Saturday, January 24, 2009

Always Something There To Remind Me

At the risk of being boring, I am wanting to elaborate on or explain some of my recent postings. So, if you're just looking for stuff about the house you might want to skip this post. I don't know how successful I'm going to be at this so ya'll just bear with me.
I have been unsure of the past few posts I've made (and deleted some of them) for 2 reasons:
Now, I know some of you may scoff at this but just listen to me. As someone who works in an industry somewhat ostracized by "polite" society, I am unsure what things regular people talk about. See, construction is sort of a society unto itself. We have our own social order etc. and we are often reminded by 'regular' people that we should stay to ourselves. We are told by our bosses to stay away from the white-collar people we must sometimes work around. Don't talk to them; mind your own business. Most construction workers are a very outspoken, candid bunch. Say what's on your mind and get it over with. But I know this doesn't always go in the social world; you're supposed to be more tactful than that. To me, the story of the Switchman is just an honest account of how life is sometimes very crappy and bittersweet, with a few funny stories thrown in. But some people might view it as offensive, which leads to my second reason.
I don't want anyone to think badly of the Switchman. When I left the railroad it kinda hit us that we cared for one another and we both expressed some of that. But we agreed then that there would be no contact between us. No calls, no dropping by 'just to see how you're doing' or anything as that would just not be appropriate. Only the promise that if he ever found himself single, he would find me. And so we've been running from each other ever since and that is what makes these coincidental (or not) episodes all the more frustrating. If it can't be then just let me forget the man, you know?
And I've tried. I have tried very hard to meet someone else. The funny thing is that I normally don't have much trouble with that. I mean, not that I'm all that, I just work around tons of men. The law of averages is just going to let you meet at least one every now and then. And I have met a couple of guys that seemed very interested and I thought, "hey, we might could get together" and then he just disappears or I get transferred to another job. Two other guys I know and have been friends with for some time have called and want to go out. I have been open to this and told them to drop by the house sometimes and we could talk but every time one of them starts to come by to visit or wants to go out, something comes up to stop them. I'm starting to feel like I've got the mark of Cain on me or something!
So, ya'll know that I got sent back over to Red Diamond a couple of weeks ago. The job that takes me very near to his house. This is also the job that they keep having cosmetic issues with and so they feel that, because of my art training, I'm the only one that can repair these problems. Can't send another carpenter, it's got to be Annie, so I can't refuse to go and my other boss can't refuse to let me. So, the building is essentially done and the people have moved in and are working. Most of them are very nice and actually want to chat with the four of us, which is a little unusual. One especially cold morning this slightly, older than middle age woman comes up to me and is making conversation about the weather etc. I remarked that I was just glad to be working in a warm building, as I usually have to work outside. Oh, she knew how that was! Her husband has to work out in the weather also and she really felt for him that morning as he bundled up for work. "Well", she continued, "he is a conductor on the railroad, he works for (same RR) out of the (same) yard so I really sympathize with all of you that work in the weather". I cannot express the terror that I felt at that moment. She seemed a little too old to be his wife but the way things have been going, I couldn't be sure of anything. I just thought to myself, "oh, no, no, nonono!" I somehow managed to squeak out, "oh, really" and prayed that my facial expressions were not revealing my panic. "Yeah, Joe just hates it when it is so cold." Oh, thank God! the Switchman's name is not Joe. I tried to contain my relief long enough to make it down the stairs where she went off to the cafeteria and I ran to find Steve, who some of you might remember, worked with me over at the RR. I told him what just happened and we were practically rolling in the floor laughing. I tell you, I was about sick.
The thing is, I can pass off the occasional sighting of the Switchman on the highway as just chance. I mean, we both live north of the same large, metro area and therefore must travel the same major highway. I can pass off every job I've been on since having a train connected to it. We build industrial and heavy commercial buildings after all, and they often use trains. I can even pass off our company having to go back to the same railroad job. Accidents do happen. But getting sent back to this job, having to drive down his road, parking beside Steve every day, who drives the exact same model and color truck as the Switchman, hearing that damn train blast it's whistle off every, freaking time we come out of the building and now, listening to this sweet lady who just loves to talk about her dear husband and his job as railroad conductor (and who knows all those other conductors over there, as she says), is just a little much. Whether it means anything or not. It's just these constant, persistant reminders. The guys are starting to take bets on when I'm going to run into him again. I feel like beating my head against the wall. I have laughed about it as often as I've cried I guess. What else can you do?
So, only time will tell. Maybe it will all make for a good story one day. A story that has a happy ending.

