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Thread: Road Workers in Seattle

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    Regular Member Beretta92FSLady's Avatar
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    Road Workers in Seattle

    So, I am sitting here at my bedroom window, not minding my own business, my window allows me to look down to 12 Avenue in Seattle. There are two steel plates that were placed over a hole yesterday that need to be welded. So, there is one man welding, and hammering, there are five rigs running, and five other guys standing around watching the other guy weld; it looks like they are shoot'n the sh*t out there, having a good-ole-time on the tax payers dime. One guy is holding a shovel, but hasn't used it the whole time he has been standing there--it appears there is no need for a shovel. All the guys are just standing there in the middle of the road with their hands in their pockets, walking in circles.

    I remember getting my first construction job when I was sixteen, my dad, and me were standing, and waiting for his boss to come, and talk to me, to hire me. I was standing there with my hands in my pockets. My dad said, "get your damn hands out of your pockets," it makes you look lazy, and like you ain't up for working your a$$ off.

    Beretta92fsLady signing off!
    Last edited by Beretta92FSLady; 04-19-2012 at 05:37 PM.
    I don't mind watching the OC-Community (tea party 2.0's, who have hijacked the OC-Community) cannibalize itself. I do mind watching OC dragged through the gutter. OC is an exercise of A Right. I choose to not OC; I choose to not own firearms. I choose to leave the OC-Community to it's own self-inflicted injuries, and eventual implosion. Carry on...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beretta92FSLady View Post
    So, I am sitting here at my bedroom window, not minding my own business, my window allows me to look down to 12 Avenue in Seattle. There are two steel plates that were placed over a hole yesterday that need to be welded. So, there is one man welding, and hammering, there are five rigs running, and five other guys standing around watching the other guy weld; it looks like they are shoot'n the sh*t out there, having a good-ole-time on the tax payers dime. One guy is holding a shovel, but hasn't used it the whole time he has been standing there--it appears there is no need for a shovel. All the guys are just standing there in the middle of the road with their hands in their pockets, walking in circles.

    I remember getting my first construction job when I was sixteen, my dad, and me were standing, and waiting for his boss to come, and talk to me, to hire me. I was standing there with my hands in my pockets. My dad said, "get your damn hands out of your pockets," it makes you look lazy, and like you ain't up for working your a$$ off.

    Beretta92fsLady signing off!
    Shovel's for leaning on. The other guys are getting a tan from the welder

    Seriously, though, I see a lot of this in construction around here and elsewhere. I don't know how much it happens, and I end up with a mixed reaction because I only see them for a couple minutes, so I'm not sure if it's actually a problem or just perception.
    "If we were to ever consider citizenship as the least bit matter of merit instead of birthright, imagine who should be selected as deserved representation of our democracy: someone who would risk their daily livelihood to cast an individually statistically insignificant vote, or those who wrap themselves in the flag against slightest slights." - agenthex

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    Regular Member Beretta92FSLady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tawnos View Post
    Shovel's for leaning on. The other guys are getting a tan from the welder

    Seriously, though, I see a lot of this in construction around here and elsewhere. I don't know how much it happens, and I end up with a mixed reaction because I only see them for a couple minutes, so I'm not sure if it's actually a problem or just perception.
    I have been under that impression as well, just driving by, and seeing them standing around. But I have been sitting here for about a half hour or so, and they are definitely shoot'n the sh*t.; and the shovel guy is actually using the shovel to hold himself up. It looks like the only time they draw their eyes away from B.S.ing is if a woman walks by--then you see a collective head-turn, then back to convo. I had worked construction for years, I know what they are talking about when they turn their head back to conversation.
    Last edited by Beretta92FSLady; 04-19-2012 at 05:43 PM.
    I don't mind watching the OC-Community (tea party 2.0's, who have hijacked the OC-Community) cannibalize itself. I do mind watching OC dragged through the gutter. OC is an exercise of A Right. I choose to not OC; I choose to not own firearms. I choose to leave the OC-Community to it's own self-inflicted injuries, and eventual implosion. Carry on...

