Saturday, May 21, 2011

Earning My Keep

This week I was afforded the opportunity to do some manual labor, or what I refer to as "oh yeah, now I remember why I went to college".  At work we volunteered to break down some old furniture and move it to a warehouse to save the government money by precluding the use of contractors (I can feel the gratitude oozing from you, my fellow tax-payer).  This would have been much easier had two issues not arisen.  1. Almost all of the furniture was made of sheet metal.  Apparently composites made of plastic and wood had not been invented in the 80s when this particular set of rooms was furnished, which would have conveniently made the pieces we were hauling weigh less than 40 pounds each.  2. The numerous volunteers that we were promised would show up to help with the project did not, in fact, show up.  Had this ocurred, rather than the lion's share being accomplished by me and 3 other people, the work would have been much faster and my back wouldn't hate me right now.

Apparently a glutton for punishment, after finishing this project I went to a friend's house todayto help him move rocks.  Yes, you heard right.  Although this sounds like an activity that only prisoners would be force to undergo, I voluntarily chose to help my buddy with his home landscaping project.  I must say, I am all for dooing things oneself both to save money and for personal pride, but in the case of xeroscaping, it could be argued this activity should never be undertaken with a set of shovels and a wheelbarrow, but instead should be accomplished by professionals with a bobcat and big burly guys, or possibly a posse of foreign nationals eager to perform manual (or is it "Manuel"?) labor for a farthing.  Of course since this particualar individual spent hours helping me put hardwood floors in my house (and by "helping" I mean he did the majority of the work and I assisted by measuring and cutting boards) I felt I owed what little muscle power I could provide.

I must say that while shoveling, separating, and carting loads of rocks is a particularly enjoyable way to spend one's weekend, the highlight of my day came when my friend's junior high daughter felt it necessary to point out that she is now taller than me.  I let her know that being taller than me is not much to get excited over, sort of like being pumped that you just beat Steven Hawkings in a pickup game of basketball.  But we all have to have our little victories I guess.  At least I could carry more rocks than her.  Probably.