And we're off to another fantastic week of enduring below 20 degree days and getting into fights with other trades and even other crews from my company. Arguments with other trades is a given. It's going to happen. Everyone has a job to do, and all of our jobs are more important than anyone else's, so if I've set up shop in a particular area and got their first, hell no I'm not packing up and moving along just so you can pop in and do something that you can do another day. I've got one chance to get in this area and get shit done, now go away. And I don't give a fuck if your company has a fancy logo and spiffy green hardhats or not. You feel mean and selfish taking that route, but you have to sometimes. You just have to. You can not be a nice person 100% of the time and expect to maintain a career. It's perfectly fine to respect others and be nice to them, but if they're screwing you over, you've got to take a stand. Your boss will not accept: "But he said he'd buy my lunch if I packed up and moved along, and he's a nice guy so I agreed." as an excuse as to why your work is not done when it's supposed to be.
And the same goes for people within the same company. In my company, they will screw you over to advance their own personal and professional gain. Every crew is out for their selves, even though we're on the same team. I'm lucky to be in the Outcast group. Typically, the crew who gets all the outdoors work is thought of and treated as the Black Sheep of the company. It's a shit gig that no one wants due to working directly in the elements, and so they put "the bottom of the barrel" on it. I use quotes on that because they never know if you are or aren't. 95% of the time you work for people who've never met you and know nothing about what you're capable of. They look at the safety track record, the attendance record, and how much you make an hour. That determines where you get put. And for the record, neither myself nor anyone else on my crew would be on the job we're on if we even had one tiny blemish on the attendance record.
So we all know this. We've all been around the block enough to not blind ourselves with an illusion of appreciation. And because of this, we don't go against each other, and we damn sure don't take shit from any other crews. So when a supervisor from another crew calls us over the radio to inform us that he knows which one of us "morons" messed up on something (which was not true, by the way. The accuser was not properly informed of a situation that was none of his business as it did not pertain to his crew.) and then names the individual, not even knowing who he is, we take it personal. Everyone is on the same radio channel, so everyone can keep in touch and know what's going on should an emergency come up. So when one of our most reliable, hard working and honest guys gets called a "moron" and a "jackass" for all the site to hear, yeah, shit starts to fly. And tempers flare, and next thing you know, there's a standoff in the lunch tent straight out of "West Side Story" or some shit. Fists don't fly, but it's close.
One of their guys calls one of our guys a name, we stand up for him, and it escalates. Next thing you know, you've just pissed off half of the crews from your own company and know they'll be looking at ways to fuck with you to "get even" and "re-cement" their spot on the food chain. And when you've done time with some of these guys and know what it is they'll most likely be doing, you don't give a fuck.
I try not to start problems, and I try to stay out of them. But sometimes, when you've been freezing cold for days in a row, and you're coming down ill (which I am), you've been working an exhausting work schedule for months, and you really fucking hate the state you're stuck in because of the crazy bi-polar weather, you get to a point where you've had enough. I'm not trying to justify anything, I'm just saying.
I've always believed in standing up for myself, in the workplace and outside of it. In the workplace, in my environment at least, let them kick you around once and they'll do it for your whole career. Fuck. That. And same goes for any crew I work with. When I'm on a crew 2 things are always there: 1) I'm looking out for their safety just as I want them to look out for mine, and 2) We're all in it together. You're going to have the ones that get on your nerves, and the ones that even piss you off just by the way they drink their coffee in the morning, but at the end of the day we are all there for the same reason, and we all can't do it alone. And we're all human beings and deserve the respect due.
Especially if you're some fucker sitting in an office 5 miles down the road calling someone you've never even heard of before, much less seen work, a moron and a jackass. I've done time in 100+ and 20- temperatures with the person in question, I've never done anything with the name caller. Sorry, but I'll take the side of the guy who pays the dues and who actually puts his body and well being on the line with me everyday.