Thursday, 2 July 2009

Tight Joints

Well that got the Jamican Contigent perked up.


The first stone I laid was a large one, but feeling full of vim(?) and vinegar, it didnt feel all that heavy.

The last stone in the puzzle (upper right photo) was tiny by comparison, but it kicked my butt. It could have been the fifteen hundred in between, but today, chiseling the last stone, I was spent.

Whats it been, 3 weeks since the post about the first stone being laid? Its been a long 3 weeks.

Once again, I've learned a lot in the process. Or at least learned something.

Like hard work is always worth it.

Like most people appreciate hard work, and a job well done.

Like pats on the back are always welcome, especially from the right people.

There are worse things to be told, than "you're good", thats for sure. Especially when the right people tell you that you're good. Little things stick with us forever.
Like having an 83 year old retired contractor tell you "man thats some fine work".

Hard work isnt easy though, and nothing worth getting, is ever easily gotten, is it?

There are days when you dont want to do it at all. There are days when you want to be somewhere else. ANYWHERE else.
Those are the days that define you.

I know everybody feels that way with their work, but I believe its different when theres no one else to hide behind, nowhere to hide, no slack time to hide in, no easy day to recouperate in. Just lay the predetermined amount of square footage, the end.

On or near the last day of the project, I go back and review some work that for whatever reason, isnt up to par. There were a few stones that had to be replaced or relaid, but not too many. 3 out of 1500. I can live with that. Thats not bragging, thats just saying that even a A.D.D. riddled troglodite can stay on target when there are no shiney objects to distract him.
And I LOVE shiney object. No, really. Sometimes I'm fortunate I dont lop my toes off because of distracting shiney objects.

My wife brought me lunch one day, and complimented me on how nice it looked.

(tick tick tick)

then she said, "How come you dont do such nice work at OUR house??" (boom)

(hang on, I gotta yank a dagger out of my heart...)

No, she said, "these joints are really tight and everything is so perfect..."

"Yeah, well, thats what you get when you pay money for me to do something"

and before the words were even done being out of my mouth, I had to make sure my foot didnt garble up the sentence too much.

So I thought about it.

Why is it that we dont make sure that we do our best work at home?

Why do we worry about impressing others, whose opinion of or value to us, is far less important?

Is it because they pay us?

Very few of us save our best work for those who are most important to us.

At least thats what I've read.

And thats what I'm guilty of.

Give the customers what they pay for, and save my best for home.

Sounds easy enough, but the paying customers get me first, and I dont feel my best by the time I get home.

I believe they call that a connundrum.

Even when I finish a project, I learn I gotta start all over again.

At home.

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