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    Regular Member F350's Avatar
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    1} He was too using that shovel, I'll bet he was leaning on it to keep his lazy @ from falling down

    2} You should have seen Bell Co. phone workers before the break-up, Bell was guaranteed 5% return on expenses, so they hired at least twice as many people as needed. I stopped in one of the bigger gun shops in my town one day and was talking to the owner;

    I said "Gary, I really feel sorry for you".
    Gary "What do you mean"?
    Me "You must have the worst luck in the world with your phone service; every time I drive by there are at least 3 Bell Co. trucks sitting in your parking lot".

    At which point the 4 Bell Co. phone guys standing at a rack of rifles, looked up, smiled sheepishly but kept on looking at rifles.

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    Regular Member Beretta92FSLady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by F350 View Post
    [snippers]

    At which point the 4 Bell Co. phone guys standing at a rack of rifles, looked up, smiled sheepishly but kept on looking at rifles.
    They were probably getting plenty of OT.
    I don't mind watching the OC-Community (tea party 2.0's, who have hijacked the OC-Community) cannibalize itself. I do mind watching OC dragged through the gutter. OC is an exercise of A Right. I choose to not OC; I choose to not own firearms. I choose to leave the OC-Community to it's own self-inflicted injuries, and eventual implosion. Carry on...

  6. #6
    Herr Heckler Koch
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    I used to watch welders make OT and backshift differential while filling a 45 kerf in hot 2-inch HY-80. It was a tough and dirty job but someone had to do it - and get paid for it too.

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    Regular Member Dave in Edmonds's Avatar
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    Capitol Hill? Who woulda guessed?

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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beretta92FSLady View Post
    So, I am sitting here at my bedroom window, not minding my own business, my window allows me to look down to 12 Avenue in Seattle. There are two steel plates that were placed over a hole yesterday that need to be welded. So, there is one man welding, and hammering, there are five rigs running, and five other guys standing around watching the other guy weld; it looks like they are shoot'n the sh*t out there, having a good-ole-time on the tax payers dime. One guy is holding a shovel, but hasn't used it the whole time he has been standing there--it appears there is no need for a shovel. All the guys are just standing there in the middle of the road with their hands in their pockets, walking in circles.

    I remember getting my first construction job when I was sixteen, my dad, and me were standing, and waiting for his boss to come, and talk to me, to hire me. I was standing there with my hands in my pockets. My dad said, "get your damn hands out of your pockets," it makes you look lazy, and like you ain't up for working your a$$ off.

    Beretta92fsLady signing off!
    I am a contractor and you would only see that on my job if it was break time. You wouldn't see this blatant waste if this was being done by a private contractor, or non union contractor. And would be done for a lot cheaper.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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    Regular Member Contrarian's Avatar
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    Red face Road 'Workers'

    You made a common mistake.

    What you really saw was the badge of office; the ''Supervisory Shovel'', given
    to those in senior positions.

    Easy way to tell is to look at the shovel edge - slightly blunted from ground contact, but no usage wear.

  10. #10
    Regular Member DangerClose's Avatar
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    Video it and contact the local news and whoever else wants to listen.

    My neighbor does construction-type stuff. He loves government contracts because they pay 3x as much as private ones.

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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DangerClose View Post
    Video it and contact the local news and whoever else wants to listen.

    My neighbor does construction-type stuff. He loves government contracts because they pay 3x as much as private ones.
    I bid a few federally backed projects at one time, the mandatory man power and superfluous add ons was ridiculous. And the pay would have been great had I got the jobs.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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    Regular Member Beretta92FSLady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sudden valley gunner View Post
    I bid a few federally backed projects at one time, the mandatory man power and superfluous add ons was ridiculous. And the pay would have been great had I got the jobs.
    I bid a couple of jobs when I owned my construction business, there is a lot of money in those types of bids.--especially when it got to add-ons, well...
    I don't mind watching the OC-Community (tea party 2.0's, who have hijacked the OC-Community) cannibalize itself. I do mind watching OC dragged through the gutter. OC is an exercise of A Right. I choose to not OC; I choose to not own firearms. I choose to leave the OC-Community to it's own self-inflicted injuries, and eventual implosion. Carry on...

