Before I became a pen pusher I spent years in the shearing sheds.
Being a rousie was a tough, physical job, not to mention the early morning starts and the travel time.
In terms of glamour there was none - my go-to work wardrobe included track pants, hoodies, T-shirts, shorts and running shoes.
When you are in a shearing gang every minute counts. There's no mucking about, the day is divided into four, two-hour runs and all the shearers are usually going for it. What they earn depends on how many sheep they shear so there is a big incentive to crack a top tally.
The environment is fast-paced, smelly and noisy, where blasting music drowns out other sounds.
There's no doubt it was hard yakka. Shearers drenched in sweat would wipe it away on a towel hung by their pen before dragging sheep in and out while everyone drank gallons of water or cordial.
I look fondly back on those days and remember the great sense of pride we'd have when we cut out [finished] a shed. Sometimes the cockie would shout a few beers and it felt good to know we were a vital cog in one of New Zealand's primary industry export products.
So it saddens me to hear industries like this still can't attract enough workers alongside other sectors like kiwifruit, dairy and forestry.
Mahi Rākau Forest Management's health, safety, training and recruitment co-ordinator Joe Taute said the silviculture sector was up against it and he was looking for 30 workers.
He told me sometimes the retention rate was as low as two out of 10 and some people only lasted a few hours despite the potential to make good money.
Taute said tree-planting programmes were under threat alongside the Government's aim to plant one billion trees by 2028.
''Everyone is under pressure. If we can't get trees in the ground harvesters won't have them to cut down, '' he said.
Taute was beside himself and had applied to bring in more migrants because he knew they would definitely show up for work.
And he is not alone.
PukePine general manager Jeff Tanner had swapped working in the office with helping out in the sawmill or in distribution because he was short of 30 workers.
He mostly wanted people to stack timber and operate simple machines and had increased pay rates, to no avail.
I understand there is a labour crisis at the moment, but in my view there are too many people who just don't want to work.
And unfortunately, it is the industries where you might break a sweat that are suffering the most.