Tom Watson wrote:
<<The happiest day of my life was when I had become too valuable to be
sent for coffee. That was before Self Esteem was even invented.<<
Sombitch... I just about fell off my chair when I read that. No
I remember going to the convenience store to get coffee, cigarettes,
and ALWAYS winding up short. I was so intimidated by the guys I worked
with I made it up out of my own pocket on laborer's wages.
I think of the guys that would break the bands on a lift of 2X4s and
have me carry 140 out of 144 to where they were working across the site
while the forklift sat in the shade. I remember being told every day
with complete conviction on the part of the tellers that I was so damn
stupid that I should consider myself lucky, no... privileged that they
would explain ANYTHING to me.
I remember when they started to let me eat lunch with them. The first
times I got to drive the crew truck; the first time I was left "in
charge" for an hour or two. And then finally after about 9 to 10
months I was invited to go for a beer after work. I wasn't invited to
stay, but I had a couple and then was chased off.
Damn that was all a long time ago. It almost seems like another person
as I sit here in front of the computer on Sunday night, instead of
being outside on the patio with a beer sharpening my steel blades
(wellllll before carbide) getting ready for the week.
But now things have changed. My guys all cost too much for me to have
any goofing around "dogging" the new guys. And now I have learned the
hard way, that the old ways that we were brought up into on the job
site are offenses for which you can be fined or sued. I have been
before the Texas Workforce Commission enough times to learn the ropes.
So none of that hazing exists on my jobs anymore for a lot of reasons.
Besides, all the folks that come out to work today simply won't
tolerate any "injustices" from their employers.
Thanks for the memories Tom... now knock it off. I can feel a funk
coming on. I really miss some of the old guys I worked with after I
finally became an accepted member of their community. Some were really
good guys, and it meant a lot to me to gain some respect from them.