The Coyote Conference Call

I’m a consultant by day, and a goat farmer by night. The two lifestyles offer a wonderful mix of totally unrelated and fulfilling things for me to do. From daily interactions with bleeding-edge tech, to a backyard with goats, chickens, and turkeys. These two parts of my life rarely intersect. Until they do!

To give you a quick background, I’m often working a day or two in Seattle, and remotely from home the rest of the week. When I’m working from home, I usually spend a few hours a day talking with a nearly unforeseen mix of colleagues, clients, and customers. On this particular day, I had a call with a hard drive and flash storage manufacturer.

So I’m on this call. I love these sorts of things, too, and I get pretty absorbed in conversations. Things start to wrap up, and then they go back into discussion. I’m chatting along for 45 minutes, walking around my living room, just blindly mulling about. I turn and glance outside to see a coyote staring me down from straight through the back window. Real big one too.

I stopped mid-sentence into whatever I was talking about and said, “Hold on guys, I’ve got to step away for a minute. There’s a coyote in my backyard.” There’s a brief moment of awkward silence before a few people start laughing. I remember one person snorting and saying, “Hah, he doesn’t live in the city does he?” Another person chimes in and says, “We’re about to hear a gunshot aren’t we?” Smart…I muted the line as I rounded the garage with my fancy pellet gun.

By that time, the coyote was going into our neighbors’ field. I bounded to the length of driveway and noticed that it had stopped in the middle of their field. It just watched me. So I walked up to the driveway hedge, found a low spot, and shot it with my fancy pellet gun. I hit it but I definitely didn’t kill it.

Things were wrapping up on the call by then. I unmuted and joined in with the goodbyes, and I messaged my colleagues to let them know that I’d be sending over my notes soon. Then I went and smoked a cigarette. Jesus. It was staring me down through my living room window as I gave pointers on automating Linux servers and network devices. But at least I didn’t drop the call!

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