Name: Danielle Meyers
Company currently working for: MillerCo, Inc.
Job name/Title: Tower Tech
How did you get started in the tower industry?
I had very recently left another career and had no idea what I wanted to do. A friend of a friend needed some temporary help. He was a crew lead with MillerCo, Inc. He told me he didn’t think I could do it because most men can’t even do it. Of course, I had to prove him wrong. Fast forward five years, and I’m a crew lead in South Texas. Shoutout to Aaron Haigood for calling me out, grudgingly accepting me, and teaching me to be self sufficient out here.
How long have you been climbing?
A little over three years.
Biggest like/dislike about it?
Biggest like: the looks on people’s faces when I tell them what I do. This includes the looks on the faces of male crews that we run into that can’t believe I’m the lead tech. 😛
Biggest dislike: the utter lack of concern and/or upkeep about/with the safety of towers that are falling apart. Safety is paramount, but several tower owners treat tower corrosion and damage like it’s not a big deal at all. This is a huge issue for me, and I can’t go into it for fear of getting vehement about it.
Do you feel accepted by largely male crews or has it been a struggle?
I feel accepted by my own crews. Who knows what the guys we run into from other companies think? Also, who cares? Everybody who works with me knows I’m a hard worker, and that’s really all that matters. My tower guys are my family, whether they’re people I work with every day or people I see once a year. All I ask is that we stand on level ground as equals, and that’s generally OK with everyone. No struggle here.
Would you recommend this industry to other women and if so what would you warn them about?
It depends on their situation. If you’re a single girl with a gypsy soul and a tough exterior, get the heck over here. If you have children, I wouldn’t recommend it. I only say this because if I had kids, I wouldn’t want to leave them as much as I’m out of town. I would warn women about the elephant in the room: sexual harassment. You have to have a certain personality to do this. We’re sweaty, stinky, dirty people. And I think we all know what I mean by dirty. There is absolutely no room in this industry for women who are easily offended. If you can’t hang with the big dogs, stay in the kitchen. Yes, I did that on purpose. Besides, sailor talk is part of what makes the job so fun.
Have you had any unusual experiences while climbing or at tower site? (good, bad, humorous, terrifying or enlightening)
One of the craziest experiences I’ve ever had on a tower site was finding a dead body on Kennedy Ranch in south Texas. I climbed the tower and spotted him in the grass. Didn’t realize he was dead at first. He turned out to be an illegal immigrant who was murdered by his buddy. About 10 miles south of there, at another tower site, I had to draw my gun on another illegal immigrant who turned out to be Cartel. Good times in south Texas!
July 13, 2017