Monday, November 02, 2009

Mercy On Those

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.

*Phoebe Snow


Robbyn said...

I'm having a nice time catching up with your past, so much happening since I last was here! I hope your face is healing...the siding on your house looks gorgeous and your stained glass, WOW, I LOVE it, Annie! I always love seeing what's going on in your life. That park you went to in TN...I've been to that waterfall (lovely!) and seeing your pics made me a little homesick :) Take good care...I hope to be here more often

Robbyn :)

Linda said...

It looks like a beautiful building. There are just rude people everywhere, but I'm with you, it always disappoints me when Southerners fail to show that famous hospitality that's supposed to come with the territory. Ah, but not everybody can be perfect like us!

Anonymous said...


It seems to be a characteristic of a lot of people in academia that they are of a highly class than the worker bees. Isn't it funny how helpless they are when something breaks and a worker bee has to rescue them!

Manners are manners no matter what your "standing" is in the community. Take solace in your self reliance and pitty them for their dependance on the worker bee.

Came up last weekend to see the leaves, they were gorgeous. We don't have the mix of hardwoods down here to give us the color.

Take care,


YeOldFurt said...

I've run into this kind of attitude from students & faculty of "prestigious" colleges before. These people are "self-impressed" and "legends in their own mind". I just call them "A**H***s to their face and go on about my job. It's discouraging to see true Southerners act this way, but this is how academia teaches.
Remember Ayn Rand.


Ed said...

While reading this post, all I could think of was Henry Louis Gates Jr from Harvard.

I have found that in high traffic areas such as universities or urban city sidewalks, acknowledging people is not the norm any more, even when eye contact is made. Still, when you do acknowledge someone, they will acknowledge you back though perhaps giving you a strange look in return. However, there are at least two guys at my plant that never return any greeting given to them. I have gotten used to it over the years and now no longer offer them a greeting when I pass them in the aisle and have just chalked it up in my mind that it is their loss and not mine for being that way. I suspect in both cases their behavior probably stems from the way they were raised as kids.

Woody said...

Hell Annie...the old guy was just working on a letter to Penthouse forum about some hot, hard working construction lady in a wet t-shirt and a tool belt when you spoke to him. Totally threw him off the script. Poor old guy.

HermitJim said...

North or South...rudeness is rudeness, and there is NO excuse for it!

countrypeapie said...

I hate to say it, and it doesn't appear to be true of those I love (right?), but over the years, I have found that many people with PhDs are condescending at best. Southern eccentricity is almost as famous as Southern hospitality, but eccentricity is only fun when it doesn't hurt the innocent.

edifice rex said...

Hey Robbyn! thanks so much on everything and yes, I hope you stop by more often too!

Hey Linda! ha! that's right! well, i know i wasn't overly friendly after he dissed me but I was willing to be civil anyway.

Hey Barry! i hate to say too that i have had some ugly things said to me when revisiting my own university. i just don't understand that. take care too!

Hey Furt! yeah, i remember some of the attitudes when i was in college. i guess i've been out so long it just faded in my memory somewhat.

Hey Ed! ha! yeah...
some of it is the way they were raised and i think i have just gotten used to working in super friendly environments, so this is foreign to me. of course, if it is sort of a crowded place i don't expect any acknowledgment, but when you are the only two people around, it kinda feels like you should. to me anyway.

Hey Woody! lmao! ha! you crack me up man! yeah, i could feel it shrivel up when i walked by him.

Hey Jim! that's right, darn it!

Hey Pea! well, i dated a guy with a PhD for a long time and yeah, many of them are condescending.

Frugal Canadian Hermit said...

I think people like that are kinda commical actually. I used to let it bother me when people treated me like that on the job a long time ago. Now? I dare em. lol. But sometimes ya just gotta take it, for the bosses sake.

Sal in Maine said...

Sorry for the language but those are the people that make me say "F&^% you and the horse you rode in on." People treat me and mine like that don't get their jobs done by us. I'd ruther walk than put up with crappy attitudes like that. Being self-employed (or self-un-employed as the economy decides) allows us to do that. Fortunately I don't run into many here. And those that I do- well- for some reason they never call back.