People Are Different

The more people you work with, the more chance you have of discovering interesting things about them.

In the Union, I often worked with “Travelers.”  When they traveled to the jobs I was working on, there were a lot of differences displayed.  There were different personalities, different habits, different ways of getting the work done, and different terms for tools and material.

One of the men I remember had a sarcastic sense of humor.  As a consequence, he kept us laughing all the time.  For instance, there was a time when the conversation turned to people that were always “hard up.”  Some employers “never had any money.”  Or, “they never made any money” on a job.

What they really meant was that they didn’t make “as much profit as they intended” on a job.  If an employer had bid a job to make $10,000 profit and wound up only making $9,900 profit, he would say that he had lost $100 on that job.

Our humorist put it in perspective when he told us; “I lost a lot of money last week.  The price of grain went sky high, and I didn’t have a grain.”

One of the shops I worked for also sold and installed appliances.  There was a new apprentice that was working with me.  We were to deliver a washer and a dryer and carry them up a long flight of stairs to an apartment.

As I drove us to the job, I was pleased that I was the one driving as my apprentice had already had a few too many that morning.  We were supplied with a two wheeled dolly to move the appliances up the stairs.  With one of us on the top at the dolly handle, and one of us on the bottom assisting in the lifting we should have had no problem.

The dryer wasn’t bad.  It was light.  However an automatic washer is a heavy machine.

I ended up carrying the dolly, the washer, and the apprentice up that long flight of stairs.  My back ached for many days.

When I told this to the boss later on, I found out the apprentice was my cousin.  We had grown up in different states and, at the time of the appliance move, I hadn’t seen him in many years and didn’t recognize him.

I never saw him again.