tagMatureSummer Job

Summer Job


"Honestly, I think this is good for both of us. I'm gone a lot, and you need a job. Plus, I'm happy to help out a young man willing to work his way through college. I gotta warn you, though, it's tough work."

"I can handle the work, sir, so that won't be a problem. My dad taught me how to work hard and smart, so I'll do a good job for you."

"Okay. You're hired," the older man told him. He stuck out his hand and the younger man shook it. "This is a win-win for both of us."

"I'm grateful for the opportunity, sir."

"And I'm grateful to have someone take care of this without having to hire a team of professionals who'd charge me an arm and a leg. This isn't rocket science, you know."

The younger man wanted to mention that since he owned a trucking company and could afford a large, beautiful house like the one they were standing next to, he could well afford to pay a crew to do the job. But he needed the money badly so he only smiled and politely nodded his head in agreement.

"Come on. Let me show you where everything is," his new boss said as he slapped his newly-hired hand on the shoulder.

Hitting nothing but solid muscle the older man said, "Wow. I understand why you told me you won't have any problem with the work. Do you play sports or go the gym? You're hard as a rock there, kid!"

"Well, I played football and wrestled in high school, but I don't have time for that now. I do get to the gym 3-4 days a week, though, for maybe an hour if I'm lucky. Since I can use the university's facilities as a student, I go there for 'free'."

"Well, it shows. And a private membership isn't cheap," the older man said. "I'm a little embarrassed to admit I have one, but never use it. I'm pretty busy myself, you know."

"I didn't realize you still drive, sir. I guess I just sort of assumed you'd given that up. You know, being the owner and all."

"Well, I did that for a couple of years, but sitting in an office all day nearly drove me insane. So I hired someone to run the office for me, and now I'm back out on the road. Besides, with cell phones I'm never out of touch in case anything big ever comes up."

They reached the barn, and as they walked up to the door, the older man swung it open and said, "Okay. You saw the gas pump outside for when you need to refuel, and here's the tractor. The keys are in it. Everything else is over there."

Fifteen minutes later, the new employee understood exactly where everything was and was ready to start work.

"Just check in with me at the end of each day and let me know how far you got, okay?"

The younger man nodded then assured his new boss he would.

"All right. I'll leave you to it. If you need anything, just give me a holler."

"Will do, sir. And again, thank you."

The older man was Jack Wheeler, the owner of Wheeler Trucking, a successful venture he'd started some 15 years ago after driving for ten years and paying off his first rig before buying a second while hiring his first driver. As more money came in he was eventually able to buy a third with another driver and open a small office. Since then he'd added two dozen more semis and had crews on the road seven days a week, all year around.

His new temporary employee was Oliver Campbell, a 21-year old college junior majoring in business and finance. Oliver's first love was philosophy with literature being a close second, but he knew there was no money in either one of them and while money didn't drive him, he knew that having some was an essential part of life. So the practicality of business won out over the pure delight of other less lucrative fields of study.

People who didn't know him were always surprised when they found that out how well-read he was, because as Mr. Wheeler had just noted, he was a very athletic-looking young man, and people tended to associate that with a more 'jock-like' kind of personality. Oliver was indeed athletic-looking, but he was also a very good-looking young man, and most people also naturally assumed he was interested in the things other guys his age were interested in like sports, girls, and...beer.

Oliver had been very good at sports, but he'd never been a jock. In fact, he was a very intelligent, quiet, introspective kind of young man who listened carefully while speaking only sparingly. In short, 'stoic' rather than 'jock', was a much more descriptive word were one looking for a cryptic summation of his personality. That didn't imply coldness by any means as he was a very warm and caring young man. He just believed in the old saw, "God gave us two ears and one mouth," and did his best to keep that in mind.

As to the things most guys his age enjoyed, Oliver liked beer well enough, he just didn't drink much of it. He'd loved sports and still enjoyed watching, but between being a full-time student and working to pay his way through college, he didn't have a lot of time drinking or for another of those things—girls. That, however, never stopped their constant flirtations with him, or his regularly being invited to this party or that event or in many cases just to hang out and almost always with an implied understanding to 'hook up'.

