Randy was the parts guy that got beat by a milk crate. To give you a bit of a backstory, when he was in high school, he worked for a Deere dealership. In the shop, changing oil, filters and basic hydraulics on 20,30, 40 & 50 series tractors. He knew what he was doing. Then he moved to the parts counter after high school. He had a photographic mind and knew all of the part #s for those bad-ass series Deere tractors. Then he went to work for a custom cutter. He ran Deere combines. He also knew how to work on those machines.
In Woodward, OK, it is more important to know about 20,30, 40 & 50 series tractors than it is new ones. Why? This is the part of the world where tractors go to die. Clientele is mostly cowmen that need a good baler tractor, something to pull some wheat drills and it better have a loader on it for moving round bales.
The owner of the custom crew that Randy worked for was a Western customer. I got wind that Randy had gotten pissed and quit. I needed a parts guy, so I went on the hunt for him.
From an equipment dealer perspective, a person that knows how these machines work, knows the parts, knows the mechanics and can talk the lingo….well, that is what you call a unicorn. Hard to find.
One day, Randy showed up to the dealership. “Heard you are looking for me?”
I replied, “Yes. In 2010, it is hard to track somebody that doesn’t own a cell phone.”
He then said, “I’m in the process of moving to Fargo. Here’s a number to reach me on. I’ll be ready for some work in about 2 weeks.”
So, a week later, I went on a unicorn hunt. No answer. Next day, no answer. Next day, no answer. Now, I went to Fargo and started driving the streets. Somebody told me that a couple of new families moved into trailer houses by the school. I stopped at the first one and knocked on the door. A young lady with a passle of diapered kids answered the door.
“Nope, no Randy here. Might check next door. They just moved in and they are loud.”
Check I did. No answer. But as I was getting back in my pickup, Randy crawled out from under the trailer house.
I asked, “Working on some plumbing.”
“Nope, just hooking up a shitter line.” Oh, ok.
Me–“What about that # you gave me?”
Him–“That’s my wife’s # and she left me. I ain’t got no phone.”
We talked shop and agreed to terms. He would start on Monday. I was pumped to have this dude coming to work for us.
Well, that is enough back story for now. Check the next post for more.