Friday’s Weekend Column
About a Minnesota Man Exploring Life in the South

Guys Will Be Guys
by James Glaser
November 17, 2008

It doesn't matter if you are in the North or the South, working men like to stand around and talk. To be more correct... bullshit! Guys talk about sports, war, women, the weather, what they like to eat, things they have done, things they are going to do, fishing, hunting, guns, how good of a shot they are, or how good of a shot their dad was.

To that list you have to add dogs, jokes, cars, trucks, bikes, the new tool you just got, the new tool you are going to get, that old favorite tool, did I say women, taxes, and the best place to have lunch, breakfast, or dinner.

Like the old saying goes, guys try to avoid politics and religion, as that can get a guy too worked up. Also, guys never talk about shopping with their wife unless it somehow fits into a joke. If you are with guys you have known a while, then can you talk about your kids, and if one of those children is into some sport, or got in trouble, then they get into the conversation, too.

It is pretty amazing how easy it is to fit in with a new group of guys. Right off the bat, they haven't heard your best stories, and you haven't heard theirs. It is also amazing how quickly a good bullshit session can come to an end if somebody's wife or girlfriend stops by. It seems almost right away guys start remembering what they were about to do and head off to do it.

Sometimes the same is true if the boss shows up, but that isn't every boss. Some bosses know that a few minutes of talking can make the day go a lot better. Many times the talk is about work and how you are going to do this next project. If you are working on a crew, the time spent talking to the guys around you makes for a better working environment, and it makes you feel you are part of a team.

Back in Minnesota the "guys" would either be at the gas station having coffee before heading out to the woods if they were loggers, or they were in the café sitting around at a table if they were farmers. Both groups were pretty interchangeable as most farmers logged at one time, and most loggers grew up on a farm.

In Florida it is a bit different as most people are not from here. Most I have met are transplants from other parts of the South or men who got sick of shoveling snow up North. Down here in Railroad Square where I work there are several places that guys get together and talk. Every morning now in my shop the photographer and the guy that paints motorcycles stop by, and we have a few minutes on current events. In the afternoon the sheet metal workers and a few guys whose job I haven't figured out yet have sessions in their shop.

Then there are impromptu places that just sort of pop up. Yesterday I was taking trash to the dumpster, and there were two other guys there when I pulled up in my truck. We got to talking, and soon there were two other guys, and we were solving the world's problems.

Life is good, and it is nice to take a break once in a while and have guys to talk to. After a few hours of cutting on the band saw my shoulders start to get sore, and it helps to walk around a bit and stop by and see people. After a few minutes your muscles are relaxed, and you can go back and hit it again.

If you have guys at work you look forward to seeing and talking with, it makes getting to work a lot easier.

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