Dana's Show

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Flagging characters and Memorable moments

In memory of these last five weeks, I will fill you in on the great experiences I had flagging. Let me go back to May. I started going to the Union Hall in Seattle every morning from 6:00 AM to 9:00 AM the second week in May. Logan and I would sit there for those three hours and wait for the jobs to get down to the D list, the list we were on. Pretty much everyday we got through the A list, B list, and very little into the C list. In the meantime, I did nannying again for Ali Bardsley at my convienience, worked the shack, and did some data entry at an insurance research place. So I guess I was somewhat employed, earning a little bit of money. The lady I did data entry for is Julie and she offered to have me as much as I wanted to come in. So I finally decided to stop going into the union in late July and started just working for her. A few days after I got a call from the union offering me a job in Federal Way…which I most definitely turned down. There was no way I was going to commute two hours for flagging. Logan got on a job about a mile from our house and they needed another flagger so he offered me and they said yes!! Now that was what I was looking for. Way close to home and I could ride with Logan. The company is called Dennis and Craig and I soon found out it was a bit of a sketchy one…cutting corners. But that’s beside the point. I met some real characters here and that’s what I’ll try to explain to you, but I’m just not sure if my writing can do it justice.

On my third week I was reminded yet again how naïve I am. I was walking to my new station when a big red Ford Silverado slowed to my walking pace. He rolled the window down and asked me if I had a light. In my head I was trying to figure out why he thought I would have a light and why he would need to borrow it. Confused I said, “no, sorry like a flashlight?” Then he picked up an unlit cigarette and shaked it asking for a light again. Then it all made since. Of course he was asking a flagger…. My two fellow flaggers, Jody and Dan was big chain smokers. After lunch they both light up and I take out my carrot sticks J

Candy: This was my TCS (Traffic Control Supervisor) and I thought she was really nice at first. She was the one who was supposed to tell me where to stand and flag. After about a week I decided that I don’ think she liked me or log since we got to leave. I felt kind of bad for her because she does this for her life! She is very petite and says “No Doubt” all the time. She gave me a ride in her truck one day and it was silent so she started going on and on about this cheap boutique that she found some really cute boots at in Federal Way. I had been needing some shoes and Michelle and Tricia wanted to go shopping so I decided we’d check it out. My first issue was that I couldn’t remember the work boutique, I kept saying bouquet…. When we got there, I realized that this was definitely a shop right up Candy’s alley. We spent about ten minutes there.

Jody: My first flagging partner on the job. Let me just start off by say that this job was putting in a sidewalk on a two-lane road. For some reason they felt they needed four flaggers.... First thing on my first day, Candy walked me over to where Jody was and told me that Jody was very controlling. It was obvious that Jody could do it by herself and didn’t really want to have to deal with me, but there I was J. The best story about Jody is her nickname. My boss, Stacey calls her Springer, His reasoning being that he thinks she should be on the Jerry Springer show. She has three kids and the oldest, 21 had a kid out of wedlock. So there were some custody issues and she had to go to court. She told all this to me and more on my first week, very much an open book.

Flagger Dan: Logan really butt heads with Flagger Dan. For the first three weeks they were partnered up and I was partnered up with Jody. Dan taught Logan many lessons, for example “keep your head on a swivel.” There are two signs you are supposed to make with your paddle. Up and down means you have traffic you want to send. Swaying Flagger Dan is determined that flagging in a professional occupation. He was very enthusiastic about making large movements with his paddle. Logan wasn’t into it as much. He moved the paddle just a little each way…needless to say it drove Dan nuts. Eventually, Candy started pairing me and Logan up together and those were my favorite days. Every now and then one of us would move the paddle WAY big. I think this is just one of those things you had to be there for in order to appreciate how hilarious it is. I also took up a bit of twirling with the paddle when no one was looking. Or me an Log would have contests to see who could let go of the paddle and touch their feet the most times without letting the paddle fall over. One day I got to be partnered up with Dan and we were within talking distance so he shared with me a few nuggets of wisdom: (1) Slow is relative (2) Control is abstract (3) Acceptance is key. Most of which I agree with but hearing these things come out of Flagger Dan’s mouth was a bit odd.

Eugenio: He is the back-hoe driver (I have been informed that I misspelled this in my last post) and he was by far my favorite. People called him Kenny and one day when I was flagging right by him I asked him how people got Kenny from Eugenio. He is from Mexico and his friends from there call him Geni (pronounced Heny). He didn’t want people calling him Jenny or Jinny so he decided to make it a K and tell people to call him Kenny. I wish I had video of him driving the back-hoe cause he is so unbelievably good at it!!

I realize this is way long an some of you may have not made it all the way down to this point, but I thought I needed to document this very memorable past month.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Oh How Naive I am...

So as most of you know, I finally landed a relatively long-term construction job for the rest of the summer. All in all I will work on this job for five weeks. It is unbelievably convenient because the job site is only a mile away from my house and Logan was on the same job as me. I wake up at about 6:15 and get down stairs in time to eat the breakfast Logan makes. Then Logan usually packs the lunch for the two of us except for the sandwich.
There are a few special characters that i get to interact with on this job: Stacey (the foreman, yes a man), Candy (the TCS...my supervisor), Jeno (the back-ho driver), and my fellow flaggers Jody and Dan. Candy tells me where I am supposed to stand, and usually she puts me on a side street with very little traffic. Needless to say it is very boring. I generally sing songs to myself and the surrounding "mud crew" (aka cement crew), but seeing how I have a difficulty remembering words I end up humming...
There are four flaggers on this job that only needs two, so me and Logan are almost always the ones that get put on the streets that don't need it. Which is fine by me because then I don't have to pay attention. One day I was assigned the "rock pile" (aka pile of gravel). Pretty much
I stood there with my paddle upside down and would put it up when Jeno came by...which happened three times the whole time I was there. Stacey walked by and told me to come with him so that I looked like I was doing something. That mindset seems to be very much a part of this kinda sketchy company. It doesn't matter if you are actually doing something, but if you look like you are doing something then you are perfectly fine. So Stacey told me to hold his "funny plans." and walk with him while he marked out where the flower beds where supposed to be in the sidewalk. Everytime we made a stop to make marks, he would say "Give me the funny plans." I kept trying to figure out why the plans were so funny, and then it hit me. These construction worked swear all the time. Stacey especially swears in every single sentence although he isn't mad at all. So I guess he actually didn't think those plans were funny...

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Season of Birthday Celebrations!

Now that we are well into the summer, it is time to celebrate lots of brithdays (lots of ice cream cakes..yum!!) First up was Dad, then Michelle, and then Mom.

Dad Cutting his cake

Michelle blowing out her candle...yes one candle. We kinda misplaced our stash of candles so this beautiful candle represents 17 years. Notice her new stylin' haircut :)

Mom's Birthday...the BIG 50!! We've adopted this new way of making ice cream cakes. Very thick crust on the bottom and instead of whip cream, we put more ground cookies on top. Needless to say, it is delicious!

You can see in the very back of the picture mom's gift. It is a digital picture frame...so if you'd like pictures to be displayed on that, email them to me and i can put them on. This is mostly for Lani and Scott and Erin and Ryan because I don't have recent pictures of them. But its also for anyone else who has cute pictures!! It can store lots so don't be shy :)

Listen to these two videos below...the one on the left first.

It had been awhile since we had celebrated anyone's birthdays so we were a bit rusty singing Happy Birthday to Dad. But as you can see from Mom's birthday we made a great improvement!!