Hard Hat Encounters

I started working for a construction company the other day. Between school semesters I look for work to carry us through the summer. I had been looking for work and was getting some yards to mow, then this job on the clean-up crew came up.

The project is a ten-story building in our area. I clean up debris, trash and litter, sweep halls and rooms, and clean the bathroom. It’s hot and dirty but it is a job. I work from 7am to 5pm, four days a week and 7am to 3:30pm two days a week.

This is the first time I have ever worked construction. The work is not terribly hard but we stay busy and it is incredibly hot.

I have driven past this construction site a hundred times. I have thought about the building but have never given a thought to the men who are building the building.

There are opportunities to talk with men on the job throughout the course of the day, but it’s during breaks and at lunch that I am really getting to know a number of the workers.

The men come from a variety of backgrounds. I hear them talking about their wives, girlfriends, children, and for some, their prison experiences. The men are friendly, they share their food around the table, they are funny and they give me safety tips and advice on how to do my job better.

My summer labor experience is giving me a greater appreciation for working men and their often un-noticed, and most times, unappreciated work.

After this summer on a construction site, I hope to be much more sensitive to and supportive of America’s working men, men who work long and hard to support the people they love, pave the roads that we drive on to get to our meetings, and build the buildings in which we conduct our business once we have arrived at our destination.

Working among working men, being “one of them,” is proving to be good for me.

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One Comment on “Hard Hat Encounters”

  1. Ariel West Says:

    touching story…
    and yes, lunch is for learning in the construction business…

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