Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Hardest Day I've Ever Worked

I would like to say that today is the hardest day I've ever worked. I got up this morning about 6:30, did a few emails and phone calls then headed out about 8. Drove to A's house to pick up a few things (UPC for rebate and paint rollers), stopped at Subway for a breakfast sub (if you haven't had one, they're pretty great - egg and cheese with all the veggies!) and drove downtown for a chiropractic appt. My chiropractor, ironically enough, injured his back and wasn't there - since I hadn't updated my phone number I couldn't be too mad. Then I drove to my clinic where I began the never-ending paint project.

I know that my partners are going to be painting alongside me soon enough, but having done most of the taping (A helped) and all of the painting that has occurred so far is disheartening. I look forward to bribing friends with pizza and beer to come help paint. Today's project was the bathroom. It involved not only painting, but more taping, sanding (using an electric sander), multiple ladders, something I've never seen before called 'orange peel' and pulling down the covers over two bathroom fans (read: dust in eyes). About 6 hours of painting all told. Standing, kneeling, on my tippy toes, on the step ladder, on the painting ladder, twisted around to get behind me while on the ladder, with my arms over my head to get the ceiling.

I have sore spots on my right wrist, my hamstrings, the middle of my back between my shoulder blades (rhomboids, for those of you interested in anatomy) and the backs of both arms. I'm looking forward to just ordering a pizza and watching Beauty and the Geek.

I would like to say that today was the hardest day I've ever worked, but hard as today was, especially for someone with a sedentary lifestyle like mine, this wasn't the hardest day I've ever worked. It's made harder by the prospect of repeating several more just like it and over time, that might push one day into a slightly harder place than the actual hardest day I've ever worked, but so far the hardest day I ever worked remains, by a long shot, The Day I Detasseled Corn.

In the Midwest, despite the abundance of immigrant farm labor (no slur intended, just fact), detasseling corn remains a job for high school students. Year after year, they recruit students from neighboring communities to spend their days working their asses off in the fields - it's a great racket. We weren't used to better wages, so we thought a couple hundred bucks a week for working 12 hour days in the sweltering sun getting burns and hives was pretty good money. Teenagers have tons of energy so this helped them use it up in a productive manner, probably resulting in lower rates of vandalism, drugs and sex among that age group for that time - would've just been too tired. I'm sure parents loved that - it's like paid day-care for teens. I signed up one year - thought I'd make a few bucks, give me something to do. My brother B was doing it too and I always wanted to do whatever he was doing.

Since we only had one small cooler between us, we decided that one of would carry the cooler and the other would carry the water jug. Only thing we didn't count on was that we would get separated and have lunch separately. So I didn't eat. The whole day. 12 hours. Detasseling corn. And he didn't drink. The whole day. 12 hours. Detasseling corn. I also didn't have gloves. I never detasseled corn again. And I was more sore at the end of that day, even with my young, vibrant, teenaged body than I am today. I guess that's looking at the bright side.

No comments: