The Words of Kabutroid
Thankfully, the majority of the people I work with fall into the last category, and the middle option I come across when having to deal with other companies, not my own boss. That guy's awesome, and falls well into the last panel.
Also, wish I could be updating more often, but seeing as how all of this is fairly new to me, it takes a bit of time for me to experience things, and thus come up with comics for it. Generally in construction, everything moves slower.
And I'm sure there's at least a few people (maybe not ones that read this comic, but you get the idea) that see road workers or the like sitting down and complain "Well, THEY'RE not doing anything... no wonder it takes forever for things to get fixed!"
This is partially true, but to a significantly smaller degree than most people think. Building or fixing things takes *TIME*. It's not like in an office, where a single file can be processed in 5 minutes or whatever. It's not like there's a constant, frenetic rushing at all moments of the day. Need to thread the ends of a lot of steel pipe? Hey, guess what, it's not like that stuff is produced pre-threaded... nor should it, since there's an extraordinarily good chance that you don't need that exact default size of pipe length. Threading the ends of a few dozen pipes could easily take a full 8-hour day. From an outside perspective, does it look like anything's been done? Of course not! But it's been prepped to *actually* use now. And it's not like you can just slap them in one after the other, *bang*, *bang*, *bang*, *bang*, *bang*, done. This is meticulous business... we can't have leaks. This is natural gas we're talking about here! We have to move things gently... yes, even several hundred pound steel pipes. Drop one end and damage the threading? Well, now the end needs to be cut off and re-threaded. And hangers need to be installed in the ceiling for it to sit on (and those skyjacks don't exactly go at mach 1 either). And the threads need to be teflon-coated to seal it. And tightened to hell and back. And we can only handle ONE of those at a time... not like more can be installed unless the one we're working on is done first.
But I'm complaining about imaginary things (to me). I don't see or deal with people making these complaints, I've just heard them many a time over the years from people LOOKING at construction workers.
And we DO get breaks too. It's not like we can eat at our desk, or in a lunch room. Odds are we're parking our asses right where our work is, and eating there.
So the next time you see construction workers "slacking", give them a break. This shit is neither easy nor fast, so stop expecting it to be either or both. That's not to say there isn't slackers... by all means there is (although I haven't really encountered any thus far, which is why they weren't given a frame in the comic)... but every time you see a construction worker *not* doing something at that particular moment you look at them, there's a VERY good chance that they've actually been working quite hard up until that short break they're taking.
All that aside, I'm actually enjoying the work quite a bit. As I've said, it's a lot more slow and meticulous, you feel like you're *actually* accomplishing something rather than processing some file and sending it away to be someone else's problem. In construction, it *IS* your problem, start to finish. If it worked the same way in Customs brokerage, I would be speaking with the driver directly to get their paperwork, manually entering the file to electronic format, driving my ass down to Customs, and hand-delivering a thumb drive with that file on it, inserting it into their computer for them, copying it to the right place, and entering the commands to have it allow that driver across the border. And THEN having to explain to Customs why it wasn't done faster, since they will inevitably be bitching and complaining that it took me so long to do it, despite not having had to lift a single finger through the entire process.
But I enjoy the work. I build things, I have to work out how to get a pipe from point A to point B with a whole mess of things inbetween them. And do it to code. And neatly, despite the fact that it will be inside of a wall and likely never looked at again. And do it with a smile on my face (which there usually is anyway... unless of course I'm dealing with frames 2 and 3 of the comic, at which point all that they receive from me is a robot following their orders exactly with a complete lack of expression or emotion.
That's one thing that over a decade of tech support or office work has taught me... how to handle people. You spend 10 years having people scream at you over the phone, a healthy amount of that skill carries over to direct confrontation with people as well.
And patience. Holy god, does one need patience in this job. Thankfully, I count that as one of my greatest, most powerful assets.