Oliver had had more than his fair share of these trysts his peers called 'hook ups' but he was already bored with them. He'd be the first to admit the sex was nice; very nice, actually, but unlike his friends, it always left him feeling lonely when the girl got up and left shortly after it was over or even if she stayed until morning. He'd tried explaining that to one of those friends once who'd only shook his head and told him he'd love to have that kind of 'problem'.

After that, Oliver gave up sharing his personal woes with other people, and focused on school and earning enough money to pay for it. His parents, Jim and Kathy Campbell, helped out, but there was no possible way they could pay for tuition as well as room and board. They chipped in as much as they could each semester, and the rest came from student loans and the money Oliver earned working wherever and whenever he could.

He wouldn't get rich off this two-week job, but it did pay quite well for someone his age. Then again, Mr. Wheeler was correct in saying it would have cost him an arm and a leg to have a professional crew come in and do the work. Paying a young, strong, hardworking college student who was highly motivated to make money two-thousand dollars was a steal for him and a huge payday for Oliver, as an irrigation company would have charged at least three times (if not four or five times) that much.

The Wheelers owned a very large home on a 40-acre piece of land in between the towns of Auburn and Enumclaw, Washington, both located south-southeast of Seattle, and like so many other places around there, this one had serious drainage problems due to the large amount of rainfall and the thick, heavy peat soil common to the area.

Oliver would be putting in a total of three French drains: one along the house, another along the barn, and the third next to the grain silo used to feed the Wheelers' livestock during the winter months. The savings for Jack Wheeler came from not having to pay for someone to bring in machinery to dig the trench lines or lay the pipe. Yes, it would take someone using a shovel and a wheelbarrow a whole lot longer to finish, but as long as that someone was willing to do the work by hand, Jack would save somewhere in the neighborhood of at least four grand, and Oliver would happily pocket two while getting 'free workouts' each day.

All in all, it was a classic example of the free market in which to people willingly exchanged something of value. In this case, Oliver offered his time and labor while Jack Wheeler offered money in return. As a business major, this was something Oliver now understood quite well. As a Libertarian it was also something he deeply believed in and enjoyed seeing it work in real time. Mr. Wheeler was correct. This was a 'win-win' for both of them.

As Mr. Wheeler was walking away, he stopped and turned around and said one more thing.

"Oh. Once you've got the trenches dug and the pipe laid, I'll have the stone delivered to cover them up with."

The older man smiled then said, "That obviously implies you filling the trenches back in with the dirt you removed, and then shoveling the stone on top."

He laughed so Oliver smiled. Of course all that went without saying, but Oliver wasn't about to um...say...that out loud to the man who'd be signing his check in two weeks.

"Understood, sir," Oliver chose to say instead as he continued smiling in return.

Oliver did a quick check to make sure there was enough pipe for the three drains as well as the 'catch boxes' he'd be installing at the front end of each one. They were roughly square containers which would scoop up the lion's share of the water and channel it into the drainage pipes, which would be porous most of their length and solid for the last few feet. That would allow the water to seep into the soil well below ground level and stop the erosion that had been taking place for many years as well as the water puddling near the edge of the buildings. The problem was so bad along the south end of the house that the foundation was now exposed and further erosion could result in serious damage and very costly repairs.

Satisfied that everything he needed was in place, Oliver threw two different shovels, a pick axe, an axe, a handsaw, and a pair of work gloves into the large wheelbarrow and headed back to the south side of the house.

He measured exactly six feet from the side of the house on both ends and marked those spots then ran a string from one to the other. He then measured another two and a half feet from both points and marked them giving him straight and accurate boundaries for the trench he was ready to start digging.

