Sunday, October 6, 2013

Jobs: 4th job

JOB: The Boulders, St. George, UT

9 months or so

The Boulders was/is a subdivision in St. George that my Dad worked at, selling lots for residential homes. He pulled some strings and got me and my best friend, John, a job with the developer cleaning up the construction sites. In retrospect, why the developer would have any interest whatsoever in cleaning up private construction sites is beyond me. I can understand cleaning up the empty sites, but unless you're selling all the lots AND building all the homes....oh, ok, so maybe they were the builder, too? My Dad will have to clarify this in the comments.

No, this is bothering me. Are there developments where you are forced to use a particular construction company as a builder? I ... suppose there could be? If so, it would have to be through the CC&Rs/HOA guidelines, so they could build everything to be matchy/matchy. Otherwise if you could just buy a lot and build any type of goofy home you wanted to, it would throw off the feng shui. You SHOULD be able to do that, but I suppose I can see that there would be places where you can't.

Anyway, so let's assume this was that type of place. Ultimately, what this meant for me and John was almost a year of riding around on a golf cart (which I somehow never ever remember charging) and listening to music and taking the golf cart off of jumps and even sometimes cleaning up construction sites.

It's not like we didn't work hard. We did work, and it was hard in the sense that it was St. George in the summer so it was a million degrees. But we made a very healthy hourly rate and performed the service of keeping construction sites free of debris, which we piled up in a gigantic trash heap on one of the lots (for some reason, one adjacent to the main sales'd think we would have picked something a little farther away).

Did we throw away valuable things? I don't think we did, although we would have been the last to know. There was an irrigation ditch high up on the mountain that comprised most of the subdivision (it was on the side of a medium-sized mesa, which was covered in several really large boulders, hence...) and it was meant to come through the subdivision and be a river down a very fakey man-made stream, which they poured concrete into. They probably had to - any water that met St. George soil would likely evaporate before it even got out of the gate. Anyway, John and I frequently hiked up to the water canal to locate and eliminate large tumbleweeds. Instead of just throwing them away, though, we would capture them and haul them back to the trash pile.

At the end of the job, we had (with adult supervision) an enormous fire and burned the trash pile. It was glorious.

Two memories:

  • I retained a little bit of work at the Boulders after the job finished. One time I dug a ditch for a sprinkler because our family's relative, Terry, was putting in a sprinkler system. The ground was about 90% rock, and I had to dig the ditch with a pick axe. It remains to this day the only time in my life other than at water parks or the beach that I have taken my shirt off in semi-public. It was about 300 degrees that day and I honestly couldn't physically stand the heat coming off my shirt. I got the entire ditch dug and then staggered over to the house to get a drink from the hose. A little boy inside the house looked out the window at me, very alarmed. A half-naked teenager drinking out of his family hose, even though it was a million degrees and I was sunburned and exhausted.

  • My senior year of high school, I missed a few too many classes. This was usually due to not making it back to school on time after lunches. John and I would drive over to some shady trees by Dixie College in his 1972 yellow Ford truck, would drink our 32 oz Maverick mug refills of Mountain Dew, and would listen to his eclectic collection of 70s 8-tracks. I distinctly remember the Best of the Carpenters, Helen Reddy, Elvis, and Jesus Christ Superstar. Time somehow often got away from us. Anyway, I had to make up some 'citizenship' in order to graduate, and the civic project I proposed was to clean off a city street. I proposed cleaning off the city street right in front of the Boulders that I was assigned to clean off anyway for my job there, and it got approved. I fulfilled my citizenship, graduated, and got paid all at once. Do I feel bad about this? I probably should. I would do a more honest project nowadays, but it's kind of a victimless crime, so whatever.

Oh, and it was the best job I ever had. Hanging out with my best friend and making great money and driving a golf cart around and doing some manual labor that 1) didn't involve any other human interaction, and 2) was physically impossible to goof up, was the single greatest employment I ever could have ever had thought of. Set the job in a milder climate and I would have retired with it.

That electric golf carts can get all 4 tires off the ground if you drive them down a very steep embankment and off a rudimentary jump that you created at the bottom. Also that construction workers all apparently smoke about 17 pack an hour, each individually.

1 comment:

Kevan said...

Darcy didn't think the contractors cleaned up after themselves very well so he wanted the site clean for prospective buyers. Builders, especially framers and roofers were particularly messy and you and John did a good job of staying on top of the clean up. Good job.