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.