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      People have asked me were I get the material for my articles in Doc's Notebook. I just report on the people and occurrences in my life.

           For instance; Today, one of the principal partners of the company for which I work passed by me in the shop. He stopped when he saw me and said "Hey, Dr-Fix-It, I am really insulted that you don't make fun of me on your web site! Why don't you make fun of me?"

           All I could do is smile and nod. The perspective surprised and troubled me. I went home and reread all the articles in the Doc's Notebook Archives to look for anything that could be construed as making fun of a person.

           Characters in some of my recent inter-personal accounts; John, Trey, Mark, Scott are based on real people. I'm not trying to make fun. I am only trying to show construction workers as people.

           Sue, a former friend of my wife was and still is a financial officer for a medical office. When I left my management position ( actually ... my management position left me) to take work as a construction worker, the friendship between Sue and my wife became strained. Sue held people "who work with their hands" in disdain. Eventually my wife and Sue stopped speaking to each other. I can't prove it, but I think my new job as a construction worker contributed to the breakup.

           Sue's opinion of construction workers is probably widely held. The stereotype of a construction worker is most certainly that of a toothless Neanderthal in a hard-hat who wolf-whistles at every skirt in view. I won't deny I have met those men. But, my experience is that they are a minority.

           In a recent remodel job at a local middle school, I was silently amused to note that some of the men on the construction crew were more highly educated and held higher degrees than the teachers around whom they were trying to work. Yet, the teachers spoke in superior tones while addressing the construction workers in monosyllables. So, in the presence of teachers, the construction workers conversed amongst themselves in erudite sesquipedalian verbiage, casting subtle aspersions on the character and breeding of those who condescendingly speak in monosyllables.

          If you are like Sue, you are probably wondering why such educated people would be "working with their hands' as construction workers. If you are like Sue, you would be surprised to learn that some educated people CHOOSE to be construction workers. It can be a very challenging and satisfying profession.

When the building is a good building and the job is done well,
When the work is finally over and you have put your tools away for the last time,
When you are driving away from a building that wasn't there a year or two ago . . .
When you stop for a last look and say to yourself, " I built some of that."
That is a feeling of satisfaction that is unmatched.

That is why some people choose to 'work with their hands'.

Doc

2004.01.04






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