Thursday, January 12, 2006

While I'm not doing anything noteworthy, some reruns.

Sometimes I write a post and then for one reason or another don't publish it - sometimes it seems like a bad idea at the time, sometimes something better happens, sometimes I can't make it work and give up, sometimes I just forget.

Since I'm probably not going to be doing much of anything for the next couple of weeks, I thought I'd post some of them now - I suppose they're more interesting than tales of me doing laundry and fighting the Doberman- sized dust bunny under my couch (and if there's something anyone needs explained, now is a good time for me to do it).

Here's one from October 2005 titled "Cable" (I don't remember which show, though. It happened downtown, so it might have been N.C.I.S.):

Sometimes it seems like 90% of what we do is move cable from point A to point B and back again.

Cable weighs a lot - a cable cart, loaded with 4/0 (our heaviest cable and the type that carries the most power), weighs about 600 lbs. Since cable carts have four pneumatic wheels, this load is fairly easy to push (as long as one is on flat ground. Even the slightest incline with a loaded cable cart sucks.).

Until one has to turn.

The maneuver used to turn a loaded cable cart is to lean one's weight on the handle bars, thus lifting the front wheels of the cart off the ground - it's much, much easier to turn if it's up on two wheels.

I don't weigh very much, so when I do this I kinda just hang there with my feet kicking in the air - much to the amusement of anyone watching. Even folks who don't work on set understand that this is really, really funny and that they can feel okay laughing about it.

Today, as I hung there, bouncing my weight on the handles of the cable cart, trying something - anything to get the damned thing to move (while one of my co-workers kept urgently asking over the walkie if I had that cable he needed yet), a passing homeless guy pointed at me and laughed.

I can honestly say I never thought this would happen to me. Even in my darkest teenage moments, never once did I envision a future in which I'd have to list 'jeered at by transients' as a workplace occurrence.

As he passed, I shrugged and said "Hey, gotta pay the bills."

"Yeah, but like that?" he asked, as he continued on down the street.


Anonymous said...

This is something I can relate to. I'm not a very heavy guy myself, therefore, I've been in the same situation as the one you describe. It is hard to push that cable cart when is loaded to the top.
Are you going to the membership meeting this saturday? I am. You won't know who I am, but if you are like you describe yourself, I'll spot you. Heck! I'll even buy you a cup of your favorite coffee at your favorite place. Still don't agree with a lot of things you say, but we have some things in common.


Anonymous said...

back in the hard times of my non-union days i hadnt worked in while, unemployment barley cutting it. i got a call to go to work just as the cupboard and pockets were getting empty. i scrounged enough changed to put just enough gas in the car and went to the gas station.
i had to go inside to pay for my pump. i was holding up the line of hurried commuters counting out 3 bucks of gas in change.
a homeless guy who regularly worked the station pumping gas and cleaning windows ( remember when people were paid for that?) saw the long line of exasperated customers and came inside. recognising me from the times that i helped him, he paid to fill my tank.

Charli said...

You got dissed by a homeless guy - priceless!


fingle said...

Hi, Peggy Archer!

I love your journal! I'm a part-time stagehand in 504 in Orange County, and I find your stuff is so damned funny! I used to watch the people doing electrics at OCPAC and think, 'Wow, that looks like fun, interesting work! I wish I was doing that instead of lifting whatever heavy-as-hell thing I was doing instead!'

Then I started getting on the electrics crew and discovered that it was a case of the grass being greener. There's always something heavy to be lifted no matter what part of the crew you're on...

Although a coil of four-aught is stupid heavy. It's like wrestling a dead Anaconda...

Recently I was on a crew putting 50K lamps, crank-up stands and all the accoutrement on the roofs of Main Street, Disneyland, carrying everything up little, rickety flights of wooden stairs. Now when I read your journal, it makes my back hurt all over again... Be careful!

Thanks for all the great posts!

Best regards,
- Pat H.

grip chick said...

Hey, have you guys tried getting up under the handlebars, pushing up & pivoting on the 2 front wheels?
When I first became a grip & weighed 118lbs & that was the only way I could get an overloaded sandbag cart to turn. Looks funny, but it works!