Monday, March 29, 2010

Asphalt Dudes

There is a man-hole cover in front of my house. Usually we don’t even notice. Usually it’s a non-issue. But for some reason, last week, the county decided that they needed to dig a circular trench around the cover. Then they needed to make the trench about a foot deep. The trench then sat for a few days, exposed, with the only safety precaution being an orange cone to mark the location.

Yesterday, they came back out after their 2 day hiatus to finish the job. First they made the circle a little wider. Then they shoveled some asphalt into the trench. Then they brushed off the very top of the man-hole cover. Then they smoothed the asphalt in the trench with a shovel. Then they swept the street and pushed the extra asphalt into the filled-in trench. Then they used a thing that looked like a small lawn mower, but apparently it’s a steam iron to iron the asphalt flat into the hole.

And how many men do you suppose it takes to do a job like this? Well, I’ll tell you. It takes one to drive the truck and then he hops out to widen the circle. (Impressive multi-talented dude.) It takes one to stand in the bed of the truck and shovel the asphalt into the trench. (We’ll call him asphalt thrower guy…as. thrower for short.) One is in charge of the brushing (as. brusher), one is in charge of the smoothing (as. smoother), one is in charge of the sweeping (as. sweeper), and one is in charge of the ironing (iron as.). Then two more pull up in another truck. One was the as. foreman, maybe? The other one was just there to talk, apparently. So, the answer is, it takes 8 men to do this job. Each one some sort of as. generalist. (Not one of those jobs looked very specialized.)

I suspect there was one more worker who did not show himself yesterday. And his job is to spy on the home that the man-hole cover is in front of. He watches and observes and studies until he knows just when it would be the most obnoxious time for them to do their slow, noisy work. And he makes a detailed report for the rest of the as-es, and that’s when they work in front of our house. In our case, they came every morning at nap time (and of course, Marlo’s room is at the front of the house…no amount of white noise loud enough to drown out their racket) and they stayed the length of her sleep “window”. When she was beyond tired and could no longer go to sleep, then they would move on.

Bitter? Yes, I am because now I have a cranky, teething 18 month old who is off her nap schedule. If they come back because they didn’t do the job right, guess what? One of those as-es is going down the man-hole—and before he can get back up I will then show them how ONE person can do the job in 10 minutes…all courtesy of the lady of the house.

(8 men, 6 days, 1 man-hole—my a$$!)

Posted by The Editor for Busy Body.

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