T Nation

Other Side Greener

When I go for a walk to stock up on food supplies for work I generally walk past some big construction work in the centre of the city I live in. As I walk past in my suit and tie I look at the guys working construction and get very jealous of their jobs.

These guys spend their days working with their hands and their bodies to create something huge. They get to be active all day and spend most of the time in the fresh air. I earn a decent income and whilst the majority of guys would earn less than I do some of them would earn more than me.

Do you think that any of the people working construction look at the guys and gals walking past in their suits and get jealous of the people that have the ‘professional’ type jobs.

Let me qualify this a bit by saying that I have never worked a manual labour job so I dont know how it feels to work like that for weeks on end.

My thoughts are that there are some people in the construction game that would want the ‘professional’ job but that number would be tiny compared to the number of people in my position who would love to be out there working on the site using you hand, body and mind on a daily basis rather than sitting in an office.

What are your thoughts?

I was a laborer for a steel company. Grinding slag off of huge sheets of steel is not fun and is not what I would do for a living. It was hot, rough, and wore me out. Stainless steel is another beast in itself. Nope, I’m glad I don’t have a construction typoe job.

But the 7" pneumatic grinder was a cool ass tool.

I poured concrete every summer of my undergrad school career in Colorado. I think it probably depends on your perspective. I liked the labor, but it plays hell with your workouts. I was always a social misfit too because I slept all the damn time; 12 hr days pouring concrete don’t make you want to go do much of anything but crash.

Now that i’m almost finished with my MBA, i’m looking forward to the shirt and tie days. Sitting in class and staring at stock quotes all day makes me look forward to getting into the gym even more.

I think it’s human nature to want what you don’t have. I worked in sales out of highschool and was going to school for computer programming…but I wanted to be a mechanic. So I got my associates degree in automotive technology instead, and was a mechanic for 4 years…then I got sick of being dirty, so I got out of it…

Anyway, I doubt they think their air is clean…there’s always exhaust fumes from the machinery and so on. Either way, there are some people that are content…but probably most aren’t.

Good topic subject…I have worked both, landscaping and moving while still in college and now the “suit” job. I think a lot of what goes on is there is so much less BS w/ manual labor jobs than with corporate shiite. a lot less “as per” emails and a lot more breakin balls for lack of a better term.

I’ve done a lot of heavy labor jobs and a couple of professional type things, from steel erecting and concrete to tree work (pruning, removal, and commercial clear cutting), to book keeping and sales consulting so-
Looking at and driving through some buildings and neighborhoods that I’ve helped build is great, and I like having the sense of accomplishment. That is priceless, but the pay isn’t so good.

The desk stuff is not my game. I can ballance ledgers and shit till my eyes fall out and not feel like I’ve done a damned thing.
Closing deals is a cool feeling, but the high pressure to perform well is difficult, and I suck with words.

I’m seriously considering going back to school to finish mechanical engineering. That way I may be able to split the difference between working with my head and hands.

But thats just me.