The rich, black soil was soft dirt making it very easy to drive the shovel into it and get a spadeful of dirt to toss onto the side of the trench. The bad news was that the high moisture content made the soil very heavy. Mr. Wheeler wanted the top of the 12-inch pipe to be under 18 inches of soil plus another 4-5 inches of stone. That meant a trench that was 30 inches deep and just over 60 feet long by 30 inches wide for the house alone.

Four hours later, Oliver sat down to eat the bag lunch he'd brought with him and surveyed his progress. He'd dug nearly 40 feet and was very satisfied with the clean, straight edges of the trench line. He'd only run into the roots of one tree and had been able to chop and saw through them without too much difficulty.

While he wasn't used to this specific type of work, his body was very much accustomed to being pushed to its limits. Shoveling dirt would undoubtedly make him stiff and sore for a couple of days by virtue of working slightly different muscles than those worked on in the gym, but it would by no means push him anywhere close to the kind of exhaustion he'd experienced many times during wrestling practice in high school.

He sat there slowly eating his ham and cheese sandwich as he thought back to those days and shook his head when he realized it had only been a little over three years even though it seemed much longer to him.

He'd been a very solid middle linebacker and had gone undefeated his senior year of wrestling when he'd dropped down from his normal 175 pounds to the 160-pound weight class. His body had been utterly lean and hard and was ripped and cut more than at any time before or since. He was now comfortably at 172 pounds and still had really good definition, but he doubted he'd ever get back to where he'd been. Then again, there was no reason to starve himself or work that hard anymore. At least not physically. Now, he was content to get to the gym several days a week and push himself mentally hoping for a similar-but-different kind of payoff when he graduated in another ten months and change.

Oliver had grown up fairly poor, and money had never been a serious source of motivation for him, but he knew that if he worked hard and learned the principles of business and applied them well, he could earn a ton of it down the road. More importantly, he wanted to establish himself as a hard-working, honest man who could be depended on. If the money followed that would be a very nice bonus, but he knew already he would never compromise his integrity for money. So while money wasn't his primary motivation, he very much looked forward to being married one day and eventually having children, things he knew required money and that drove him.

As far as marriage itself was concerned, Oliver had watched his parents serve as examples for him as he grew up, and whenever he might finally be ready to settle down, he knew he'd been well prepared for the hard work of maintaining a close, loving relationship. He had no illusions about life with any woman being a happy fairytale kind of existence where they lived in endless bliss each day and made endless love each night. That was indeed fantasy land.

The reality of married life was commitment and hard work. It was a mental state of being willing to love, give, and sacrifice while always being ready to compromise and forgive. And implicit in all that was finding a woman who held a similar understanding of what it meant to be married. So until he could find a woman who was attractive to him who saw marriage in roughly the same way, he was content to focus on other priorities. Like finishing this first trench.

He finished the last bite of his sandwich then munched on the pretzels he'd also brought before washing them down with a mixture of G2 (a lighter version of Gatorade) and water. Finished eating, he carefully put everything away making sure not leave so much as piece of paper lying on the ground, then neatly folded up the brown paper bag to reuse again the next day. 'Waste not, want not' had been drilled into his head since he could talk.

Six hours later, Oliver looked back at a perfectly straight, 30-inch deep trench, and smiled. He hosed off the tools before taking them back to the barn then went to see Mr. Wheeler to let him know what he'd gotten done.

"Very nice," the older man said as he walked outside to survey the progress. "Straight and level. Very nice, indeed."

Oliver wasn't at all surprised to see his boss measuring and checking the level of his work let alone offended by it. The man was paying good money to have a job done, and it was up to Oliver to make sure it was done properly.

"So I'll see you tomorrow morning at 8 o'clock then?" Oliver said more as a request than a statement of fact.

"Sounds good, Ollie," Mr. Wheeler said as he slapped the younger man on his back again.

Oliver never corrected anyone who shortened his name, but he'd never liked the abbreviated version and always introduced himself as Oliver. Even so, there were always people who took it upon themselves to decide 'Ollie' was a better choice than the one he'd made for himself and called him that without ever asking if he minded. Brought up to choose his battles wisely, making a federal case out of his name wasn't one of them so he let that pass just like he had the earlier comments.

