So, the mining season is over, and the Hoffmans, once again, fell short of their goal. In Season One, the group found about 14.5 ounces—well short of what they needed to cover their expenses, and certainly nowhere near enough to give anyone a payday. This season, now pushed up to the Klondike following Dakota Fred’s claim-jump, the Hoffmans did come close to hitting their 100-ounce mark, with 93 ounces. Expenses were covered, so they claim, but those expenses were so massive, the crew still walked away with only five ounces of gold each—according to Jack, about $8,000 per miner. Now, assuming Jack’s estimate is correct, and assuming it is pre-taxes, as well—those guys did an awful lot of work this season for five ounces of gold in the end.
Next season, Todd has declared he is going to find 1,000 ounces.
Come on, you couldn’t even dig up 100 ounces, and now you’re going to get 1,000?
Well, if Todd wants to go for 1,000 ounces next season, so be it and good luck to him. But, if that’s the case, here are a few suggestions to help him get there:
- Buy some decent equipment. I’m not sure how Todd is going to find the money it will take to get some mining equipment that is actually going to be reliable enough to mine 1,000 ounces of gold in the short Klondike mining season, but that worn-out junk they’ve been using isn’t going to get them there.
- Get a reliable mechanic. You know, Harness seems like he’s a good guy overall, and he and Todd are obviously good friends. And, he does appear to know how to fix any problem that comes along. But, let’s face it: He cannot physically handle the job. And, he certainly was not that concerned about doing his job this season when he was parading his girlfriend around the claim. So, it’s just time for Harness to go, and to bring someone knowledgeable and physically capable onboard. (Note: Rumor has it that Harness actually does get the boot from the team for being in the gold tent alone—i.e. for being suspected of skimming off the gold when no one was looking. If true, one half of this suggestion has already been put into motion.)
- Make lease payments this off season. As Season Two began, the Hoffmans had their claim on Porcupine Creek in Alaska pulled out from under them because Todd missed a lease payment and claim-jumper Dakota Fred swooped in and snatched up the glory hole. The Hoffman team thus landed on their Quartz Creek claim in Canada and, while it seems unlikely anyone else is going to be clamoring to steal it out from under them, if it is the claim from which Todd intends to pull this 1,000 ounces, he’d best learn from the past, keep up his end of the contract, and make those payments in the off season.
- Make a real plan and stay with it. The claim on Quartz Creek doesn’t seem like it is swimming in gold, but, let’s face it, who would know? Consistency would go a long way in helping this crew of “miners” figure out just where the real pay-streaks might be, but Todd, the merry leader of the group, seems incapable of making decisions that are proactive, not reactive. He simply jumps from disaster to disaster, trying to put out fires that never end, and, what’s worse, he seems to like it that way. Make a real plan, have an idea of what has to be done to accomplish your goals, and work with that plan. Sure, be flexible, but being flexible doesn’t mean digging for awhile in one area, then deciding, for no apparent reason other than just deciding, to jump to another cut and start over again. It’s frustrating for the crew, and it isn’t productive in the long run. Make a plan.
- Get a handle on Jack. In addition to Todd’s schizophrenic “management,” Jack just seems to bounce around wherever he feels like, listening to no one, doing whatever he wants, disregarding what minimal plan may actually be in place. In the off season, Jack—who has now apparently admitted that he has been addicted to morphine due to a back injury?—is said to be having back surgery to try and alleviate some of his pain and, possibly, end his addiction to morphine. Maybe that will actually serve to get him under control, so to speak, and have him on the same page with everyone else.
- Clean up everyone's act. If there are any other lingering addiction issues on this crew, clean them up. Just clean them up.
These are just a few suggestions for Todd to mull over in the off season; feel free to add your own in the comment section. After all, as anyone who watches this show knows, Todd and his band of “miners” can use all of the good advice they can get. Will they actually use any of it? Well, that’s another bit of advice: Use good advice when you get it. But, whether they do or not—well, that is for another season to unveil.
UPDATED: Who hits the mother lode?
Image: Wikimedia Commons