Sunday, July 20, 2008

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Nail Guns, Pick-up Trucks and the Housing Market

Anybody See Where That Nail Went?

Thanks to Michael Morse from Rescuing Providence for the photo.

I printed it out and tacked it up on the bulletin board in the trailer at work right next to the OSHA poster and just south of the tool supply calendar with the semi-naked lady on it.

Reactions from the crew range from…

“Ouchie, Momma!”

“Holy sh*t!”

“At least he used a galvanized nail.”

“That’s one way to get some extra zinc in your diet.”

And my favorite…

“Shoot yourself in the knee? That’s nothing. Anybody can do that. Shoot yourself in the foot. Now that takes marksmanship.”

Anybody Need a New Ride?

Speaking of the bulletin board at work, Bubba has a 1974 Ford F150 For Sale or Trade.

Needs a little TLC, but runs good.

Call after 5:00.

(Just between me and you… it needs a lot more than a little TLC.)

Anybody Need a New Home?

The housing crunch is hard on the construction industry. We’re still building houses, but for how long is anybody’s guess. Sixty percent of the new homes in the development we’re building are as yet unsold. Hard to believe seeing as they are so upscale…

They do manage to sell one once in awhile, but not at the same pace of a few years ago.

I’m certain I’ll have a job through the rest of summer, but some of the full-time guys are speculating that they’ll be living on unemployment come winter. I hope for their sake they’re wrong, but I won’t be surprised if they’re not.

I would think first time homebuyers should be able to pick up a bargain right about now.

Monday, July 7, 2008

On the job training

It occurs to me after reading over my last post that I failed to explain that I work as a carpenter building houses.

I originally got this job because the guy I was rooming with at the time was a full-time carpenter. I didn’t know much about building houses, but he assured me that the only skill I needed to know was not to shoot myself in the foot with the nail gun.

Since then I’ve learned that that isn’t exactly so, but I’ve been able to pick up a lot by way of on-the-job training.

I’ve worked for the same building contractor the past four summers. Last summer I even had my own crew, which meant I was able to make more money. This summer however, I’m getting a late start and won’t be able to work but a couple of months so I’m working for one of my former guys on his crew.

I don’t mind switching roles with him. He’s a sharp guy and knows his stuff. Pay cut is no fun though.

Naturally they nicknamed me “Doc” the first summer when I made the mistake of telling everyone I was pre-med.

And of course, everyone just assumes I’m going into gynecology. (Turns out to be the construction worker’s dream job.)

I get the usual ribbing like today during lunch break Bubba (who weighs about 300 lbs.) asked me if I would take a look at his hemorrhoids. Just as he feigned like he was about to drop his trousers right then and there I told him, “Hang on, I’ll do you one better. Let me get a blowtorch and heat up this screwdriver and we’ll just cauterize that bad boy.”

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

Sorry I haven’t been posting as much lately. I been working the past couple of weeks (when the weather cooperates) and I haven’t felt much like doing anything except sleep when I get home.

I considered doing a research project this summer, but figured this will probably be the last opportunity to save up some extra mad money to get me through the rest of med school.

I work construction and the physical labor along with the hot sun really takes it out of you by the end of the day. Especially if you’re a pasty soft med student whose been sitting on his duff all winter long.

I’m starting to get back into the swing of things now. I’m not nearly as tired this week. The first two weeks my tail was dragging.

It’s a good job but I wouldn’t want to do this for a career. It pays really well and beats a lot of other summer jobs out there. I definitely wouldn’t want to do this in the winter.