Return to Mordor

This is what head office feels like....
This is what head office feels like….

For those of you who don’t know I work for a construction company. Up until recently I had been removed from head office and sent to a site that was still in the same city that I live in, but in a remote part that it actually feels like I am in the bush. For those of you familiar with Harare, you will know that most of it is built up. What you don’t know, is that there are some parts where it is literally breaking ground. There are some places where there is nothing. Literally nothing. There is so much nothing that it is perfectly normal to see a herd of cattle stroll past you and look at you as if YOU are out of place.

Occasionally when there is work that needs to be done and the guys at HQ are busy they will call me and ask if I can come and give a helping hand. I guess that means that I am valuable that they call on my specific skill sets. I feel like a special agent… except there is no awesome gadgets and exotic locations (semi exotic in terms of I wouldn’t go there out of my own choice. Once again the locations have NOTHING there….).

Sights of site
Sights of site

So I’m back here and I have been thinking about where I prefer to be. The site I am working on is 10km away from head office, I start work at 7am which means I have to wake up at 5am to be out the house at 6am.

Early morning safety meeting... like real early
Early morning safety meeting… like real early

I finish work at 430, but arrive home at 6pm, I work with an individual who has a very strong rural background (I intend on highlighting some of the exciting aspects of his character), it is filled with dust, its hot, there are no trees. However everyday is a new challenge. There is no formula that says from day one to day x we will encounter the same challenges.

Low water table
Low water table

In fact sometimes they are the same, but manifested in different ways. On site the day goes WAAAAY faster coz I’m in the field, and busy organizing and having arguments with some of the people who I work with. It feels like it is exercise (mentally and physically).

The field
The field

Of course the head office has a few perks. I only start work at 730am, and I get home at 515pm at the end of the day. I am in a proper office, I am not wearing and PPE, if I need to speak to someone I can call them internally. Unfortunately I can’t take random naps at work coz this is HQ. Anyone could walk into my office…. I mean this is where are the directors and the CEO live. This is THEIR house. I used to like the fact that at HQ there is internets so I can…. blog and do my assignments for my diploma. But to be honest that’s not a good enough reason to like being at this place. I can pass through here. But I can’t stick around here anymore. Its BORING!!! Like what the hell man….

View from my desk... another desk
View from my desk… another desk

I know I have to endure a few more days here, but I am going to make the most of it. Hopefully I will get some blogs done, I will also do a coursework for school and maybe if I manage to find the full motivation, I may just try and do my group assignment. The internets are amazing, but you can live without them… anyway seeing as I’m back in Mordor I might as well hide under my desk….

 

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The End of Term

This is a day I have been waiting for with giddy anticipation. For those of you who don’t know me, I work in the construction industry. Specifically in the estimating department of a construction company. We are responsible for compiling and submitting tenders that are advertised/we are invited to tender to, and also responsible for estimating the cost of proposed works.

We use our fair share of dark arts in the work we do. Our dark arts aren’t as dark as Professional Quantity Surveyors (PQS’s are different from QS’s who work for contractors). The job can be monotonous, the hours are painful and sometimes the weekends are non-existent.

It’s an interesting department of the company. I get to go to (un)exotic places for site visits, get to speed from HQ with tender documents to the other side of town when submissions are late, and worst of all I have to remain on call WAY more than I like.

Out of all of this, there is one thing I like about working in this industry.

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Month Long Holiday

This gives me great joy every year to know that for a month I get to wind down, switch off my daily 545am alarm, sleep in, spend days without combing my hair, bath only when I have to leave the house, reduce my daily drive of 50km to hopefully MUCH less.

This holiday is also fraught with danger. I could be broke in the first week just because of boredom. I have devised a few schemes to keep me hopefully occupied enough to not go on a spending spree.

Comics
Hopefully these graphic novels will keep me occupied
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My games should keep me occupied. Some have been lent out but will be back soon

If all else fails, I will resort to the one other thing that will keep me distracted, and at home especially at night…

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Golden Nectar and Mindless Violence

I will keep you informed of my mental state over the holiday period. I will also take lots and lots of random pictures just because I can.

To those still at work, the end is near!!!!!!

Till the next blog-isode!!

It was all a lie!!!!

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“You can do what you like when you finish school” they used to say. Just to make us keep our concentration for the whole day. You know, when you were younger you used to dream. Dream of that day of finishing school and then not doing anything. Just sleeping late, staying up late. Never aware of the honest frightening fact that you could possibly end up behind a desk for the next 20 years doing something you never imagined you would do. I suppose that’s the joke about life. Does that mean that as school kids we should have been taught early about what actually makes the world go around. I never understood why my dad used to go to work when I was a kid. I just assumed he went to work coz he liked it.

The biggest shock was getting to LANDAN! That was real. Now I had to go to school AND work. That was mind blowing. But university was different. Going to lectures hanging and on little sleep, skipping lectures, drinking at lunch time, leaving at the break in lecture et al. I am sure there is more that I can go on about how everyone essentially survived through the monotone lecturers who could put an insomniac to sleep in about 3.5 seconds. My university was cool coz they used to put up the lecture material online sometimes before the lecture. Kind of made going to the lecture pointless (or so some people thought).

But the real thing that I’ve been thinking since I got to work, is that the reality that you build up while you are at school and the reality of actuality are two very very different things. I consider myself to be one of a few people (apart from skydivers, concept car testers, computer game testers, food/restaurant critics, generally any critic) who actually enjoys his job. Yes its get VIOLENTLY boring when I spend all day harassing people and sometimes sleeping at my desk (Inemuri (居眠り) is the Japanese practice of sleeping on the job. It literally. It is a way for an employee to show how committed they are to working. In other words, the employee spends so much time working that they sleep too little at home and have to do inemuri), watching whole seasons of TV shows in a week and having enough time to continually prepare for the zombie apocalypse.

This isn’t the reason I like my job. I am not going to bore you with the reasons, but I will mention one thing. In my industry it is IMPOSSIBLE for there to be two identical projects. Can’t happen, won’t happen. Buildings will look the same, but because they are at two different locations they are not the same. This brings in a lot of other interesting possible differences to the two projects.

Today I have decided to do something that I have put off for too long. I am actually going to try and teach myself (the hard way) something I DESPISE with quite a fervent passion and was very happy to see the back off in first year university. I am also going to do it the hard way because I think that’s the only way I will learn.

Wish me luck as I am about to plunge myself into the world of taking off and quantity surveying.

If I had known that life would have been this hard when I was older I would have played harder when I was a kid. – Herbert Ram