Saturday, July 19, 2008

Building Labouring.

Montmarcey did some building labouring work ealier this week to earn some cash to fund his nursing habit. They only wanted me for three days. Bastards. They could have told me before I started.

Building labouring is not fun. It makes you tired, but the thought of getting a bit of cash at the end of it is nice. We were stripping out a house and replacing everything, pipework, doors, floors, plastering. My job was to carry things and sweep, both of which I can do to a proffessional standard. At one point I had to demolish some bricks from out of a fire place, for which I used a crow bar, which was nice, but then I had to carry the bricks outside and sweep up a lot of soot, which wasn't.

It was all very Ragged trousered philanthropist, apart from the fact that we didn't all sit around with tea and talk politics. Instead, we sat around with red bull while the Estonians talked Estonian and I tried to communicate with a nice bloke from Romania. All I could think of was to say Chowchescu (Not sure how this is spelled.) and give the thumbs down sign with a grin. He liked that and gave me a Romanian ciggarette. Later on I gave him a Drum rolly, which he agreed was stonger and ultimately more manly.

Safety on a building site is very important. It you're wearing safety boots, a high visibility vest and a hard hat you become immuned to everything. Birck dust, soot, cement dust and all manner of floaty carcinogens are all repelled, wobbly chairs used in the place of step ladders become more stable and electricity from the plug situated next to the water pipe loses the ability to conduct itself through your tender organs. It's all very reassuring.

The worst thing is not having something to do. The superviser streched himself between a few sites and would pop up every now and then. He was a chilled Irish bloke, but I've had it hard wired into me that whenever the boss is there, you have to look busy. He seemed to turn up every time I rolled a ciggarrette or sat down. This fucks with your mind. Instead fo doing tasks, finishing them and feeling satified, you do tasks, finish them and feel nervous. What next? I found myself most at peace when drenched in sweat, muscles blazing and not thinking. This is not natural.

Even a small house renovation is an assembly line these days. Standard parts get put in faster than you can blink. On the last afternoon I was there, some blokes came to replace the back doors and windows. It took them two hours to knock out the old ones and put in the new ones. It takes a day to put the pipes and electrical wires in, then two or so days after that to put the floors and platerboards over the top. Each one of these tasks is carried out by a separate competeing micro business (Gang.). Roofing seems to take the longest, but when they invent a spray-on mono tile, all that will change.

No-one ever needs to look at the schematic of the house, cause they've done it all a thousand times before. The architects and Engineers just cut and paste the whole lot anyway. It would be a lovely thing to do outside of capitalism. Easy, quick, painless, now I'm off to the library thankyou very much, see you when it needs doing again. Perhaps there'd be a debate about putting a mural on one of the walls. That would be cool. Yeah. House rennovation could be truly inspirational if it weren't for those pesky capitalists.


Blogger Renegade Eye said...

Fun read.

The supervisor can rest guilt free. Getting any rest is a luxury, when workers face speedup.


9:10 PM  

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