Work

Day 1

So I had a quick little update about my first day on the job earlier, but I wanted to to give a better play by play of my first day working toward becoming an artisan concrete mogul. My day started when my alarm went off at 5am. It really wasn’t hard getting up because I was excited to see what the day would bring. We drove towards one of the places we worked at today and met up with the rest of the guys. This included my neighbor’s older brother Joe who is another owner of the company, and then three other workers: Delfino, Jose, and Jesus. Based off of first impressions Delfino is the jokester, Jose is a little more businessy with a steely glare, and Jesus is just a jovial dude who’s gonna work hard everyday. Good group of guys. They spoke Spanish most of the time which I had trouble keeping up with. I still remember a decent amount, but if I’m gonna understand them I need them to go about half speed and let me really think. I heard one of the guys say blanco once, but then he picked up a white stake so I don’t think they were making fun of me. At least not to my face. I was a little bummed out they didn’t ask me if I spoke Spanish. I was so ready to drop my prepared line on them, “Solamente un poco de la escuela.” Oh well, maybe I’ll jump in sometime when I understand what they’re talking about. Once everybody met up, me and Bossman went to meet a contractor at one project while the rest of the crew went to start working on another. I did a lot of driving around today so that meant plenty of stories. I actually didn’t realize how much work my neighbor has done. Turns out he’s worked for numerous UNC basketball players which I thought was super cool and even Roy Williams and Sylvia Hatchell, the current men’s and women’s basketball coaches. Just about everywhere we went he’d point out work he’d done including just about all of Governor’s Club, a nice golf course community near UNC Chapel Hill campus. I failed to mention that some of my Boss’s first big time work was travelling around with Jack Nicklaus working on his signature golf courses. So we checked out that first lot which didn’t even have a house on it yet, made plans to get some concrete down, and then made our way to stop number two. This was my first chance to get my hands dirty. We sealed a front yard walkway and patio area for an elderly couple. Sealing concrete is the equivalent to staining wood. It protects the concrete from the elements and also makes it look a lot nicer, bringing out the color and pattern of the concrete. I took my opportunity here to immediately break one of his paint rollers, but lucky for me it wasn’t to the point where we couldn’t use it anymore. In one day’s time I wasn’t able to fall in love with concrete, but my boss really treats it like art. It is art to him. I mentioned it in a previous post, but there’s something to be said about a guy who loves his work this much. He isn’t a direct and watch kinda boss either, he’s in there shoveling and raking and doing all the work too. After we finished that little project we went over to the main attraction. Here we had a nice house placed off the street a little ways tucked behind some trees. They were putting in a new driveway that went from the street to both the front and back of the house as well as some serious rock wall around garden areas surrounding the driveway. There were cement trucks, trucks dropping loads of rocks, and bobcats moving all day. When I got there we dug up the part of where the drive way will be around back and then evened it out to the right grade up to where the front and back sections of the driveway connect. This involved a lot of digging, a lot of moving rocks around, and plenty of measurements to make sure when the cement gets laid down it’s at the right angle to move water away from the house. That was pretty much my day. I left out the part about Rasheed’s house because I got that in my last post, but that was easily the highlight of my day. I can’t wait to meet him and I wonder who else I get the chance to meet this summer. There’s a chance I make better connections with this concrete job than I would have with any of the internships I applied for (positive thinking). Wait I’m finishing up my post and I forgot to make my Holes reference. I thought about Stanley and Zero a lot today on account of how much work I was doing with a shovel. Wasn’t the second day the worst day for the boys down at Camp Green lake? You tear up your hands with blisters the first day and then they get irritated even more on day two. After that you start working on callouses. Well they let me wear gloves here so my hands are doing alright, but this 5am wake up might get me extra good tomorrow. I’ll keep my eyes out for any yellow spotted lizards and definitely, definitely Kissin’ Kate Barlow. END

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