Working on the weekends…

Posted on August 20, 2011

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My job is typically pretty easy. Most weeks we are just steady, not busy…just steady.

Our (by our I mean myself and Homero Tijerina) slowest day is monday. Our job is a support role. Monday it doesn’t seem like anyone does very much. Therefore there is nothing to support. It makes Monday’s very slow. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are average. Thursdays we normally run all day. I guess it’s because no body did anything on Monday and they are trying to make up for it. If we work Fridays and Saturdays we are ‘slammed.’ It is because we only go if there is actually something to do…as opposed to we go to work on monday, regardless of whether or not there is anything to do.

So we worked today, only half a day. And we actually had to work. They are moving some portable office buildings to a complex BP (british petroleum) owns off the refinery site. So we didn’t actually work in the refinery. I like not working in the refinery. We didn’t even wear hard hats. (the BP job rep was smoking, figured all safety bets were off) I rolled up the sleeves of my FRC’s coveralls. I wanted to just take them off. They are SOOOOO hot. Didnt figure I should push it that far. Anyhow, we were laying out the four corners of where the building were going to go, just to make sure they were going to miss all the underground utilities.

There are some times in life where you are really called to question the path your feet have taken you in…

It happened to me twice yesterday.

First was before lunch. We were shooting some centerlines and elevations for a retaining wall. I was sitting in about a three-foot wide, by three-foot deep by sixty feet long trench. It smelled of a mixture of gasoline (all three grades), diesel, crude oil (if you never smelled it, I can’t describe it), hydrofluoric acid (it had the smell of the alky3 unit is all I know), and fried chicken. Yes I said fried chicken. Disturbingly enough that is what the Power2 unit smells like. The combination is just gross. Some liquid is oozing up from the ground….I didn’t look at it long enough to determine the color or consistency. And did I mention that it was HOT. Sweat had blurred my glasses. I was soaked in sweat. My hard hat was dripping from the brim. And I had pushed one of my earplugs in to far, so my ear was hurting. (they are kind of fanatical about ear plugs so i didnt dare pull it out to readjust) And a steam release valve seemed to be following me around. And as I sat on the ground, wallowing in self-pity, I began to ponder the path of my feet.

Second time was after lunch. It turned out I just thought it was hot before lunch. We were laying out a stair pad for a storage tank. Of course on the west side (read…where the sun is at). This paticular tank has unearthly high dike wall around it. I guess they want to make sure that no wind got in there….man were they successful. So I am kneeling on the ground, it’s just crushed limestone, (like our church parking lot) driving some nails to mark the centerlines. And the ground is SO HOT it is literally painful on my legs. And I have a pair of blue jeans and coveralls over my jeans on. It was seriously as hot as I ever remember being. All the tools and the equipment we use, we bordering on too hot to touch as a result of being in the sun. I am crouching there, trying to stay perfectly still. Telling myself that I am sure it takes longer for Homer to take the shot when I am uncomfortable. They have sent people home last winter because it was too cold. They send people home because it is sprinkling at 6:30am. I think when the Heat Index is over 105F they should send us home too…with pay of course. What??? Does stuff have to start randomly explode into flames?? I figure if they are having to spray fire hydrants on unit equipment to keep it cool…it has got to be too hot to work. Anyhow, once again I found myself pondering the path of my feet.

How long till it cools off so I can complain that I am cold???? I am ready for that now….

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Posted in: Work