Six 10s

Our current project has fallen behind schedule. My fellow sparkies and electrical foreman point out that it’s NOT our fault. I can’t tell if blame rests with the general contractor or some other trade who “got in our way.” Honestly, I don’t care whose fault it is; and even if it was explained to me, I probably wouldn’t believe the explanation. The trades are still ruled by men and I’m learning that men gossip waaaaay more than women!

We are now working six 10-hour days until the project is complete. This means I wake up at 5:00am, am out the door by 6:15 and catch our short bus to the work site by 6:45am. By the time I get home at 5:45pm, I’m exhausted. Luckily, the work required at this site is not as physically demanding as other sites. We’re shaping and installing smaller aluminum conduit and I always feel so strong when I can pick up a bundle of aluminum strut or pipe and easily swing it over my shoulder!

What I miss in this new routine is my night-owl side. Depending on the day I’ve had, I cave to the tidal wave of physical and mental sleepiness by about 9:00 or 9:30. Back when I could be a raving night-owl, 9:00 or 9:30 wasn’t even the beginning of the night yet! Watching the sunrise and the early morning constellations are my consolation.

What I miss even more is quality time with my partner. He’s a chef and therefore wakes up later in the morning and comes home after I’ve fallen asleep. We have mumbled, sleepy moments together when I’m up at 5:00am or when he’s home at 11:30pm. Otherwise, the only other time we get together is our weekend. And now, my weekend has been cut exactly in half. Are the wages worth it? The 20 extra hours per week mean I’m earning an extra 75% on top of my original pay! And since I’m still a first term apprentice, the extra pay is appreciated.

The nature of our trade, though, is that we work ourselves out of a job. This specific site was supposed to be up and running on August 17. Now, we’re aiming for a run date of September 17.

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