That Time I Worked Construction

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That Time I Worked Construction

“I need you to come back tomorrow morning, and drain the water from the tarp for inspection. The blueprints are by the front door. Give them to the inspector. Are we clear?”

“Yeah, we’re clear,” I said as I was inching my way back towards the rusted out mason’s truck that I called mine for a summer. It was pouring. That meant the day was done and I just wanted to get home and get in a shower. I got in my truck and I followed my boss all the way back to his house, where I more commonly call him my girlfriend’s dad.

The next day I got to the site and the tarp that is covering the foundation of the house that we have been working on is completely flooded. “Drain the water,” I said to myself. I went back to the truck and grabbed the box cutter that was sitting on the front seat. I jumped in the hole that felt more like a wading pool at the time and I took a swipe at the plastic tarp. It gashed open and the water started slowly draining. “The inspector could show up at any moment. He’s going to see all this water and we are going to fail the inspection,” I thought aloud. I started slicing away at this tarp with the box knife like I was bear swatting at a mountain lion. There was a lot of water. It was draining really slowly. I made big cuts all over the tarp.

Eventually all the water drained but the tarp looked like a window in a hurricane. It didn’t seem right. I called the boss “Hey, so…how big am I supposed to make the cuts in the tarp?”

“Like an inch, very small.”

“I made some cuts that are somewhat bigger than very small.”

“You what?”

“I mean, there was a lot of water. I thought we wouldn’t pass if there was standing water.”

“What did you do? There’s no time to fail this inspection, the job needs to be done today.”

“I was just…”

He hung up. “Maybe the inspector will be lenient,” I prayed.

I waited at the site for another hour or so for the inspector to show up. When he arrived I chatted him up, briefed him on the situation, and hoped for the best. I told him that its my second week working here, I have no idea what I’m doing, and I’m dating my boss’ daughter: a lethal combination.

“Do you have the blueprints?”

“Yea, hold on. They’re somewhere in my truck.” I grabbed the blueprints that I’ve been driving around with and handed them over.

“These aren’t the right blueprints. These don’t have the seal of approval from town hall.”

“I don’t know what to tell you, these are the blueprints that I have.”

“Let’s take a look at the foundation,” he said. We walked up to the hole and I started wondering if I should quit before I got fired. “Dude, it looks like a hawks nest. What did you do? I’m sorry, I can’t pass this.”


“Even if you didn’t mutilate the tarp, I still couldn’t pass this without the official blueprints. Don’t worry. It’s not all your fault.”

“This needs to be finished today. You need to pass me.”

“Listen, If your boss needed this done today, he shouldn’t have sent somebody with no experience. Good luck.” He filled out a couple forms and handed them to me. He gave me a sympathetic look as he got into his car and pulled away.

I grabbed my phone, took a deep breath, and called my boss. “It didn’t pass inspection. He said the holes in the tarp were too big, but even if they weren’t, he didn’t have the right blueprints anyway.”

“What? What are you talking about? The blueprints are around front. I told you that last night! You should have called me. I don’t have time for this shit. You realize I’m leaving the country in a few days? This job needed to be finished.”

“I messed up. I’m sorry.”

“Take your sorry and shove it up your ass.” He hung up.

Image via Shutterstock

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