  13. #13
    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beretta92FSLady View Post
    I bid a couple of jobs when I owned my construction business, there is a lot of money in those types of bids.--especially when it got to add-ons, well...
    We both like pie and have been associated with construction! Another thing in common!
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

  14. #14
    Regular Member Beretta92FSLady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sudden valley gunner View Post
    We both like pie and have been associated with construction! Another thing in common!
    We both like firearms!
    I don't mind watching the OC-Community (tea party 2.0's, who have hijacked the OC-Community) cannibalize itself. I do mind watching OC dragged through the gutter. OC is an exercise of A Right. I choose to not OC; I choose to not own firearms. I choose to leave the OC-Community to it's own self-inflicted injuries, and eventual implosion. Carry on...

  15. #15
    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beretta92FSLady View Post
    We both like firearms!
    Very true! I totally missed the obvious one.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beretta92FSLady View Post
    My dad said, "get your damn hands out of your pockets," it makes you look lazy, and like you ain't up for working your a$$ off.

    Beretta92fsLady signing off!
    I love that line. Your dad is a smart man.
    Last edited by macnorman; 04-26-2012 at 11:59 AM.

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    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beretta92FSLady View Post
    So, there is one man welding, and hammering, there are five rigs running, and five other guys standing around watching the other guy weld; it looks like they are shoot'n the sh*t out there, having a good-ole-time on the tax payers dime. One guy is holding a shovel, but hasn't used it the whole time he has been standing there--it appears there is no need for a shovel. All the guys are just standing there in the middle of the road with their hands in their pockets, walking in circles.
    I can't speak for them, but I was on several jobs in my youth during which we worked ******** and elbows when we could, but had to wait for some technician or specialist to finish doing their job before we could resume.

    A perfect foreman can schedule 100% effort from each and every employee 100% of the time. A decent foreman is lucky to figure out how to schedule 30%-60% effectiveness from his workers. A good foreman can increase that to 60%-80%. A great foreman can squeak out 80% to 95% because he both selects and motivates workers who'll help him figure out most of what's left.

    As a lifeguard, I spent 29% of my time doing nothing but soaking up rays while waiting and watching for the 1% of the time where I needed to leap into action.

    Another 29% of our time was spent cleaning, scrubbing and rearranging the pool, its grounds, and furniture, and providing maintenance from routine.

    The "final" 29% was usually spent grabbing a quick couple of laps, a meal, negotiating work schedules, going over routine points in training, conversing with the pool patrons and their guests, and sometimes we actually sat down and rested! Or, as Beretta92FSLady might put it, we "leaned on our shovels."

    That still leaves 13%. For the few of us who "felt like it and were mechanically inclined" we did rather extensive maintenance and repair of pumps, filters, gauges, lines, equipment, water coolers, snack machines, even preparing sidewalk and deck concrete pours and finishing. This brought up our workload up to full capacity. I probably violated a dozen contracts in my time, but (1) I didn't know about contracts back then and (2) I'm sure I saved management tons of money, so they looked the other way. At one point I was elevated to a "pool consultant" level where management would pay me double time to work overtime, on my day off, to "rescue" problem pools, which I was usually able to do in one or two days.

    That took care of 10%, but that last 3%? Most of that involved riding herd on kids, disciplinary conference talks with both kids and their parents, and filling out paperwork.

    For the last smidgeon, perhaps 1/10th of 1%, I did a total of five times in four years of lifeguarding my way through college. Two involved diving board mishaps. One involved a toddler wandering over the edge. The fourth involved some kid running over to where another lifeguard had just poured concentrated sulfuric acid onto a blemished patch of concrete and stepping in it to see what it was like -- I simply scooped him up, got wet, and we went for a 15-minute swim together.

    The fifth was a real nightmare, a very serious, potentially lethal leak in the gaseous chlorination system that required immediate evacuation of the entire recreation club area, the immediate (and chlorine gas immersed) rescue of the lifeguard who'd inadvertently caused the leak, a temporary repair of the leak, evacuation and emergency treatment of myself, and follow-up with local fire/rescue. The lifeguard was taken to the hospital and released eight hours later. I was fine after being rubbed down with baking soda (counters the dissolved acidic effects of chlorine gas on the skin) followed by a subsequent application of aloe. The pool was reopened in less than 1 hour, with the gaseous chlorination system disabled until inspection and repair by certified individuals and we switched to our backup system of 30% liquid sodium hypochlorite (10 times more potent than household bleach). Today, because of the hazards of that solution, they use between 10% and 20% solution.

