Thursday, April 07, 2005


So, I'm very exhausted right now so I don't know how long, or how funny this one is going to be. Why am I so tired? I helped with pouring a new concrete deck for a pool that we've been working on.

Typically, I wouldn't do this work. Not so much that I, personally, would not do this work, but my company and its immediate employees would not do this. However, my subcontractor, who does do this for me, has become a friend of mine through our years of working together, and he needed some assistance on this job. And quite frankly the whole job is worth over $50,000 to me, so I wanted it finished and looking right, and if I have to be there to do it, so be it.

So here I am, on this hot day, pushing concrete into place with a bull float. Yes, I didn't know what a bull float was until today either...and I had to rent two more because the one he brought was clumsy and worthless.

You see, my subcontractor, Martin, is a super friendly guy and unfortunately he really doesn't realize his own limitations. He will jovialy volunteer to do jobs he has little to no experience doing, and work he really isn't properly equipped for. I believe this job was a little bit of both. Did I say "little."

But I'm not the only one here. Two more of my employees are here, but they have been here from about 10:30 AM. I just showed up at 1 PM, after finishing two other jobs in the morning.
On my arrival, I see the following. Two concrete mixing trucks, like I used to have Hotwheels for, parked in the driveway. Three Mexicans standing around the mixer that is presently spitting out concrete. My employee, Manny, covered in sweat pushing concrete in a wheel barrow. One of Martin's guys, a fat tall guy in glasses, also covered in sweat, pushing another cart. Martin standing over the only completed section of concrete (4' X 4') and three other guys, including my brother, pushing what looks like gravel in clay two sections down from Martin.
Within 10 minutes, Martin is swearing because the concrete is not liquidy enough, the bull float is too clumsy, and we've still got about 400 square feet of concrete left to pour. FUCK ME!

First problem, no one has any food or drink and I haven't eaten either. I have not been a part of their original plan, so I quickly head over to Giant and grab Gatorades and sandwich stuff, so no one dies.

On my return, Martin is still bitching about the bull float and says, "Fuck it, we can't get this done. We've got to stop." At which point, I ask the obvious question, "What about the two trucks of concrete out in the driveway?"

"I'll have to eat the cost he says"

I also forgot to mention that Martin is a terrible business man. He is far too cavalier about pricing and payment and in "eating the cost" on certain parts of the job. Well, it's no skin off my back if he eats the cost, but I see four sections full of unfinished concrete and 7 more sections full of absolutely nothing, and Martin already is about 2 weeks behind on his other work, and I've got a lady in Great Falls bitching about that fact, and a pool in Lorton that has been waiting for new tile for 2 weeks, and I'll be damned if this is not getting done today.

So I call the office, have them call Rentals Unlimited for a new bull float...I'm learning this shit pretty quickly, and get down and dirty.

Did I mention that I know nothing about pouring concrete and have never done it before? Yeah, but everyone else seemed rejuvenated, so what the hell. Sure enough, we got it done...for the most part. I think it could have looked nicer and I quickly retired from doing anything remotely "skill oriented" related to the plaster, but there is flat concrete on this lady's deck, and no one ate anything other than the sandwiches I brought from Giant.

But at least I've added one more thing to my list of exciting things that I've done in my life.

Gone to Cancun during Spring Break...check
Gone to Mardi Gras...check
Monage Trois...check
Competed in a halftime contest for $100,000...check
Flown an airplane...check
Poured a concrete deck....check

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