Unique Concerns of Rural HR - Part 3
Tractors and Wildlife
Living and working in rural areas brings up some unusual and hilarious situations sometimes.
I’ve mentioned previously that traffic isn’t typically a problem. Sure there’s the occasional wreck that you have to slow down for (and do a little rubbernecking, just to make sure it isn’t someone you know.) But there is one type of traffic jam that will induce even the most docile of pacifists into yelling expletives and pounding their steering wheels with clenched fists.
These slow-moving behemoths are everywhere, causing tardiness and road rage. Sometimes they’re only on the road going from one cow field to the next. If you get stuck behind one of those, then you’re lucky. Sometimes, they’re traveling a lot further across the county and taking backroads to reduce the havoc they cause, which is a respectable thing to do. Unfortunately, when you live in the middle of nowhere, most roads are backroads. Our office? Yeah, it’s located on a backroad.
And then sometimes, they’re mowing grass. If you get stuck behind one of these monstrosities at work, not only are you in for a long slog, but it becomes dangerous to even pass them in the very few places that you can on curvy two-lane roads because they’re slinging litter and rocks everywhere.
Commuter beware. You’re taking your life into your hands. God speed to you.
But hey, at least our commutes are scenic around here, filled with a grand assortment of trees, flowers, beautiful homes and farms, and abundant fauna.
Like a lot of fauna.
Like there are animals everywhere, and not just the cows, horses, goats, and donkeys that reside in the local pastures. White-tailed deer are as abundant as squirrels around here. More often than not, a bounding bunny will distract me from our company meetings that take place in a large, windowed room.
The wildlife is also the source of many of the most random company-wide announcements that I have to make.
Actual wildlife announcements...
“I can’t believe I have to say this, but please don’t throw pine cones at the giant black snake in the back yard. He eats the bad guys.”
“Hi all, we’ve discovered the source of the smell. A squirrel got trapped in our walls and perished. Unfortunately, we can’t remove it without significant damage to the walls. Hopefully, the smell will fade over the weekend.”
“That racket you’re hearing is a flock of birds. The starlings are making their yearly migratory stop outside. If you want to go reenact some scenes from ‘The Birds’ now is the time.”
"Yes, there are horses in the field across the road. Yes, they bite.”
And my favorite—
“If you go across the street, please be aware of the [3 foot-long] Alligator Snapping Turtle in the driveway and do not poke him.”
Read more Unique Concerns of Rural HR:
- Part 1 - Recruiting Where Everybody Knows Your Name
- Part 2 - Diversity Challenges & Infrastructure Woes
About the Author
April Loebick is the Recruitment & Retention Specialist for GetUWired, an internet marketing firm located in Dahlonega (Duh-lawn-uh-guh), GA – about an hour and a half north of Atlanta. GetUWired is a full-service digital marketing agency with a team of 45 web developers, graphic designers, marketers, copywriters, and more who are dedicated to helping small businesses succeed all from a large cabin office in the middle of nowhere. She's also an HR for HR steering committee member and community steward for the Rural HR and Talent Acquisition groups.