It has been a long time since I have stepped in the shower at the end of the day and watched the water flowing to the drain turn black. And not resulting from a skin condition either… this is from what I like to call a really hard days work.
Take a good look, because when I’m done with this project there will be a wall approximately fifty foot tall surrounding that building. Actually, it’s not a building, it’s a set of aggregate hoppers, but I know you aren’t interested in all of that… what you’re really interested in is me in a hard hat.
I have to say, it’s been almost two and a half years since I’ve been on a proper construction site, and other than having realized that I’ve grown unacceptably soft (you will not belive the kind of agony I woke up in this morning), the first crunch of workboot on gravel reminded me of all the things I love about construction sites:
1.) The building of things. Really, really, big things.
2.) Learning new stuff… like how to properly use a grade laser.
3.) Being outside all day.
4.) Pushing myself to the limits of my physical ability.
5.) Men who work a lot harder than normal because they see a girl kicking butt.
The flip side to all of this is that while it’s a fun break from cubicles and computer screens, there are some very good reasons why this will never (or at least no longer) be what I do as a career. Firstly, you know me, I love everything about tools and equpment and building stuff… but in the grand scheme of things, once you know what you’re doing, it doesn’t give me the kind of brain challenges that I need every day. On this project, for example, the last two days were just logistical nightmares (my favorite kind) what with getting all of the right equipment to the right place, and getting all the lines and stakes where they should be. But we’ll have about one more really challenging day, and then the next week and a half will be pretty much like stacking a huge set of legos.
Only it will take a lot longer than legos, and there is always the possibility that I might lose a finger. Not that that’s anything new around here.
And of course, the other thing I hate about working on construction sites is trying to walk that fine line between staying well-hydrated and never ever having to use a port-a-pot. EVER.
Plus, while the blood of four generations of construction workers runs through my veins, deep down inside you know I’m a technology girl. And while yes, I did fall in love with the grade laser, I need my computer and spreadsheets and websites and programming. I don’t live for these things necessarily, but I can’t live without them either.
So, I am totally thrilled at the fact that during this part of my life, while I am actively searching out my dream job, I get the chance to go back to my roots and play in the sandbox with the big boys for a couple of weeks.
**If you’re all “What is that fuzzy heavenly glow on all of your pictures?” don’t worry, this isn’t a dream. My camara phone just takes crappy pictures.