At 7:15 AM this morning, I was once again assaulted by the sounds of jack hammers hammering and angle saws sawing. It’s been literally months (like at least 3 and maybe 4), and the morons who are renovating/restoring the schoolyard are still at it. And like with a soap opera, it doesn’t appear it will ever end. A cursory inspection through my window reveals a huge amount of crushed gravel awaiting some placement or other. Not a good sign!
I know I’ve complained about this previously. So why am I beating a dead horse? Well…this morning as I sat in amazement at how loud the construction truly was…and how fucking long it’s been taking to do what appears to be a relatively simple job, a thought came to mind.
Years ago, it was not an uncommon occurrence for a Korean owner or manager to call me up to say they were in the process of renovating a recently-leased commercial space and that I should come over to pick up money for a Village Voice and/or New York Press ad (in addition to Craigslist and/or Backpage once the Internet became an advertising vehicle).
More often than not, I would arrive at what looked like the rawest and most cluttered space you could ever imagine. Maybe the first couple of times this happened, I commented “How are you going to whip this mess into shape in a week?” (which is when their ads would start). The answer was certainly not unionized American construction workers and the speed with which they could build a place. The entire crew was of the under-the-table immigrant Korean variety.
One week later when the next round of ads was due, I’d saddle up and head on over to find nothing short of a miraculous transformation. Cute little rooms…a functional kitchen…a tiny little area where the phone girl perched…a table body shampoo room, and security cameras all over the place. It was simply amazing how much work these guys could get done in a week.
My point: Put those Korean dudes to work in that stupid schoolyard and the job would have been completed in a matter of days! Not months! Jesus H., Mary and Joseph. Those assholes are so fucking loud I’m fantasizing about throwing a few cherry bombs in their faces. Finish the fucking job you worthless American layabouts!
Funny piece of history before I go: The transcontinental railroad construction project (built in the 1860’s) employed two basic ethnic groups. First were Irish immigrants. And the other was Chinese. At first, the bosses were apprehensive about using weak little Asian men for such a physical job. But they had no choice. It was them or nobody.
It turns out that the Chinese were excellent workers. So good that the corporation actually went recruiting in China to get more of them. Come the day after the workers’ day off, the Irish were useless from being so hungover after a night of heavy drinking. The Chinese on the other hand, were good to go because their high of choice (opium) didn’t ruin them for the next day. Thus, ownership was much fonder of opium as an opiate for the masses (pun intended) than it was of liquor, which rendered half their workers useless the next day.
Now it’s off to the pharmacy. And guess why! Doctor Mengele’s root canal therapy has left the tooth hurting more a week later than it was when I went in for the procedure. So I called the office to report the situation and the receptionist asked “Have you been taking your medication?” Newsflash, honey: Homey didn’t prescribe me anything! Having heard my response, the girl put me on hold without warning (I thought I’d been cut off) and returned a minute later to ask “Have you been taking your medication?” I’m not kidding here!
So she prescribed what I’ve already been taking more or less (I have penicillin and Aleve at home) and I’m off to pick up stuff I already have if for no other reason than to replenish my supply for the next time an idiot dentist forgets to prescribe what I need! I’m happy to report that this morning, after 3 days of taking penicillin, the tooth is feeling better. But the answer remains, why didn’t Mengele prescribe me something which is apparently routine in root canal cases? Answer: He’s cut from the same cloth as that fucking construction crew in the schoolyard. That’s why!