Peripheral Man Episode 4
Sam had been working in the construction industry for most of his life. He started out helping his dad when he was growing up as his father was a private contractor doing odd jobs in the neighbourhood. With the skill he developed, Sam took just a few courses to hone his general construction skills and was now working for a large conglomerate building enormous office towers and other institutional buildings.
The latest project he was working on was the construction of a new school in a very fast growing neighbourhood. He was second to the foreman on this project and so he had a lot of responsibility to ensure that all of the various parts of the project were getting done on schedule, on budget and with a quality that met his rigorous standards. Even with this responsibility he was well liked by the construction team assigned to this project. He had a way about him, how he carried himself and how he treated others with respect that provided a great example for all of the new hires and experienced workers.
It was on a particularly hot Tuesday that we find Sam hard at work on a part of the school that required a combination of a delicate touch combined with enormous strength. The weather would be tempestuous later in the day but for now it was just muggy and humid. Sam was building the stone wall that would be the prominent facade of the entry way into the school. Large stone after large stone would be heaved up and then mortared in place. It was going well, he had started the day before and now was at about waist high on the wall when it was time to break for lunch.
"I'll be glad when that wall is done," Sam said to his coworkers while chowing down on his lunch. "it is a brute of a project."
"Finishing drywall is no walk in the park either" said one of the crew.
"Working up on the roof in this heat must be the most blistering part" exclaims another.
They continued on like that commiserating about their current tasks. Most of them liked to complain about the different jobs they had to do, but most of them did not want to be anywhere else. Working with Sam, but especially working in construction was exactly what this crew wanted to do. Eventually the lunch break came to an end and then everyone went back to what they were doing.
Sam did a tour of the school to be sure that everything was going as planned so that he could report back to the foreman. He didn't see anything amiss and enjoyed getting to see the different parts of the school come together. He got back to the 'office', a plywood sheet raised on two sawhorses, completed the report and left it in the foreman's inbox. Then it was time to get back to work on that wall.
For the next couple of hours Sam made excellent progress, the rock wall was now about shoulder high and he only had about four more feet to go. His arms were really starting to hurt however, so he was taking longer and longer between stones. He picked a nice one out to be his last one that would he would place for the day. It was only slightly larger than the others he had been putting in, but with how tired his arms were he had managed to lift it into place when it slipped a little, and had just started to fall when Peripheral Man came by and helped Sam push it back into place.