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Wednesday, Apr. 17, 2002
There haven't been very many entry's lately with work related themes, have there? A pretty good reason for this is that Stu and I have not had a great deal of work to do. And I know I've explained all this before but it bears repeating that construction work is frighteningly cyclical, you're either sitting around doing little to nothing or you're up to your eyeballs in work.

Past month has been more of the sitting around theme. I tend to sit, it's parenthetically more difficult to scratch your ass when sitting.

Back in February Stu and I talked about this, and in listening to our handful of faithful customers we came to the conclusion that we had better not bid any new work for a while, that by golly Spring was going to be so over scheduled with work that we wouldn't have time for anybody else.

Somebody, quick, check your calendar for me. Is it or is it not Spring? By this time, we were supposed to be:

1. Doing yet another lawyer's office - 3 floors worth of high rise work
2. Retro-fitting a restaurant in a marina
3. Doing a ground up brand new ultra trendy restaurant

Yesterday we finally, finally got started on the lawyer's gig. Get up early, zip downtown, get in a freight elevator with a dozen other hardhats and woosh up to the 18th floor. And perhaps I shouldn't complain but have you ever been on the 18th floor of anywhere when there was no air conditioning and it's 85 degrees outside?

Okay, you have, but were you tossing 200 pound cabinets around at the time?

And you wonder why I'm so cranky.

Other than the cyclical nature of construction, there is only one other thing that is absolutely verbotten about our type of work. And that is - you never, ever talk about it out loud when ensconced in the cool comfort of the Watering Hole with a frothy bottle of something cold in your hand.

Because lightning tends to strike when you do. I've never seen it to fail. Talk about anything else. Talk about sports, the price of live bait, the deplorable condition of your neighbors lawn, but leave the work talk at the door. God will hear you and make you suffer.

Of course, knowing this undefiable rule and adhering to it is entirely different. Stu had just finished up his anecdote about how all pregnant women have something in common (somebody poked fun at them) and was deep throating a spectacularly cold beverage when somebody piped up from across the bar. Some average Joe.

Joe: "So, how's going for you guys?"
OF: "Sucko. We held the whole month of April open for a couple of clients andů"
Stu: (shreiking) Stop! No! Don't say it!"

And surest thing you know, the cell phone began to ring. And it was one of the two clients, calling about Doing a ground up brand new ultra trendy restaurant, and doing it right now. Meeting on Thursday. Work to commence pronto. I hit the 'end' button and turned to relate this to Stu, who had listened with rising alarm to my half of the phone call. Cell phone instantly rang again. Incredibly, the other client was on the line, chattering about 'definitive work schedules' and start up dates and asking the inevitable "How busy are you?" question.

Getting busier, it would appear, by the minute.

By this time I was regarding the phone as one might regard a coiled snake.

I again started to speak but Stu nearly put out my front teeth in a shushing motion and herded me out the door to the parking lot. "Not in there", he said. "Don't ever talk about work in there again! What are you trying to do, jinx us?"

I numbly related our little situation. That the gods of Cyclical Construction had struck again. That fishing, car washing and any other leisure related pursuits were now on hold for the duration.

So the next time you happen by the Watering Hole and see somebody sipping his beer through a straw which has been poked through a large adhesive patch, come up and say hello.

That will be me, having been summarily gagged and bound by my Corporate partner. And I think he's got my cell phone, too.

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