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The Driver's Seat

Event planning and rental is a very seasonal business (most everybody in Washington State wants to get married and have big parties in July, August or September for some crazy reason), so most years we hire a handful of fresh new faces home from college who are interested in working through the summer. American Party really is a great summer job for a young guy who is interested in doing some physical work and getting the occasional overtime, and we tend to hire personable people so everybody gets along and has fun.

The typical summer new hire is enthusiastic and full of energy, gets a kick out of slinging 20 foot frame tent pipes out of the back of a truck (never mind that he hasn't learned where they go yet), wants to be the one who presses the button on the lift gate, and doesn't mind wailing away on our big tent stakes with a 12 pound sledge until they aren't coming out. Ever. Never ever ever, not even when the crew comes back Monday with our most experienced lead driver Bulmaro, when the tent comes down like clockwork but the stakes won't budge even with 4 guys trying as hard as they can.

Fortunately we've got one of these:

It's a tent stake puller, steel with a 4 foot arm, and we usually use it to pull stakes out of asphalt parking lots before we fill and seal the holes. I get a phone call from the warehouse manager to swing by and grab that tool and go get all the stakes out of the field beside these folks' house.

Before the job was done I'd tried sitting on the handle of the stake puller, whacking it with my own sledge hammer, jumping up and down on it. Hurricane Irma was still a month away, but if it had somehow struck Brown's Point that weekend I'm pretty sure the tent would have still been standing afterward and those stakes would still be embedded there, daring me to try and get them out. It finally took a spare piece of pipe to extend the handle for extra leverage and more jumping on it with all my weight. Not sure if the bad language helped, but it felt good.


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