Initiative and Faith

State: Maine

Date: June 3rd, 2016

On my journey through all 50 states, part of my mission is to prove if you are willing to work, you can get a job anywhere.

Getting jobs along the way helps fund my trip, allows me to learn new things, and is great for the book. However, getting this job was something special.

I started out the day knowing I needed to get a job because I was low on funds, but I wasn’t worried because I know what it takes to get a job: initiative and hard work.

So I made a sign for the initiative section, but I took it a step further.

I prayed to God that he would lead me to someone who would give me a job and then believed it was going to happen.

I then posted the picture above on my Facebook page ( with the following statement:

“Today is Wednesday June 1st and by the end of the week, I will have a job.”

After the post, I began hiking down the road.

Exactly, one hour after my post, I got a job.

This guy pulls over on the opposite side of the road heading the other way and rolls down his window and says:

“Hey need a ride?”

“I’m headed into Harpswell,” I said indicating the other direction.

“That’s where I’m headed. I saw your sign and I’ve got some work and I need a guy.”

“Guess I’m your guy then,” I said and headed over.

“Hop in,” he said.

I put my backpack in the back and hopped in the front seat of his SUV.

“So where you hiking too?” he asked.

I told him my usual spiel and then introduced myself.

“Kevin,” he said and we shook hands.

I asked about the job and found out it was some landscaping work around his house. When we arrived I was blown away by how beautiful his home was and the view over the coast was incredible.

It was already getting late in the day and I was expecting to camp out somewhere nearby, and then start work in the morning, but Kevin invited me in and gave me the spare bedroom. He let me do my laundry and take a shower. Then while I shared some stories about my adventure so far, he cooked me steak and a lobster omelet!

I learned that Kevin used to work with juvenile delinquents as a counselor and eventually, headed the entire department. He also told me how residents are allowed to have 5 lobster pots and that he would take me out when he went to check them.

This was something I really wanted to do while in Maine, go out on a lobster boat. So I not only got a job within an hour of deciding I needed one, but I also got to complete one of my state goals.

The following day after sleeping great in a real bed, Kevin showed me his garden. In it there was a big mound of dirt in the fenced in area.

“All that goes right over here,” he said indicating the lower part of the garden.

“Just follow the contours and level it out,” he said, handed me a shovel, and then went back inside to take care of some business.

I looked at the pile and smiled because Kevin had originally said he had about two days of work for me. However, the dirt pile, while large (around 5 yards), was not going to take me near that long. I have a tendency to work myself out of a job sometimes, but after how Kevin treated me, I wanted to do a really good job.

So on a job that was supposed to take me two days, I did in two hours.

“Holy crap! You’re killing it!” Kevin said referring how I was almost done moving all of the dirt.

“I just can’t believe it,” he said with a big grin just staring at the level garden.

“Well I had to live up to my sign,” I said and laughed.

“You definitely weren’t lying on it. Man, I’m going to have to find something for you to do tomorrow,” Kevin said.

I laughed and said “Well, old family saying. There are workers, there’s hard workers, and then there’s Stivalas.”

Kevin gave me the rest of the day off and paid me for the full day. He then showed me around Harpswell, which was truly beautiful.

I can’t tell you how much I love the Maine coast.

While we were out, he took me to this great seafood restaurant called Estes Lobster House. Ironically though, I had wings, but they were delicious just the same. We also had great service from a waitress Kevin had nicknamed Brooklyn. She got it by being from Brooklyn Connecticut. I also had a bit of fun by continuing with my tradition of getting waitresses to feed me.

We then headed back to the house where I got to relax and read some of Stephen King’s Finders Keepers because Kevin and his wife Sue are big Stephen King fans. Well, I got to read until Bella (Kevin’s Chocolate Lab) came running full-bore into my room and tackled me and then proceeded to cover me in slobbery kisses. She was followed by Diago (Kevin’s Mastiff) who pinned my legs by laying on the bed. Kevin quickly realized why my friend’s often call me the beastmaster because during my stay, Bella wouldn’t leave my side.

After wrestling myself away from Bella’s love, I took advantage of having decent WiFi and uploaded some pictures, then posted that I’d gotten a job within an hour of making my sign.

Once I finished, I crashed and slept great.

When I got up the next morning, Kevin took me out with him to go check his lobster pots.

Kevin taught me how to tell the male from the female lobster and how there is a special tool for measuring the lobster. It measures from the eye socket to the torso and you can’t take any bigger or smaller than the measuring device. Females with eggs are also off-limits and have their tails notched so they can’t be taken again, since they’re breeders. Maine has a great conservation effort for lobstering.

After checking Kevin’s 5 pots, we didn’t get any keepers, but 4 out of 5 of his traps had lobster in them.

We then headed back and Kevin asked me if I knew how to run a chainsaw. I laughed and told him how I had my own firewood business in college. It was how I paid for my thoroughly expensive science books.

He set me to work taking down some trees to enhance the view from his home.

“Please be careful. It gets pretty steep down there.”

“I will and don’t worry. You’ve seen me with a shovel, wait till you see me with a chainsaw,” I said.

After I cut down a forest in a few hours, Kevin told me I could call it a day.

Being my last day, Kevin cooked us up some ribs and we played poker while they slow roasted. After eating, Kevin said:

“Man, I’m gonna miss you Seth. I’ve really enjoyed having you around and I think Bella has too,” he said.

I thanked him for the job and his hospitality and also that I would keep in touch and that he would get a great mention in the book because this was an awesome story.

Tomorrow (June 4th, 2016), Kevin is going to drop me off in Freeport and then head to a workshop on fly fishing.

This is what I love about my journey. I never know what’s going to happen next. I mean one day I could be looking for a job and the next I’ve got one, a friend for life, and some new skills from what he taught me.

A little bit of initiative and faith go a long way 😉

Forever your friend,

~The Outsider

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