Sheet Rock

March 3rd, 2008

The sheet rock is going up, very slowly. But I have gotten used to the slow building pace. There are even some good things to be said about slow building. You can make changes and it is no big deal. You can move outlets from one side of the house to the other. You could even re-wire and or re-plumb the ENTIRE house. There is never really a rush. You also get to know the men working on your house.

Out here in these parts we don’t have many big sheet rock crews, roofing crews, or electric crews – and our contractor seems to prefer the single man operation when subcontracting out jobs. So these various subcontractors are around for several days to weeks, depending on the task, and you get to know them. There are certain advantages to this. They can’t get really angry with you for asking them to move that light fixture just a little more to the right – and then the next day maybe just seven more inches to the right and then the next day. I think I liked it better in the first location… if they know they have to see you the next day and the next day and the next day. You learn to get along.

The country doctor and I were visiting the work site together and the builders and the electrician were taking their morning break with a box of donuts and coffee. They were talking about sheet rockers and how difficult their job is. Lifting the 9′ X 4′ sheets overhead and holding them in place, while screwing it in – even with the proper tools this is a back breaking job.

The country doctor mentioned that he takes care of a few men who have bad backs, bad ankles, spongy knees, crackly hips, elbow no bendo, necks that have gone soggy, and fingers that hang uselessly from their hands. He asks them what they do for a living.

“Sheetrock”.

Then Larry the electrician piped up. He said that he knew of a small wiry fellow who amazed him with his ability to lift the heavy boards of sheet rock and install it. One day he asked the man how he did it? The man replied…

“Sometimes I fill my shorts with blood.”

And so with that bit of wisdom , the coffee break came to an end.