Monday, June 11, 2007

Walkin' Blues

Either Clapton or Muddy Waters' version will do. I'm a little in the dumps today; it's a combination of several good and bad things. Friday afternoon I was laid off from work. Now, that's a bad thing from a money point of view but it gives me more time to work on my house and catch up on some other projects I've been putting off for way too long. No money to buy stuff for my house but I'm a pretty good scrapper and salvager. The photo above is of the crew I've been working with for the past several months. They're a motley bunch but good as gold. Now, this is just the boys in my crew, being the general contractor, not all the guys with the subcontractors. Actually, 2 of them left before me and there were a couple more not in the photo. Some of them I've known for almost my whole career and some I just met on this job. This is the part of my job that gets me down sometimes. You work with a crew for sometimes up to 2 years building this huge thing and get to be friends with a lot of different people and then one day the superintendent comes up and says "tomorrow is your last day, you're going to so and so". Notice is normally pretty short. It's not unusual to never see these people again either. I think this has a stronger impact on me because, as a woman, I am not really allowed to keep in contact with these guys outside of work. The guys can call each other, and do, from job to job to see how each are getting along but I can't do that. So, I have to just rely on what I hear from my present crew as to how different people are doing; did their child get over that car accident?, did he get promoted? and so on. Now, some guys we are more than glad to never hear from again but several of them I can't help but think a lot of as they try to look out for me and really go out of their way to do things for me. I try to help them as much as I can (some of them like to have a woman to talk to as far as personal dilemmas) and I bake cookies and stuff for them. Since I knew Friday was my last day, I made fried apple pies for them which they scarfed down really quick. One guy dropped one of his on the ground but picked it up and ate it anyway so I think they liked them. Hey! don't gross out; believe me, when you are on one of these jobs and get some good food you don't let it go to waste. We get very little time to eat (15 minute break at 9:00 a.m. and 30 minutes at lunch) so going to get something from a store or whatever is not usually an option. And when the crew needs certain supplies that the boss thinks is maybe unnecessary, I will go harass them for it because they usually won't tell me "no" where they would turn down one of the men. Oops! I hope I'm not giving away my secrets!
So anyway, things almost always work out for the best and this job provided several opportunities for me while I was there. Construction is an odd profession and is it's own society within itself and very ritualized. There are certain age-old greetings, comments and insults that have been handed down for generations. So, we don't really say good-bye when we leave. We say, "See you on the next one". And sometimes if we are lucky, we do.
On a completely unrelated topic, Allen came dragging this snake home yesterday morning and insisted I get a picture of it. What is it with you guys and snakes? He thought maybe some of you out there could identify it for him. It was about 4 1/2 feet long. Very pretty but after awhile it got kinda agitated and started shaking it's tail like it was a rattlesnake. I guess it thought maybe that bluff was worth a try. Allen found it in the road and so we released it out into the woods.
We are still working on relocating the water pump and tank so I should have some photos and stuff about that soon. Maybe we will have water again soon. At least with being laid off I might can blog a little more often.


Floridacracker said...

That's a grey ratsnake and if I'd been here sooner, I would have identified it for you on time instead of days later.
That was a very thoughtful post. In teaching, I mostly work with women and a similar thing happens during the summer. I miss my gal buddies I saw every day on the job, but we don't get to hang out together either.
I hear ya.

edifice rex said...

Hey FC! Thanks for the ID.