*Lou Johnson

12 comments:

Sissy T. said...
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edifice rex said...

Someone asked a question and wished to remain unknown so this comment is my answer to them: All the titles to my posts are also titles of songs. Just something silly I do. The names you see at the end of the post are the singers most commonly known for singing that song. I'm sure it seems strange, for a new reader, to see those names at the end and not realize what that was about.

Sissy T. said...

Edifice Rex. Please know:There Are NO Coincidences, Just Synchronicities. Remember this. I've experienced them a lifetime. Start paying close attention and you will start to realize this also. If ever there was a synchronicity for you, this experience tops them all! Unbelievably so. Also know that thoughts DO travel. Yes.

You can delete this also if you like.Then again, it may help someone else

Pablo said...

What's this business about be ostracized by white-collar people. Does that kind of thing really happen?

Floridacracker said...

I don't know where my current job falls in collar color, but after time in law enforcement, farmwork, construction, and now teaching ... the conversations seem to be very similar and over time honored subjects ... sex, sports, news, gossip.

I work in the opposite situation, inside surrounded by women and I have REALLY had my eyes opened to what they talk about when off duty.
I love my job.

I don't know about all the "no coincidence" stuff ... I have finally realized you have to make things happen. (not suggesting inappropriate actions re the switchguy, ...just thinking of all the other fish in the sea)

Maybe your artist side will be the path to a new relationship. Seems like you would see alot of folks at art shows and the like.

Cheering for your side I am!

edifice rex said...

Hey Sissy! I won't delete it unless you tell me specifically to do so. well, if thoughts can travel then let me tell you, there are some bouncing around right now.lol!


Pablo, I can't tell you the number of times that we have been jumped on by 'white-collar' people for looking at them (and not leering or that sort of thing), speaking to them or walking to close to where they were working. I have been told by one lady that I was forbidden to drink from a public water fountain, gone into stores after work and was unable to get waited on while people around me were helped and have actually had people not get on elevators or move to the other side of the street to avoid us. I could go on and on. And these were not any circumstances where we were acting inappropriately or doing some kind of dangerous work.


Hey FC! Oh, all people talk about the same things, just some of them don't want to admit it. And yeah, women can embarrass the crap out of you.
As far as the other fish in the sea and making things happen, I totally agree and I have tried. I would be embarrassed to admit what I have tried to meet someone new. Not anyting illegal or degrading but just kinda silly. The way I work it is just ground into us that you get up and do it! don't just sit around and let things happen to you, you know? That's part of my frustration. Everything I try just backfires. I have let myself be set up on dates by my sister and friends and that was just a fiasco. I meet some guys through art related events but I work so much that I don't have time for a lot of that sort of thing right now. There again, I'm trying to get back into that but work (or this house)stops me in a lot of cases. I'm just going to become a hermit and have like, 50 cats.

The Country Experience said...

I was so hoping that the woman wasn't his wife, and so afraid that it would turn out to be! Whew!

countrypeapie said...

What a captivating saga! I like these posts just as much as the ones where I learn about pouring concrete countertops.

Lee has definitely experienced the kinds of things you're talking about with regard to people's attitudes toward construction workers. He tries to sell jobs in particular areas where people tend to be nicer. He's had people in other areas make disrespectful comments about his workers, be condescending, etc. It's an interesting line of work, because when you've got someone's home torn apart, you have to try to keep his/her head from tearing apart, too -- darting between builder and psychologist.

p.s. in the beginning, it took me a couple of posts to figure out the song title thing -- love it

edifice rex said...

Hey CE! Oh, I'd have run screaming from the building if it had been her! lol! That's just gettin' too close to home.


Hey Peapie! Yeah, captivating is one way to put it! I think the women enjoy these stories more than the guys.
I think all types of construction workers have experienced those things. Some people can really act nasty. I've just been speechless a couple of times at things that have been said to me and that's hard to do!

The Country Experience said...

It is so annoying when people think they are "better than" just because they work in an office. Yes, I work in an office but I put my pants on one leg at a time just like everyone else. My husband works outside in the summer heat and in the winter cold and I don't forget that.

edifice rex said...

Hey CE! Well, the vast majority of the white-collar people we work around are very nice but sometimes it seems like the few obnoxious ones we meet more than make up for their small numbers.

Zaring said...
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