    My point in all this? In our capitalistic society, companies who're inefficient in the gainful employment of their workers will quickly go broke! The next time you casually see an employee "sitting on their ass," just ask yourself if you've actually observed them over the last eight, ten, or twelve hours. Were they most sitting on their butts during that time? What percentage of the time were they actually working? etc.

    *****

    Meanwhile, while flying combat missions in Iraq, we had a down day ever other day. Had Beretta92FSLady observed us during our "down day," they might have written up a storm, much as did the media after Hillary Clinton's recent "night" (actually, about 1.5 hrs) out with friends and a beer.

    Before you think this a "juicy" assignment, think this: We had no beer in Iraq, but our "day off" might seem like la-la land to Beretta92FSLady had he seen us jogging around the compound or playing a pick-up game of touch football. I doubt he would have considered the 16-20 hr flying days every other day with an average of 5 hrs of "light, self and command-directed duty" during which we'd take care of physical conditioning, the study of regulations, and rotating support shifts at the squadron, which themself including manning radios, crew driver, water/meal hauler, squadron scheduler, regs monitor, adjutant, and a host of others.

    Bottom line:
    - 18 hrs/day flying the line, post-breakfast to post-debrief ever other day. That comes to an average of 9 hrs/day
    - 5 hrs/day duty on non-flying days. That comes to an average of 2.5 hrs/day

    Total time: 11.5 hrs/day, but by the time you add the unofficial time we same-billeted crews wound up discussing rules, regs, and procedures off the books, it was well beyond 13 hrs a day.

    And yes, combat troops are required by law to work up to but no more than 12 hrs/day, except under exceptional combat-related circumstances, and yes, I experienced my fair share of those, which required us to fly upwards of either three 18 hr missions in a row with just 8 hrs down between, or up to 24 hrs straight followed by some much needed downtime in excess of 12 hrs.

    So, at 11.5 hrs/day, there wasn't much room for surge, but we gave it our all.

    And yes, dammit! Sometimes I laid down on that ramp or on top of a pile of cargo (ramp was too hot) for a few minutes in the relatively cool 110 deg shade and "leaned against my shovel" while I allowed my brain cells and their associated chemicals a chance to regroup for half an hour for the second nine hours of our crew duty day. The pilots usually sweated it out in the sun-driven heat up front, but they usually weren't back with myself and our loadmasters pushing cargo on and off between legs, either. Bottom line, we all usually wound up pulling one another's fat out of the fire sooner or later. That's what combat is: A team coming together to accomplish the mission.

    Meanwhile, back in Seattle...

    I recall once bristling at the fact that a certain cement company was charging me by the hour as I watched them arrive, mix, pour, and smooth the concrete slab that had been destroyed by Hurricane Fran in 1996. A day later, I sat down, calculator in hand, and figured out how long it would have taken me to do the same, whether I'd mixed it in my wheel-barrow, rented a small, medium, or large mixer, or simply had them dump the entire load for me to float.

    And I smiled. I realized I was bristling most when some of them were leaning against their shovels! Yet all they were doing was waiting for another, non-concurrent task to be completed so they could dive into their own jobs. And they did.

    Because of my experience on these and many other front-line jobs, as well as the fact that I've made this same mistake several times over myself, I don't have a lot of respect or understanding for folks who continue to point out "they were just leaning on their shovels."
    Last edited by since9; 04-30-2012 at 05:58 AM.
    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and our United States Constitution, and help We the People protect ourselves in the spirit of our Declaration of Independence.

  18. #18
    Regular Member jbone's Avatar
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    That's an excellent story and reminder of how Unions are ripping us off. I have to assume city workers, Union?

    Those ass hats protesting in Seattle today should stop by a Union Hall and voice their displeasure over the royal shaft Unions are giving other tax payers in America.

  19. #19
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    I don't bemoan construction workers out there working slowly or plain-old standing around. I've done my share of work outdoors enough to know that the older you get, the more you pace yourself because you may not feel heatstroke building up. In the south, it's hot and it's humid. People don't move fast down here during those conditions (Oh, you can try, just drink lots of water and know that it's going to come out quickly in sweat and urine), least of all when doing manual labor.

    If the boss-man thinks he's dragging, that's between him and the boss. For all I know, I just spotted them going on break.
    It takes a village to raise an idiot.

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