Saturday, June 20, 2009

Long Week!

So, it has been awhile since I posted anything. I am alright. I have suffered a few travails, though.

Monday, I showed up for work. We had our yearly maintenance meeting. One of e guys who works there is named Matt. Our boss, at the beginning of the meeting, asked Matt to get the door. That in itself was not funny, but what he really said was, "Could you get the door, Matt?" I could not let that go, especially since Matt has been the butt of several of my jokes (he is a good sport about it), I simply repeated part of the Boss' sentence, adding a couple chuckle: "Heh, Heh, Door Mat!" To which the entire room, minus the boss, who seemed not to have heard it, broke into laughter. Ah, the joy of bringing chaos to an otherwise solemn occasion.

The light fixtures in the auditorium needed to be replaced. Most of the lights are somewhere in the stratosphere, but you can reach them with an appropriate amount of scaffolding.

My father is a carpenter who did any number of odd jobs. One of those jobs was roofing. On occasion there was call for scaffolding. I used to play on the stuff below while he worked above...probably an OSHA nightmare. I never got hurt, but swung like a monkey, climbed and descended in the most fun ways! I have never been afraid of heights. I worked for my dad for a few years. We did our share of roofs. I remember, somewhat less than fondly, having my pants legs nailed to the roof on more than one occasion...I got even. I suppose it was a safety measure...

It seems the guy who was to do the light fixture replacement does not enjoy the wobbles of scaffolding. So, we started low, he showed me how to do the job and I completed the project, minus the last four lights. Early on we could move the scaffolding around the chairs on our own. Mind you the rows are set on levels which differ by 14 inches each. So there are terraces. The lower legs were on wheels, 27 inches below the upper legs. Two could move it, but it was arduous. Still, we got the upper level done. That upper level only required one story of scaffolding.

The next one required two six foot stories and one four foot level. That was heavier and we needed help to move it. So, the boss gave us permission to hijack some coworkers for that purpose. Those levels were a little rickety...they swayed. No one enjoyed being up there, except me. These "men" could be heard to inhale loudly(like girls) while I made my way up and down and around the scaffolding.

The only problems I had with the situation was the extreme heat...I literally had my shirt soaked with sweat by the second light. The other problem was that the guys we managed to get to help us never stopped talking. I suppose it would be ok if they were talking about subjects of some import, or current events, but these were inane South Park quotes...the same ones. Over and over and over. Argh!! We managed to finish the last part of the first and all of the second level in a day. By the time I was done, I was drained. I got home and hardly moved from the comfort of my chair.

The last day. I finished the third level, with the same raucous chorus going on beneath me. The move to another level required we take apart the scaffolding. I went to the top to disassemble it as no one else seemed ready to volunteer. We got it moved with a minimum of pain.

Within four feet of the ceiling I was hunched over changing out lights on three levels of six foot scaffolding. That's only 18 feet...on one side. On the other side the terrain dropped swiftly away and it looked MUCH steeper and higher than it was. It didn't take long, but again, my shirt was drenched with sweat because of the stagnant air at that altitude. Down on the floor there was a nice breeze coming through the open doors. The peanut gallery was seriously comfortable, and completely annoying. The electrician had by now seen that I was doing a decent job and left to acquire the rest of the fixtures, he may have also left because the peanut gallery was annoying him too, but I did not get confirmation. I know I pissed off one of the coworkers because I told him on numerous occasions with rising inflection to shut the hell up. He finally quieted down and my job, while not pleasant, became more tolerable.

The last four lights were out of my reach by about 12 inches. Fortunately, one of our "volunteers" was a six footer. He could reach the lights. He also had the benefit of full safety measures. once he got up there in the air with the scaffolding he, amazingly, stopped his smart ass comments. I wish we had managed to get the final guy up there, but he was "rattled" by the mere suggestion.

I worked four ten hour days, with Friday off. I made an appointment with a local pharmacy to get our vaccinations for our trip to Africa...which may or may not take place this century. Our agency was out of the office for a yearly camp out with families who have already gotten their hard feelings here, seriously. When we get our kids, you KNOW we will be there...but right now it would be nice to hear some news on ANY progress. so, we continue hoping that something is being done to bring our little one home to us sooner than later.

Sorry, back to the subject of vaccinations. I believe it is a requirement by the CDC that you get the appropriate vaccinations before you go somewhere, or else they may not allow you to come home. So, we got ours yesterday. Yellow fever, typhoid, and polio. The YF is a live vaccine. the easy Typhoid was, too. However, you can't have the easy Typhoid with the YF, because it weakens the effectiveness of them both. So we had to have the injection for the Typhoid. So, three injections. The YF was just below skin level...I believe his exact words were subcutaneous. No problem...bit of a pinch, but it went away. The Typhoid was next...I saw the needle on Cora's and was somewhat amazed to see a needle that seemed to be about four feet long and a full six inches in diameter...ok, maybe it was more like an inch and a quarter long and 1/16 of an inch in diameter...looked bigger than it needed to be. You could hardly see the needle on the YF. Then the polio, which came in a tiny syringe with an odd needle. One moment I saw the needle slip into Cora's shoulder, the next he withdrew it and the needle disappeared! I thought, did he leave the needle in her shoulder? No, she wasn't complaining and I am sure he'd have noticed that. I kept quiet.

It was my turn. YF, no problem. Typhoid, didn't look. Didn't hurt, either. Cora had been telling tales of how Typhoid shots hurt like hell. Something akin to getting kicked in the shoulder by a horse. I hate it when she distorts the truth. Then the polio. I wondered if he would leave the needle in m arm. Cora said something as I heard a small snap. The needle was retractable...he didn't leave it in her arm! Cool.

We went to dinner at a really good Mexican place. It was there that my arm began to get a tiny bit sore. By the time we got home, it hurt to raise my arm. Cora said she was experiencing the same symptoms. We self medicated, but I must not have drank enough, because my arm still hurt.

This morning, mine is better, but still sore. Something akin to being hit by a train in the shoulder. Ah, the things we will do to become parents!


Cora said...

I am so glad you did not tell me that you thought the needle was still in my arm that would have sucked.

And I don't know what you consider better my my arm hurts worse this morning.

Grandma L said...

You guys are brave to get all those ugly shots. I remember having a typhoid shot when I was back on the farm. I think we shared our well water with the frogs so I think it was important. Anyway that shot hurt worse than giving birth. I really don't know if sharing the water with the frogs has anything to do with typhoid or not. The school decided we needed shots so we had shots.

Diana - FreeStyleMama said...

OUCH! The heat has broken here...hopefully there too.