Fond memories of job disasters

For several years I worked at Tualitan Valley Builders Supply in St. Helens, Oregon. This was wonderful for many reasons. One was how it taught me the relationship between brooms and tarps.

See, some genius built this commercial building with...wait for it...a flat roof. In Oregon.

Surprisingly, with it seldom raining for more than 300 days in a row in any given year, water began to collect on this flat roof. Even more surprisingly, when the drains clogged, it tended to cause problems...such as leaking through the roof.

We, in the store below, then would get to have water dripping on us. Easy solution? Put up tarps under the leaks to collect the water.

Of course, then we would have to "empty" the tarps of water lest they collapse under the weight of all the water.

Emptying the tarps was a two-person job. One person would stand at the low end of the tarp holding a 5-gallon bucket under the place the water would come off the tarp while the other person used a broom handle to guide the water, hopefully into the bucket.

Many of us were in our early twenties.

Guiding water with a broom handle towards a person standing there may, you would think, present certain temptations.

You would think correctly.

More than once the person guiding the water would "accidentally" push the water too hard, drenching the one under the bucket. This would inevitably lead to an attempt at retribution via flinging the contents of the bucket at their tormentor...

This attempt NEVER worked, largely due to the physics of trying to fling the contents of a partially filled 5# bucket at someone who was a third of the way across the building. They would have been half way across if they were not laughing so hard.

This of course meant the victim had to find other times and opportunities to exact their revenge.

It also meant it was sometimes hard to get people to empty the tarps.

So people would be lurking around keeping an eye on these massively over-filled, sagging tarps, HOPING they did not give way and drench everything.Including, potentially, customers.

So now we were walking around in a minefield with one eye on the tarps and one eye on whoever we A) dumped water on, lest they seek revenge on us or B) on the person who dumped water on us so we could seek revenge.

You would think, at some point, this would have stopped. Please allow me to point out...we worked in a building with a flat roof in Oregon. Do you REALLY think this silliness would end? Really?

On the bright side, it points to one of the real joys of those years...namely, we had a lot of fun working together.

It also points to fond memories.

And also reminds me how glad I am to work under a dry roof. Just sayin'

1 comment:

Riot Kitty said...

A flat roof in Western Oregon...pure genius ;)