T Nation

To anybody involved in construction type work...

Hey guys… I really don’t know why I’m asking here, but you guys seem to help everyone with all kinds of problems so I figure I’ll give it a shot. Anybody thats involved in construction type work… I’m going back to school in the fall and I’m trying to scrape some cash together before then… I’m so sick of working in retail bullshit, and I like doing manual type labor. There are so many houses and buildings being built around where I live… If I were to walk up to a foreman, and ask if he can set me up with some type of labor type work (carrying lumber, bricks, anything) would he help me out? or tell me to get the hell outta here? I know, I know… I’m going to have to go find out for myself… I’m just curious if anyone has done this is or seen it happen. Thanks guys.

I’m also interested in doing construction this summer. I have a little better situation though as my aunt’s dad owns his own construction company. I was just curious about how I would get in all my meals if I was doing this type of work. Would the Grow bars work for this?

Pre-made shakes – cottage cheese, ap, oatmeal, bananas, cinnamon. Just slam those sonsabitches down and keep on workin. I’m sure if you talked to your boss, and told him your situation he’d understand… just divvy your break time out if possible. Myself, I work a helluva lot harder when my stomach is full… and if you’re draggin’ ass because of an empty stomach… I’m sure he’d let ya go. Plus, alot of those guys probably smoke. So instead of filling your lungs with that shit on a smoke break… slam down a shake. --ryno

Well, there’s a lot to be said for showing up at the job site. Many times the construction labor industry is manned by some unreliable types. If you talk with the foreman. present yourself as a reliable person, and ask to do “whatever they tell you to do,” you’ll be able to negotiate a piece-type contract. Beware, however, that you’re going to be pissing off a lot of the union guys. And they’ve got some rather nasty items at their disposal (nail guns, two-handed hammers, etc).

I had a roofing job last summer. My dad teaches with a lady whose husband runs a local roofing company. The guy just asked me if I wanted a job because it’s too hard for most people so guys don’t usually last long. My foreman’s favorite thing to say was:‘Just because it’s fuckin hard doesn’t mean you don’t have to fuckin do it!!’. I think you could just go to a construction company’s office & ask if any crew needs a labourer.

I worked construction for two summers while going to college. Before I started I didn’t have any experience. I was lucky enough to know a guy who owned his own construction business. Just go up and talk to an owner and ask for a job. Try working with someone who does a lot of cement. They always need someone big and it doens’t take alot of know-how.

You’ll get enough breaks in the day to get in all your meals. This goes double if you work for a union.

i work for an engineering firm, and i know in my city, general laborers are sometimes hard to find… i would suggest trying to go to commercial building sites first. and to be polite, arrive early in the morning, before the work day starts, or towards the end of the day. try the construction trailer first. just remember to show up clean cut and look nice, not “suit” nice but at least look like you take care of yourself, and talk intelligently, i bet anything you’d get hired on the spot…

Thanks for the responses, gentlemen. I was going to go Monday and start asking… hearing good things from you guys will make things easier. How do you think they’d pay a guy that just came to the site and asked for a job… if I got it I mean? Would it be like an under-the-table cash thing? or would a paycheck be cut? I’m guessing it depends on the foreman/company… just wondering.

As a person who owns a construction business the most important thing is to show up walk the site and ask people of they are looking for help. The best employee I ever had did that. He now runs his own business and is doing real well. (maybe I shouldn’t have taught him so well) But also show up when you are supposed to and don’t let any of the other people that you work with dictate how YOU work. In other words even if they are slacking off you look for other work to do. If you work nonstop you don’t even have to work fast but if you’re willing to find things to keep[ you busy you will be very popular with the bosses. Just be sure that you show up on time everyday and put forth an effort.

That’s what I found too. If do what you’re supposed to be doing nobody says anything, but if you don’t, you get yelled at by everbody. It seemed like nothing could get done fast enough for my foreman though. He was always yelling at us to haul ass.

I worked construction for about six years in the summer when I was going to highschool and my first two years of college. It was pretty fun. We did all types of work. Be careful though on cement only work. Those were the worst days as I got to man the shovel. We weren’t union and most of the other guys I worked with were druggies so people were rotating in and out all the time. Just show up on time everyday and you have it made.