I briefly mentioned in my last post that our visit to run punch list on our building was not entirely enjoyable. This particular university is kinda sequestered away on top this mountain and I believe they enjoy being in their own little world, as it were. Many of the faculty, students and townspeople certainly seem to maintain a standoffish attitude. At first, I thought it was just me but Daddy Rabbit explained the history of the school to me and how they had been treated while building the project, so, it wasn't just my perspective.
I think it is a very nice building; state of the art facility with all the latest 'green' innovations in building. The structure actually senses when there are people present (inside) and appropriately adjusts the lights and heating or cooling. You would think people would be thrilled to have such a great building, wouldn't you?
Most of my work consisted of adjusting doors in which the margin had gotten slightly out of even so they might rub just slightly or something. I also adjusted all the fire doors to stay open and close and latch correctly. These are pairs of heavy doors in the hallways that are held open with magnets, which are tied to the fire alarms. Fire alarms go off and it shuts power to the magnets, so the doors close, shutting off that part of the building and forming a fire wall. Int he first year after a building is put up, it can settle just slightly, the doors are getting very heavy use and things can move a tad until everything settles in. That's why we offer a one year warranty to come back and adjust things at no charge. So, the faculty and staff made a list of things they would like for us to fix and that's what I did. Now, I don't expect anyone to pat us on the back or anything because it is just part of our job. We want the client to be happy with their building.
I thought it was interesting though, that hardly anyone would speak to us. You know, when you are in a hallway and someone walks by, you just usually nod and say some kind of greeting, don't you? Not there. They make sure they are looking the other way so they don't have to acknowledge you. Is that normal? Have I been out of 'polite' society so long I have forgotten how things go? There was one professor in particular that was one of the rudest people I have ever met. He just stared at me at first like he smelled something bad and then later actually harassed me for doing my work. He was trying to work he said and that tapping with my hammer was disturbing him and did I really have to do that? I controlled the words that came out of my mouth but not my tone of voice. I replied that if he wanted the work done, then yes, I felt that I really had to do that. The last day I was there I was adjusting one last door so that the students couldn't pick the lock. I heard footsteps approaching and looked up only to see this butthole coming down the hallway. So, I was going to be polite and I nodded and said 'hello'. He just continued to walk towards me without saying a word and he was looking straight at me so I know he knew I spoke. I thought, well, I'm pretty sure he heard me but he is an old bastard so maybe he didn't. So, I waited until he got about 15 feet way and I said hello again and nodded. He just stared down at me and kept on going without a word. I would hate to know that I was such a self-righteous old ass that I couldn't even be bothered to say hello to someone who has come to fix things for me.
At the end of the week I had come to the realization that the only friendly people I met (and there were a few) were from other states. They were not from this area. And I have to say, I was fairly disgusted to see such unfriendly behavior in a southern state. We are supposed to be gracious, friendly and have good manners. 'Course, this wasn't Alabama so I felt a little better but still...
I don't understand people like that, who believe they are better or smarter because of what they do for a living or where they are from. Does this kind of stuff happen where you work? I really don't want to believe that the trades have become SO disrespected that this type of behavior is reserved only for us. I know also that there are butts in every profession (and good people too) but I just get so tired of people running from us, or walking way over on the other side of the hallway, like we have the plague. If I have to go up there again, I'm going to make sure I wear my work boots and stomp up and down the hallway in my bright, florescent work shirts so there is no doubt that I am a construction worker. hee hee.