Monday, March 06, 2006


The weeks went flying by and the Leon Apartments were about to become history. I had my first pay raise at 3 months and I had learned to hold my own in lunch time conversations. My tools now had a respectable patina of use on them. I was learning every day. All was well.

So well in fact that I (We) was going to get married. With the money I was making with two jobs, and with Laurae’s job, we certainly could afford it. Wedding planning went into high gear.

And shortly before our wedding, I learned a new word; layoff. The company that I worked for, Modern Drywall Systems had a temporary shortage of work. No one had told me about this! What was I supposed to do? I was about to get married and I didn’t have a job?

Marshall assured me that work would pick up and that I would soon be employed again. In fact, he and his wife came to our wedding. The wedding with an unemployed groom!

Marshall was right and it wasn’t long before I was back on a jobsite with Alex, Bob, Blackey and “Pattycake” Celmer. The job wasn’t a big project like the apartments; it was a shoe store. (Kinney’s) And it was a “Nail-on” job. Until this job, I had been working with metal lathing studs. Now we were working with wood framing and it was a completely different ball game. We didn’t use screws and screw guns to fasten the material, we had to nail it. And we were expected to do it very fast! The apartment job had been a Time and Material job, with the owner paying for it all; no matter how long it took. Now we had jobs with fixed price contracts and speed became a priority.

This was when I decided that Alex must hate me…From the moment I arrived in the morning until the minute we quit for the day; he was riding me! Faster! Faster! What’s taking you so long? C’mon…get going! And I couldn’t seem to do anything right. You dummy!

After a few days of this kind of treatment, I decided that I wasn’t going to let him do this to me. I was going to be faster…fast enough to beat him and make him take back those things he had been saying about me.

(Eventually I learned that this was exactly what Alex was trying to make me do…)

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