Thursday, January 23, 2014

A Peek into a Day at the Sale Barn

Whew! I survived that first day at the sale barn...barely. Land Sakes!! My head is swimming. I don't imagine many of you have had any experience with sales barns and auctioneers, but my brain is on overload.

Leslie, if you read this - I thought of you. :) Did you hear my cries of HELP!? :) There were a few "Lord, have mercies and good gravies mixed in.

They put me in the ring, which means I sit with  the auctioneer on one side and a very nice coworker on the other, who fixes all of my mistakes, enters the weight, and lets the people in the back know which pen to sort things into and sends all the information to the office.

The other very sweet and extraordinarily patient lady sat behind me and walked me through the day. My sincerest apologies to both of them. They deserve a raise for having to put up with me.

My job is to enter the tag numbers (there are 1-5 tags per lot), the codes for what is being sold, number of hd being sold, the code for each buyer, and all pertinent information relating to said buyer. As well as any anomalies such as bobtails  or knots. There are about 50 different codes and combinations thereof for what is being sold and I have to look at what comes into the pen and designate a code for each. Not always easy when they come flying into the pen on the fight, flinging dirt and cow crud into your face and down your shirt. That part I can handle. :)

Some don't have tags and I have to give one of the owners a hand signal that it needs a tag and he then shows me a tag that I enter as he slaps it on the critter as it flies out of the ring onto the scale. And they don't always sell them one at a time. Some are sold in lots. There were 29 in one lot. No problem if they then sell them that way, but often, they will decide to split the lots and then I just want to cry.

And my eyes! I found out that bifocals are in my future if they still want me to work there. :( I have reading glasses, but I don't need them for anything else and with this job, I don't need them to read the tags or see what is in the pens, but I  darn sure need them to enter things into the computer. That means I took my glasses off approximately 1000 times on Monday between 9 and 2:30. I would need them to look up the codes too, but there isn't time to do that. You just need to know the codes.

Remember, this is an auction and they run the cattle through at warped speed. You're lucky if you get 20 seconds to document what needs to be documented and my old 50-yr old mind just does not function like that anymore. I'm not sure that it ever did.

I adore the people I work with, but I felt as if I had worked on Wall Street by the end of the day. It might be a misconception, since the only thing I know about working on Wall Street is from a movie or two, but you don't see many 50 yr olds on Wall Street, and I'm pretty laid back. Not sure that's a good thing in this situation.

I could not turn my brain off all night. I actually liked the work, but good gravy, the speed just threw me for a loop. They sold 1000 hd in 5 1/2 hrs. The ladies that are training me have been working there for 20 years so they have it down to a T. They even have time to visit. Shoot. I didn't even have time to breathe. I drink a lot of water throughout the day, but not on Mondays because there isn't time to go to the bathroom. I stayed so busy that I kind of forgot that I had to go. LOL.

I sure hope the good Lord doesn't mind spending His Monday's at the sale barn, because heaven knows I need Him to be there! And don't ask me who else was there because I could not tell you, but if you happen to be a red mottled face heifer, I'm your gal... because I know your code! :)


Doniene said...

Oh My Gravy!!! I'll be praying big time for ya!! Didn't know you were going to work there! Did I miss something?

Blessings sweet friend!

Pauline said...

Wonderful experience! Hang in there and it will get easier. Although I haven't sat in your chair at the sale I have been on the other end, the end that fed the buyers. It was at a private ranch and the ranch wife and I usually fed 2 to 3 hundred after the sale. I loved it, I loved the people, the smells, the atmosphere. I miss it.

Denise :) said...

I am *laughing* my way through your post! You are so funny! I'm sure you caught on and did a fabulous job, girl!! Next Monday you'll be an old hand! :)

Alycia said...

Oh goodness - I can not imagine... I get lost just keeping up with what lot is in the pen at a time... and I am bidding!!!

Nancy said...

When I read your post the other day about being offered a job (that you didn't even apply for), I thought -- that's just what I need: someone who needs me to work for them without my asking them. Then, I imagined the sale barn being a little flea market/antique shop kind of affair, which further made me hope someone would "find" me. Now that I've read this post and know what you do -- gosh, you can have that job! I know I could not do it. But I'm sure you'll learn everything you need to, Karin, and will become the perfect employee. I hope you get good rest between now and Monday!

Vickie said...

LOL your so funny, but I know it wasn't funny at the time. My husband said she has to be fast and quick, I read him your post so he'll appreciate the ladies doing that where he goes a couple of times a week ! Years and years ago I worked at Brownwood Cattle Auction, in the office for a very short period of time. It wasn't a bit of fun, I found a full time job pretty quick. You'll do great...I'm sure Jesus goes to the auction barns too !

Dar said...

OH my goodness. I didn't know what kind of part time job you took. I am in awe of you. That sounds like a very stressful job right now. I'm sure you will learn what you need to know quickly and it will be fun, but I feel for you. Along with God, I'll be thinking about you on Monday's.

Ranch wife said...

Cute the post..I did a short stint at the dairy sale and it nearly did me in. Cannot think that will get the hang of it.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE IT! Welcome to MY LIFE! lol
You will be Great~it IS alot and it IS at Mach 1 speed.
I come home on Wednesday nights completely brain's just has had to work fast and furious all day and there is nothing left! Can you travel to KS, like today, hang out with me until Wednesday? One of our clerks is going to be gone?!?!?!?!?
Which barn are you working?? So excited for you, if I can do it...anyone can do it!
I'm so out of the loop...I haven't blogged in nearly 3 months. I am trying to do better and keep up...are you on Instagram by chance? I am...cowpiesmudpies

Cow Pies & Mud Pies said...

p.s. Jesus comes to the barns...I take him EVERY WEEK!

Sarah said...

Oh so that's what you do! Hehe. Speed comes with practice. You'll get there. And, though I've never met you, I think you'd be really good at this job. You know the product so well. You'll quickly be identifying and recording at lightening speed.

laverne said...

Loved this post!I always admire the sale barn workers,trying to see a brand on a haired up cow on the fight!I know you will do great!

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