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If you have ever had a great day fielding poles you have experienced the mental bliss that comes from a successful day in the field. This joy, while not often acknowledged, is what truly drives those of us who enjoy our jobs in the field. When two fielders meet for the first time the tendency is to jump right into their personal horror stories that typically involve angry homeowners, vicious dogs and accidentally stepping in some type of disgusting substance. I get it guys, these stories are great and we all enjoy upstaging each other with the most fear-inspiring stories, but is that really what drives us every day in the field to be the best we can be?
I suggest that we brag about the other types of field stories, the times when you catch the sun’s light bouncing off a 12KV Ceramic Pin insulator at just the right angle that its rays split into thousands of shimmering beams or when you pull back the vegetation that spiraled around a hard to reach down guy to find the antler of a 12 point buck staring back as if it was placed there just for you. It’s easy for us to ignore these moments and only dwell on the fact that our work is a dangerous job that requires intense focus on our data collection tasks while always being hyper-aware of a never-ending barrage of daily safety hazards. Ruminating on the negatives is easy, but finding the beauty, adventure and wonder while maintaining high field productivity is the enlightened plane that all fielders can achieve with a little practice.
1. Start your morning with a positive mentality
The first pole of the morning is never easy. It can be a struggle just to leave the toasty cab of the truck on that cold winter morning but remember that once you snap that first tag picture the hardest part is already over. Celebrate the beginning of the day by focusing on each little successes until you flow back into your typical positive rhythm.
2. Talk to yourself
If you typically work solo as I do, then you know that loneliness and boredom are significant field challenges to overcome. I like to remedy this with a bit of friendly banter with myself. Whether I am simply saying out loud what I am looking forward to next weekend or hyping myself up like a quarterback before a big game simply talking out loud can improve your positivity and help you feel that you are not alone.
3. Become one with your environment
Know your surroundings and be aware of how your presence impacts your environment. Listen to the birds chirping, cars whizzing by and dogs barking not as a distractions, but as the natural rhythm of your world. Being aware of how your presence impacts your environment will allow you to access the pole not as an intruder but as a welcome guest.
4. Find beauty in nature
As a fielder, I often found myself in places that I typically would never go for fun. It’s often easy to overlook the fact that many utility poles are in some spectacular places that are worth spending a few of your precious data collection seconds to stop and enjoy.
IKE makes everything that we do in the field much easier thus making the quest for field enlightenment much more attainable. By allowing us to collect data faster and with less equipment, IKE makes the field experience safer and and allows us to focus on creating our field highlight reels instead of our horror stories.