In the first part of 1990 I was newly married, taking a couple of courses to finish up my bachelor’s degree, unloading for UPS at $8/hr at night, and working 2 or 3 days a week as a $20/hr climber for a tree service. Wife and I had agreed when I graduated, one way or another, I was going to cut back to one job.
Had two offers: one entry level job as basically a secretary in an office at $6.25/hr; the other was from the tree service (a single crew operation) for a 50/50 share of the business if I’d buy a stump grinder which would have been about $5k at the time. I had the $5k but that would have wiped out my savings.
I’d never worked in an office and the tree service offer was tempting but the owner was in his 50’s and was so busted up physically he was offering a partnership to a 22 year old climber. We might have been the next Asplundh. More likely by now I’d be the busted up dude offering half my business to some kid. So I took a major pay cut for the shitty office job. Still with the same company. My goal going in was to make 10x my starting salary by the time I finished. Passed that a few years ago but figuring inflation it’s probably more like 2x. I’m a little bit creaky from my field op days. Probably would have financed a yacht for an orthopedist by now if I’d stuck with climbing trees. Back in an office now. At least I’m in charge of it instead of answering the phone.