Sunday, September 6, 2015

Things you will see as an Engineer.

Last blog for some days. I am shifting. Will take time to get broadband connection there. 

Sir, today I had to discontinue my child's school, because I couldn't pay the fees, the owner didn't pay us for four months. His eyes were watery and didn't hesitate to cry, that old man I still recall his face. 
I didn't know what else to do, but call his owner, our contractor and fought with him for hours. This is none of your business the contractor would yell, I would hang up saying you are a liar and a mean person with cuss words. 

Next day, the contractor comes to office and wants to shuffle my division. Tells my boss that if I work then he won't and if he worked then I shouldn't be. He might be a big man. Too dramatic? Well, this happens when you are a site engineer. He threatens, he tells me that he can get me fired, I retaliate and I am asked not to speak by my boss. He then accuses my other boss for being such a pain in the ass. He says, it is my boss's indirect way of asking bribe. I then lose it and fight back for my boss can't speak in our language. He then again warns me to get me fired. I thought of kicking him, and stood up, but I am made to sit and leave. The era of politicians. 

You see, I have worked with few lot of contractors, I will not tell you with whom. I will also not tell you how many sites I have watched, and let me count, I have had some nearly 11 contractors that I had to work with. Yes they range from petty to large and decent to douche. 

Another one, connected with his politicians came once. We would fight because he had delayed his work. I would get more pissed with him because he would always promise something and never do. I would remind him how disappointed I was in him for being well literate and not educated. He would tell me that he was of my father's age and I had to talk properly and not scold him. I addressed him as Sir though, throughout our conversation. When I was very much annoyed, I got up, opened the door and asked him to leave. Gave him a smirk and told him not to advice me any further for I wasn't his employee. 

It has been long that I haven't lost my temper. Maybe I matured up or maybe I lost the zeal to work. It is funny how you put in so much of hard work and do overtimes and when something goes wrong, one is held responsible, not to forget when something is done well, nobody addresses you. Once I had five different assignments, that would actually require my extra hours. While I stayed up late, I was accused for being inefficient by my colleagues who had no idea what the hell I was doing and one even accused me for doing my private jobs at work. One would say I was logged in on facebook: too bad we don't have internet in our office. When I was on leave and I needed break, I too earned leave and was off to Thimphu for three weeks. When I reported back, a fellow who didn't have any site and came late and left early, said I don't come to office. I would just smile and leave. 

And then there's always safety measures and penalty for not wearing safety boots, helmet, flash jacket, etc. I still wonder, if that big chunk of boulders fall upon me, will my helmet handle it? Flash jackets are required though, because in those dark tunnels, if a driver is not cautious, you won't be seen. 

First site I won't tell you where though. Had to see the first dead body of a labour. We were renovating and he fell off while dismantling the wall. The blocks had fell on his face and he was beyond to be recognized. The second dead body I had to see was of a man, who was hit by the log. His brain had splattered over road and he too was faceless. Even the investigation people couldn't look at him. Third case, a boulder had hit two people. One's fingers were hanging and the other one had the plastic helmet crushed into his skull. Fourth one, a truck had smashed his face and he too was faceless, whereas his body was unscratched. 

At times all we can do is praise people to get the works done, at times we have to scold them, at times we just have to see the situation and act. We just have to be decisive, conclusive and brave I guess. For not many will take risks if something goes wrong. Boss is always right will put you in trouble at times. Boss can never be right all the time. Yes, at times, we have to fight for what we believe, if one is right, one has to stand. For this is construction, a business whereby we exploit poor ones to do things we never could have done, for this is a race against time, for this is all about progress, for this is all about beauty, for this is all about discipline, for this is all about calculative creations.

And when it is all done, I hope you see it, I hope you realize it that in those walls, those columns, those beams, those rooms:- an engineer just wrecked his head.

Next time, I will let you know why most of those good engineers are alcoholic and why just a degree certificate certifies idiots to be engineers. 

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