A Rancher’s Desk

A rancher’s office is outside so naturally his desk is located in his pickup. You can learn a lot about a man by the desk area that he keeps. For instance, hair covering the seats and floor is an indication that his office assistant sheds a lot.

A rancher’s desk has essential office supplies needed to conduct business on a day-to-day basis. Important papers such as toilet paper are filed in the glove compartment which incidentally, is not where gloves are kept. The easy access glove box enables a rancher to find such important papers quickly.

Gloves matched and unmatched are usually scattered on the floorboards, behind seats, under seats, or tucked into door panel pockets. Extra gloves are necessary in case capable, able-bodied people show up who could be put to work or kids come along and forget their own gloves. Those who give the lame excuse of not having any gloves in order to help out are quickly relieved of their complaint because a rancher can round up a pair to loan them from his desk.

Stockmen do a lot of thinking and therefore, need lots of toothpicks in their desk console. Many-a-plan, project, or problem has been figured out while chewing on a toothpick; an act that’s important to the mulling and deliberation process a rancher has with himself.

Finding pens in a rancher’s desk that work are rare because most guys only use the pen they keep in their shirt pocket. Cast-off pens that don’t work are kept for signing insurance policies, writing out big checks, etc.

When the need arises to do some sorting in the office/corrals ranchers rely on a sorting stick typically kept behind the seat. Sorting sticks also make useful pointers.

Hankies and grease rags are ranch office materials that get used daily. Both are versatile in their uses—interchangeably if necessary.

Ranch work doesn’t have any needs for Scotch tape because it doesn’t hold up but duct tape and black electrical tape get used regularly for unusual purposes that only a rancher could think up. Baling wire is also important to a rancher more so than an office stapler. Wire holds stuff together better and many ranchers keep wads of wire under their desk chair. Speaking of fencing materials, fencing pliers, stretchers, clips, and staples are also kept on hand for unexpected meetings with cows outside of fences that are in a state of emergency repair.

A set of standard tools are always at the ready even though they’re never needed until they’ve been removed from behind the desk for some reason. That’s why a Leatherman combo tool is found in many ranchers’ desks. It makes a surprisingly good substitute tool that takes care of many jobs.

Just because a rancher’s desk also happens to be a vehicle doesn’t mean it is okay to mess with his office supplies and stuff on his desk. Most ranchers don’t like dashboard and seat settings tampered with. The office equipment behind the seat can shift and settle making it difficult to move the seat back to the preferred position and console items are kept in specific disarrangement that only the rancher can find an item in. Regardless, most cattlemen enjoy visitors stopping by.

Their door is always open, especially to those who are capable of doing physical labor but be warned that many ranchers have office assistants who shed a lot and with whom you’ll have to share your seat with.

 © 2011 Amy Kirk

This column was previously publinshed December 7-13, 2011


2 responses to “A Rancher’s Desk”

  1. Candy C. Avatar

    This is just too funny, mostly because it’s TRUE!! 🙂

  2. Val - Corn, Beans, Pigs & Kids Avatar

    Thanks for sharing! I’m definitely going to share it because it is so true!

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