Alan lives in the pantheon of great carpenters. To recognize this, you have to get past the tattoos, pony tail, and Harley XLH exhaust rumble which announces his arrival on the job site at 7 AM. We first met on a large commercial project converting a turn of the century warehouse into office space. He quickly proved his mettle: rough framing partition walls, carrying a fourteen foot sheet of drywall himself when the helpers couldn't keep up in the morning; cutting and fitting a perfect miter on a three piece built up crown molding in the afternoon. The skills of a renaissance man. Alan shares a story about an interesting hiring experience from years ago.
Its late fall in Aspen, Colorado. A developer has started a twenty four unit townhouse project for the luxury market. Foundations have been poured, and a light snow starts falling as trucks unload the lumber package. In response to a classified ad in the local paper, dozens of men and two women have arrived to interview for the carpentry crew. Soon the skiers will arrive, and the only available jobs will be waiting tables, so a lot is riding on this. In front of the trailer which serves as the site office, the developer announces to the assembled company what the interview process will be. Take a set of blueprints and your tool belt and start framing the first floor platform, the laborers will give you each a spot. Show me what you can do, and we'll pay you for your time. Soon the morning is filled with the staccato of pneumatic nail guns and whine of worm drive saws.
Out of the corner of his eye Alan sees the developer walking on the partially completed first floor deck. The man leans over to a candidate and says 'thanks for trying, here's your money, you can go now'. And again. And again. By lunch time, half of the crew is gone. By four o'clock only Alan is left. As he cashes him out the developer smiles 'be here tomorrow at 7, the job is yours'. Hesitantly Alan asks ' so how many guys were you looking for?' 'Just one', the developer replies. 'The right one'.