After a stop by the hardware store for a pallet of blocks, we made our way back to our Newalla job site. We had transferred all the necessary tools to the truck with A/C the evening before, so we were confident it would just take a little while to finish up. It was heating up by the time we arrived at around 8:00 am. Our helper got right to work hauling the blocks to the building while my crew leader arranged them under the shed. I picked up where we had left off on the trim and everything was clicking along nicely.
I should say a few things about our helper right here. He had just graduated high school a couple months earlier, and was equipped with the standard amount of knowledge and wisdom associated with boys of that age. For weeks, he had been begging to go with us to build on site. It was an adventure! That attitude stayed with him for the first few loads of concrete blocks, but quickly gave way to reality as he traversed the backyard.
Throughout the morning, I made good time on finishing the shed. My crew leader – who shall remain unnamed – worked hard to level the shed with our helper. They finished their work a little while before lunch. A coworker had been dispatched to our jobsite to bring a few things we needed, and arrived about that time. The shed was just about ready to paint and so it was decided that the crew leader would leave our helper with me to finish up while he went back to the shop to keep things going there. It all sounded like a great plan.
We painted both coats on the shed before lunch, and then it was time to trim paint. After searching for the 3” trim roller for a little while, I discovered that maybe we hadn’t transferred everything we needed from the tool truck. So, I decided to lay shingles until lunch. After searching for the roofing gun for a little while, I discovered that maybe we hadn’t transferred everything we needed from the tool truck. But, we did have an air-conditioned truck!
I decided that we would both go to Norman (about a 45-minute drive) so that I could rent a gun and buy a trim roller. It took about two and a half hours to get our needed tools, grab a quick lunch, and get back to the job site. Once there, I set up to shingle and told him to start painting the trim. I checked on him before climbing up on the scaffold and discovered that he had all the talent of a finger painting toddler. There was trim paint everywhere!
It was clear that I couldn’t trust him to paint the trim, and he had no clue to how to lay shingles, so I put him to work taking unneeded tools and materials back to the truck. I painted the trim a couple coats, then climbed up on the scaffold to start laying shingles.
I put him on the roof handing shingles down to me. It was about 4 pm, the hottest part of an Oklahoma summer day, and the shingles were sticking to anything they touched in an instant. My head was down and I was just laying shingles as fast as I could. I waited too long for the next shingle, and so I looked up in time to see my helper losing his lunch off the end of the shed.
“What else could go wrong?” I wondered. I should have never asked…