Just…lemurs, everywhere. I don’t even particularly like taking jobs in Keymore; never have. Creepy place. Everyone smiles like they know something you don’t, and too much stuff happens there, like it’s a weird magnet. Thought things would be better when they replaced the old mansion with the school, but now the school has shut down.
Still, the lemur sanctuary sounded like fun. It’s on the edge of the town as well, so it doesn’t seem to have been sucked in by all the weird, even though a lemur sanctuary is pretty weird in and of itself. Well, not until I was servicing the heating and a few of them escaped, getting into my ute and just clean chewing through the roof racks and bars. The folks there were almost too apologetic, so that was nice. Still…wow. Those racks were made of solid aluminium. What exactly are they feeding those lemurs, that it takes them less than half an hour to bit their way through solid metal? Are the visitors even safe??
No one has been bitten yet, they say. And they’re paying for me to have new roof racks and bars fitted, plus some extra under tray draws for my trouble. So that’s fine; the people running it seem like good people. I’m just thinking about what it would’ve been like to watch a handful of escaped lemurs climb on top of my ute and just gnaw their way through one of the toughest things on it. Like it was a challenge.
I was lucky that I wasn’t using them that day, AND that I’d brought in my toolbox to fix the heating, or they might’ve gotten inside. The people there said that the lemurs like to steal things, and then also chew them. So that’d be my gas bottle holders or aluminium accessories being used as chew toys, and I’m pretty attached to them. They need someone to fix the enclosures…preferably with titanium and bullet-proof glass.
I was really happy to get my job, even though it’s pretty basic stuff. I mean, not EVERYONE gets an apprenticeship two days after finishing their plumbing course, so I thought I was getting a pretty good deal. Mostly.
I’m having doubts. Actually, I’ve been having doubts for a while, but I’ve kept brushing it off, because no one else is complaining, right? But then we went to a barbecue for all the local tradespeople in the area, and they were all showing up with…stuff. Stuff we didn’t have. Utes, for one thing; my boss packs all our equipment into an old Toyota Corolla and makes us carry the equipment on our laps. Theirs were actual utes, with under tray draws and service bodies and all the good stuff. So that was already weird, but then the guys started to talk about their jobs and I begin to realise that maybe…just MAYBE, we had it a bit rougher. The other day we had to deal with a deep excavation problem; a pipe had gotten blocked due to rust on the inside. First off, we had to dig the hole using shovels. So THAT took most of the day. Then, I had to dig out the pipe and replace it…upside down, with the boss holding onto my ankles. Apparently there are more appropriate tools for that sort of thing. And like, other people get paid on time with electronic banking. They don’t wait for three weeks and get the wrong amount in two-dollar coins.
And apparently in Melbourne, aluminium toolboxes are pretty standard. As in, people carry their tools inside the toolboxes, instead of having to make multiple trips back and forth from the car carrying them in our arms while the boss tells us to hurry up.
So, yeah. I’m starting to think I’m not getting the dream experience. Maybe a character-building experience, but I know which one I’d prefer, and it doesn’t involve trying to a replace a pipe while dangling upside down in a dirty hole.
I have had it with this job. Being an apprentice builder is hard work. My boss treats me like a glorified servant, I have to get up early every day, and I get paid a pittance. Oh, and now a bunch of my tools have been stolen. My boss has been on my back to get one of those aluminium toolboxes, you know the lock-up contraptions that have all these little compartments for your tools. Well I kept putting off calling the people that make custom toolboxes, I get terrible anxiety with making phone calls. I thought everything would be fine in the back of my ute. We were working at the top end of town where prices for the shonkiest shacks run in the millions. I thought the fine people of this very posh suburb earn so much at their cushy office jobs that they would not need to take my tools. What would you know, they did. I was working on the roof when I spotted a woman in a business suit totter over to my ute. I watched as she grabbed my most expensive kit, not believing that this was happening in front of my very eyes.
When I had the presence of mind to yell at her to drop my stuff, she simply ran with it. What was I going to do about it? I was stuck on the roof I have no idea how she ran so fast in those towering heels, but she was long gone by the time I sprinted down the ladder. Now I’m hundreds of dollars out, and what’s worse is my boss is mad that I stopped working for one minute to chase her. I’ll definitely look into getting one of those aluminium trays, Melbourne people are nothing but thieves.