Cookie's Bliss

The Best Job Ever

TamisCardI don’t have a business card but if I did it would read Camille Armantrout, Property Manager, Altadore Investments. For nearly a year I’ve had legitimate authority over the fourteen acre campus I have been associated with since our arrival here seven years ago. It’s a place I know intimately and care for as if it were my own home.

I am honored to be part of the energy and diversity we call the Plant, a vibrant network of grassroots change makers. I seal my deals with a handshake and an exchange of contact information. I have no need of a business card – trust and respect are my calling cards.

I don’t have an office so you will find me writing checks at the kitchen table or on the trunk of my car. The outdoors is my office, as are the back rooms and hallways of four industrial buildings that are home to a dozen tenants all striving to reshape the world in the light of waning oil reserves.

My phone is my rolodex. It rides to work with me in the back pocket of my jeans. If we need a plumber, I know who to call. The same goes for propane, portable toilets, event tents, collard greens or a Slow Money Loan. Together we all make beautiful things happen. I’m happy to be enveloped in the bubble of like-minded souls that Tami and Lyle have drawn into our community.

I don’t have a job description but if I did it would say, populate The Plant with groovy tenants and provide them with excellent customer service, ensure that the grounds are “Tour Ready,” oversee repairs and maintenance, keep the books straight and develop good will within the community.

I happily pull weeds, cart off the recycling and shop for toilet paper and light bulbs, continually removing what doesn’t belong and providing what does. My job feels like art, a dance of patting the world into shape, helping form smiles on the faces of all who come our way. When people ask me what I do, I tell them I have the best job ever, one which plays to my strengths, a job that is as effortless as breathing.

LylesChestnutsSure, there are situations which test my patience and fortitude but they are few and far between. Most of the time I just wander around in the sunshine doing what I do best, chit chatting with my friends and looking for things to fix. My typical day involves a pleasant mix of planning, communication, record keeping and blue collar work.

The best thing about my job is working with Tami and Lyle and of course, Bob who is also on our team. Our planning meetings often take place at a kitchen table over a bottle of wine. I love watching our strengths dovetail as we shape the future of our corner of the world. I’m spoiled by their generous praise and thoughtful gifts, like this beautiful card from Tami and these tasty, home grown chestnuts from Lyle.

Not many people can say they have a job like I do, one that is tailor made for them, one they shape for themselves as they go along, one that provides them a steady flow of social capital. My job gives me everything I need and more and I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

By Camille Armantrout

Camille lives with her soul mate Bob in the back woods of central North Carolina where she hikes, gardens, cooks, and writes.