The following day, Oliver used the tractor to haul 12-foot segments of pipe down to the house then carefully lay them into the trench one end at a time connecting them as he went. He'd already put the catch box in place and attached one end of the pipe to it then mixed up some cement to permanently fix the box in place. Not doing so would permit movement which would allow the pipe to separate from it making it an exercise in futility and a waste of money. More importantly, it would reflect poorly on Oliver, and his reputation was more valuable to him than any paycheck no matter how badly he needed the cash.

He was well ahead of schedule and had the third trench finished after day seven so Mr. Wheeler had a small truckload containing several cubic yards of stone delivered and dumped on a concrete slab that was roughly equal distance from each of the three trench lines. Oliver spent the entire next day shoveling stone into the wheelbarrow, pushing it down the to house, then dumping it out and raking it smooth along the length of the trench.

Around 6pm, he knocked on the door, waiting for Mr. Wheeler so he could let him know how far he'd gotten that day. As he waited, he was aware the original soreness from shoveling for hours each day was gone, but he couldn't help but think he might be sore again as the stone was so even heavier than the wet dirt.

His thoughts were interrupted as he twisted and turned his neck and upper body to try and let it relax when a woman answered the door. Oliver knew Jack Wheeler was married but had never met or even seen his wife. What he didn't know was how beautiful she was and that fact caught him completely off guard.

"Hi, there!" the woman said in a pleasant tone of voice. "I'm Jack's wife, Casey. Did you want to come inside?"

"Oh, um, that's okay. I just wanted to let your husband know where I'm at before I go home," he said, trying not to stare.

He didn't know Mr. Wheeler's age, but he'd guessed him to be around 45, so seeing a woman claiming to be his wife who looked so much younger than him was another source of genuine surprise. It was their business, but this woman couldn't be much over 30 based on the perfectly smooth skin Oliver saw on her very pretty face.

Her longer, dark hair was pulled back into a ponytail, revealing a face that was as attractive as any he'd ever seen, and Oliver had seen many very-attractive women. She had all the classic features one tended to associate with feminine beauty from the high cheekbones to her bright, pretty eyes, to a perfectly-shaped nose, to a pair of gorgeous, soft, full lips, and very straight, amazingly-white teeth.

She was smiling at him and Oliver had to shake his head and force himself to concentrate.

"So how far did you get?" she asked pleasantly.

Oliver let her know then to his surprise Casey said, "I should probably confess I already knew that. I've kind of followed the progress each day. It's funny, but it was almost, I don't know, therapeutic, watching the trench growing yard by yard then being filled in and covered by the decorative stone."

"I uh, I had no idea you were watching. I don't think I ever saw you even once," Oliver told her. He was shirtless most of the time as August got quite warm for western Washington and it was also a rare opportunity to get some sun.

Casey laughed politely then said, "I wasn't staring or anything. I would just occasionally peek out of the window here and there and see how things were coming along and a couple of times I watched for several minutes. It looks really great, by the way."

She immediately stopped smiling as though she'd said something terrible and quickly added, "I didn't mean to imply you haven't been working incredibly hard when I said it was therapeutic watching you. I'm very aware of just how hard you've been working."

Oliver smiled back then said, "No offense taken. I can see that, though. About being therapeutic. It's like a smaller scale of watching a building go up or something."

"Yes! Exactly. It's the slow, steady progress and the way you so carefully squared off the sides and the ends. You're very thorough..."

"Oliver," he added knowing she was searching for his name.

"Sorry. I don't normally get involved in my husband's projects, but I should have at least known your name," she said almost apologetically.

Again, Oliver found himself trying not to stare as he noticed she was as beautiful from her slender neck down as she was above it. Her body was clearly fit and toned, and being a 'boob man', he couldn't help but notice what appeared to be two, perfectly-round, soft, C-cup breasts underneath the plain, white blouse she was wearing along with a pair of jeans that showed off her very tight waist, shapely legs, and nicely-curved hips.

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