Tuesday, January 31, 2006


Busy, busy, busy… This week started just where last week finished – just different locations. This week’s adventure in carpentry involves the remodeling of a French restaurant. The structure was originally built in 1905. The age may give you some insight into the degree of dry rot and termite damage that pervades the building. Once again, I am working for Mark Highlove. Mark’s take on it is: “When we started tearing it apart to see what was keeping it from falling down, we saw that all the termites were holding hands.” I laughed and added: “And the reason why they are holding hands is love, love is keeping that building from collapsing.”

This gig would be 100% supercool if were not for the unrealistic owners. They desperately want to have it ready to open this Friday. Meanwhile, the amount of work is ridiculous. The owner’s brother has been contributing his time to try to help expedite the process. His construction experience started 30 days ago and so I was a bit surprised when he said: “How can we make the siding go up quicker.” In retrospect, I realize that I should have not said anything but the fact that we are doing finish work and waving a nail gun around – which means there’s a high danger factor – well, it all adds up to: we are cranking this shit out as fast as we can without it looking like crap.

So, I work all day with Anthony, who has a great deal of experience putting up siding. Anthony’s also funny and so we spend the day laughing while we work – maybe this is something that the rush-rush dude doesn’t like. Anthony even started calling me “Sniper”. This comes from the possibility of me shooting nails into the next room if I miss the 2 by 4 which is part of the frame, spaced every 16 inches. At the end of the day, the drywaller dude was full of praise that no nails went thru – he said that he was worrying about being shot all day.

While we were all putting the tools away, Mark turned to the rush-rush dude and said: “So, are you happy with the progress we made today?”

Rush-rush immediately responds: “No, I think the siding needs to be put up faster. I don’t see how it is going to get done. Before you leave, can you come up and talk to us about it and about where we are financially.

When I get outside, the steam comes out of my brain and we discuss the snub amongst ourselves. The psychologist in me knows that we are the obvious scapegoats. The barnyard pecking order mentality is evident. Meanwhile, the other carpenters – including Highlove