"He didn't come back for you."

No self respecting rig pig, farmer, or ditch digger has a clean truck. Same deal with hard hats.

My father was a natural gas field worker and part-time farmer. In grade 9, our school district had the equivalent of a "take your child to work day" as part of the CALM program. I walked into the field office with my Dad. It was where they kept the safety gear and equipment. He told me to grab a hard hat.

I figured I wanted one that hadn't been worn, so I reached for a fresh one. My Dad joked, "With that on, people are going to think you are from head office, and that's not a compliment!"

He went on to explain that he's even seen guys drag their brand new hard hats behind their truck to dirty them up. Corporate assholes from Calgary ride around in clean pickup trucks to inspect work sites, wearing pristine hard hats, and they tell the blue collar guys how to do their jobs during each inspection. The field guys resent it and see it as a bunch of elite, out-of-touch assholes getting in the way of their work.

So it is taboo to look like corporate. Your truck better be at least a little dirty, and your hard hat better be scuffed up. Any sensible politician who is trying to appeal to these guys should know this. If you are going to a construction site to make a speech, scuff up that hard hat on the ground a little before you put it on. Drive your truck down a gravel road to get it dusty. It shows you know the score.

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