel shortchanged.  For me the benefits are obvious.  Readers benefit also.  The amount of material published daily grows staggering.  The downside?  A lot of it is shit.

In the simplest terms, the change in publishing is this.  Instead of putting in the work to get something published before readers can get it, I must put in the work after.  If I do not promote my work, no one will.

I have struggled with this.  Self-promotion is in direct opposition with many of my core beliefs, the path I choose to travel though this world.  However, I have come to look at it more as a value proposition.  My books, the stories, they tell, have a value.  They can entertain, introduce, expose or commiserate.

Most importantly they connect.  I feel books, the written word, is the last way we possess as people, as members of various “tribes,” to pass on stories, traditions, beliefs and all the other things that throughout history have been traditionally handed down by word of mouth, action, interaction.

I choose to do this by telling fictional stories.  Others in the field of arboriculture have done it with instruction manuals, guides, photo essays or how to books.  All of Jeff Jepson’s, Gerry Beranek’s, Don Blair’s and other’s  books sit on my shelves.  Most autographed.  All treasured.  I grew up in arboricultural, never wanted to be an arborist, but fell into it through circumstance and then choice.  I am incidentally arborist to the core.  Those books on the self are part of my story, part of my history.  As are the jokes, the antidotes, the personalities, the characters I’ve met, talked with or just heard about.

My story echoes many of yours.  I came to arboriculture because of the of the “tribe.”  I stay for the same reason  I write to pass on what has been given to me through a lifetime of friendships and experience.  I see the world through a lens of my own forging.  This lens of course shaped and molded by others, remains uniquely my own.  We all have a lens.  We all look through ours everyday.  All media, books, video, whatever, offers us all a chance to look through another’s.

I choose the written word.  It is where my skill, experience and talent lie.  Others choose video, some choose speaking.  Many choose nothing at all.

So the ask/ value proposition is this:  Buy the book. Spend less than you would on your Vente White Chocolate Mocha with extra shots at Starbucks.  Share my stories, with me, for a few hours.  Like the books or not, agree or disagree, love or hate, post a review, then pass the story on.

Simple really.  A few small things.  Read.  Think.  Connect.  Build bridges, pass on stories, spend time, all vicariously.  Our “tribe” of arboriculture needs this now more than ever as do our communities and, I believe, our very society.

Thank you all and enjoy,

Tony

 

North American Training Solutions in New York City

Recently I had a chance to be a part of a unique training course for New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.

It was unique in size and scope.  Two, one day courses with a total of around 120 participants,  in two locations, spaced over two days.  Studens were introduced to recent trends in incidents in arboricultural operations, then given stratiges to prevent and/or deal with the most common types of incidents.

All in all, a monumental task of organization, planning and exexcution I was gald to be a small part of.

Here is a short “documentary” of the event.

As a side note, in an effort to get more useful content out and into the hands/minds of those who want it, I have begun posting my videos to my youtube channel as well.  Also for more technique/profession oriented videos, North American Training Solutions has opened a you tube channel.  It is just getting rooling, but keep checking as we will add content.

Be safe and Enjoy,

 

 

Tony