Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Laborers, Laboring

This week's Round Robin Photo Challenge, "Labor", was suggested by Robbie, of "Robbie's Ruminations."  The game is to post your entry on each theme sometime on the designated day, midnight to midnight.  See the link for details on how to play along!

This one is not going to be my usual over-the-top, pull out the stops extravaganza.  I had an idea about how to make it more interesting, but the person I wanted to photograph and write about had tonight off.  Drat!  I should have remembered that, and grabbed him early.  Maybe I'll add C's story tomorrow night.

1.  Road Crew.

Go around him!

laborers, laboring

more labor


Yes, I know it's a cliché, but here are some pictures of the road crew that was working on the end of Fifth Street at Wilmot last week.  I think they may be done with that stretch now, but I honestly haven't paid attention this week to find out. I've been distracted by other construction.  Wilmot has been a mess for the past few days, with heavy rush hour traffic backed up in both directions due to lane closures.  The spots being worked on are fifty feet long at the most, but traffic backs up for half a mile as people try to guess which lane will get them to work (or home) the fastest.  Should they opt for the very-full middle lane, so that they can scoot either right or left when a break in the traffic opens up?  Should they drive in the lane that's clearly marked as being closed up ahead, trusting that they can merge at the last minute in front of some patsy?  Or should they hit the closest lane to their destination, and stay there if possible?  Too many people, in my opinion, go for the inconsiderate but effective second option.

waiting to flag again.

the fun part of the job.

This is probably the "fun" part of this guy's job.  Still, I imagine even waving a flag in traffic gets tiring and tiresome after a while, especially in 108 degree heat.

There's been a lot of talk here about the danger than Tucson drivers pose for traffic construction workers.  I believe it.  I cross Wilmot quite often, and it's always kind of a dangerous thing to do.  I wait for the WALK signal and then break into a slow run, watching carefully as the cars pull forward beside me.  Because there's no left turn arrow and everyone's in a hurry, most of the time at least one driver ignores Karen the Pedestrian, and turns left immediately in front of her.  I often notice that people are talking on the phone as they do this.  If I'm suddenly killed one of these days, you'll know it's because some driver was even more reckless than usual.  Would they respect me if I wore an orange vest?  I doubt it.  Some of the people who nearly run me down are probably my co-workers.

2.  Paper Pushing

my desk

I did a good job of pushing papers around today!

The only physical labor I do at work, aside from the long, dangerous, hot walk between my car and my desk, involves moving papers around.  I've noticed that a significant number of people at Unnamed Largish Company are fat like me, some even more so. I applaud the company's lack of prejudice against the large, but it makes me wonder whether obesity is really getting as endemic as the media keeps reporting it is.  It certainly seems that way. I look at pictures of me in 1970 through 1972, and I wonder how I could have been considered fat at the time.  But I was.  The standards have certainly changed!  Models are still expected to be practically anorexic, and lead actresses are usually as perfectly proportioned as ever; but about half of the people I see in everyday life now are significantly overweight.  Is it because we're all pushing papers and pixels instead of brooms and shovels?

3.  Mold Test

the mold lady    The mold lady at work.   

Donna here has a job that's a good balance between physical labor and technical and intellectual skill.  She's the certified mold inspector I had in last week.  Although the actual results come from an accredited lab, not her individual office, she needs to be able to observe conditions throughout the building being inspected, identify potential trouble spots, and collect both air and surface samples according to very specific protocols.  She does this inside and out, lugging her special equipment around as needed.  Donna struck me as knowledgeable, competent and friendly, which made the difficult circumstances (snags in the refi) easier to take.

Let's see if I have the fair-mindedness to still say nice things about her when the tests come back!

Speaking of refi woes, the roof guy showed up this morning, unannounced, unexpected and when nobody was home.  I'd been warned that that was how they worked, but I expected him later in the week.  His voicemail said that both parts of the roof were nearing the end of their life expectancy, and should be replaced in the next two years. This was a major blow to John, who's been patching the roof for the past couple of days.  He doesn't think it's that bad. I should make him listen to the voicemail for the expert opinion. 

Fortunately, a co-worker advises me that the bank can write up the loan agreement so that money is set aside to pay for the new roof.  I left a message for my mortgage person, asking to do just that.  But phooey!  And I STILL haven't  remembered to call the appraiser about the furnace thing.

(Update:  the bank people are going to ask the appraiser to come back out and verify the furnace himself.  Should take him two minutes!)

4.  Sorry for Labor Day?

Who is sorry that we are closed on Labor Day?  I know I'm not!  (Incidentally, the labor pool at work is much more diverse than this clip art seems to indicate. Also, one of the clipart people looks just like my second-favorite accounting instructor.  Weird, huh?) 


Now go visit the rest of the Robins:

Robbie:   POSTED!

Carly: POSTED!

Karen:   POSTED!

Chris: will be posting Sunday 9/4/05

Betty: * POSTED!

Kell:   POSTED!

Mary:   POSTED!


Renee: * POSTED!


Dawn:   POSTED!



Celeste:   POSTED!


Phinney: POSTED!


Derek:   POSTED!

Steven:   POSTED!

Becky: ADDED!


ondinemonet said...

Hi Karen :)

I love the different looks at labor in different fields. :) I always enjoy seeing the town area, this looked like it was a very nice day to be working outdoors. :)

Always, Carly :)

gaboatman said...

Nice job, but now you have me wondering what we missed had C been on duty.  You be careful crossing those streets!  

ryanagi said...

Loads of labor going on here. Crossing my fingers for your mold testing and refi.

krobbie67 said...

Not over the top? Hmmm.... LOL! You definitely cover all the possibilities with this one. I love the traffice pics. I almost picked that as my muse but missed out because I had to be somewhere. :-) ---Robbie

csandhollow said...

Wow Covered a lot of labor there!

photographybymon said...

Whew, that made me hot looking at those poor guys in the hot weather, on the pavement. Great shots!


auburndawn said...

I used to want to work on a road crew... can you believe it?  Back when I wasn't afraid of skin cancer, heat stroke, and bad knees. lol.  It's a good thing everyone doesn't whine like me or we'd still be driving down dirt roads! lol!  Great subject!

sassydee50 said...

Karen~Great entry, as usual, I give you the most thorough and diverse award! heehee. Love that sign at the end of the entry! Have a good weekend & give the paper pushin a rest! :-) Sassy