I am now unable to stand solid without the assistance of a knee brace on my left leg thanks to a very stupid accident yesterday involving a fencepost, a post driver, and myself. Let's just say it's not the post that took a shot straight to the knee cap. But it got the show of me hanging on to a co-worker and screaming obscenities at it, the bastard. Went to the medic tent where I was prodded for an hour and told it felt like there was nothing broken. I'm sure I'd know if something were. I can still bend my knee a bit, but not much. And it hurts like hell all the time. Especially when I take the ice pack off. Wah wah wah get me a Wahmbulance...
So today was "light duty" at work after waking up to find my knee was a bit better off, which is always better then a bit worse. Light duty consist of sitting in a chair with my leg propped up on another chair, right in front of the door to offices where I'm the first thing everyone sees as they come in, and doing paper work for the office folk. I don't mind paper work. I do it every morning in my crew and I'm good at it. And it's a side of my company that very few of us "grunts" ever get to experience. The office folk never talk to us other than a "Good morning" if we ever see them so we never really know what it is they do. For all we know they're sitting in cubicles playing solitaire or Farmville most of the day. And I'll be damned if we weren't right. But to be fair though it was Throwdown Thrusday. Whatever the fuck that means.
It was very boring. But it was a good chance to put faces to names and say "Hello". I was the days door greater, after all. Where I work you hear names. And you hear these names attached to powerful titles. But you will very rarely ever meet these people. You are instead supposed to respect them from a distance and "know" them from the mass e-mails they send out telling us how much money we've made and "Thanks for making dreams come true!" while no pay raises worth a shit are given out. The way of the work world nowadays, really. But today I was able to put some of those names to some faces and it was fucking awkward.
They come up to you trying to be polite and ask you how you're doing and wish you the best and all you can think is: "You don't give a shit. You just don't want me to have a lost time incident so your reputation isn't tarnished. Go away.". Try as I might I couldn't shake the thought. Especially when my pain meds started to wear off in the afternoon and I became uncomfortable and crabby. There really are only two kinds of employees in my work's culture: Us and Them. You're either one of Us, or you're one of Them. There is no middle ground. It's an industry only out for the money as all are. If you're one of Us you go to work sick, you push through illness and injuries and you do it only because you have to or else you become a target of Them. I do not know how this came to be, perhaps it's always been that way long before I got in to it and in too deep (I'm under contract for another 3 years), and it's not right by any means, but it's real. Anyone in my line of work who tells you otherwise is either trying to stay on the good side of Them or is trying to become one of Them so they don't have to be pushed around by Them. And don't let those people convince you otherwise.
It was, however, a relaxing day. In 10 hours I did 2 hours worth of paperwork and said "Hello" to people I'll never see again so many times I lost track. And no, not all of Them are bad. There are always exceptions. They just come far and few between sometimes.
It's hard for me to put on a face and pretend to like and be buddy-buddy with someone I've no respect for. I just can't do it. So I had no problem telling The Big Boss today, whom I met for the first time today as well mind you: "I'll go back to physical work when I'm damn well ready. And I'll know when that is, not you. And if I need a doctor, I'm fucking going." when he asked how long I'd be down after mentioning the cost of doctors, X-rays, and a lost time incident for the company. Fuck Them.