Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Tall kid + heights = scared

I'm too lazy to back date this, partially because I do not know the exact date which will probably be the case with most. As a preface though you should know that it was hot out on this day.

Today (Again months ago on a Thursday, probably August) I went to the construction site of the new Greater Boston Food Bank building for the first time. After some trouble locating the site (Apparently I can't absorb a map by simply staring at it for a minute) I finally made it, albeit late. I get there and everyone is waiting for me, their faces show it (its cool because you know like them I can afford a car). So I throw on my boots while weezing from running the last quarter mile, which just illustrates how badly I need to do some form of exercise, and then rush out the door with the site foreman.

The site foreman (might not actually be his proper title but it will have to do) treats me like I'm a paper pusher (which I am) and all I am doing is getting in the way of a bunch of guys trying to build something (guilty again). I resent that feeling and attitude, but more on that some other time.

So we are trudging along and I am halfheartedly being introduced to the foreman and I have the sneaking suspicion that I am supposed to remember each guy because unlike my other job sites this one is not going to be all that helpful with getting the count each week (this site should be the subject of many a blog post). The whole time we are going around the site my eyes keep wandering over to the rickety set of scaffolding stairs leading up to the second floor and then the roof.

For those of you who don't know me well I have a fear of heights, one where if I climb up more than 20 feet I start to get the shakes and begin to think about ways I could fall to my death. Just like my first plane flights and rollercoasters its my overthinking that is to blame for my disdain.

Anyway, I am eyeing the stairs hoping that I won't have to go up them yet knowing that its inevetable because I see men working up there which means I have to go talk to them, because that's my job. Yet again socializing gets in the way of my real life goal, to be left alone with a bunch of books safely at an altitude of about 6 feet 1 inches.

The football player of a foreman (he is huge, that Notre Dame shirt he is wearing must have came his way courtesy of the football department) starts lumbering towards the stairs and I start thinking of ways to get out of going up there. First thought is to fake an injury, but I quickly decide that that is out the question because it will only make me look like more of a sissy than I already appear to be. Next thought is to start a long conversation with a construction worker on the ground floor, then I realize I would have to introduce myself, which I suck at doing. The third thought which comes to me just as I grip the first railing is that I could just run away, but that would result in me being fired which would result in me not recieving credit for my co-op, which would result in me having to start paying my loans, which I can't do so I would default, and the snowball grows larger from there.....

So without any plausible reasons or excuses to get out of going up into the clouds I find myself climbing. In actuallity this act of going up 25 feet shouldn't be a problem, if I fell nothing would happen to me, but my brain doesn't work that way. My brain sees the rebar on the ground and imagines my body somehow impailing itself on it, or it sees the the backho suddenly veering for my fallen body and crushing me before I have time to get out of the way (I hate my brain). This is all amplified by the fact that the scaffolding is much more shaky than i thought it would be. I resigned to staring straight ahead and placing one foot in front of the other which usually seems to work. No doubt there was no color in my face but the beast of a man leading me wasn't about to turn around so it went un-noticed.

When we reached the first landing I wasn't as relieved as I thought I would be, I think it may have been because I was at an unfinished construction site. Regardless of the fact there was solid slab under my feet I still couldn't keep my mind focused as I was being introduced to foremen.

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