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Monday, August 4, 2008

Painting, it ain't all that.

Ahh! The world of painting; the stereotyping, secrets, shortcuts, physicality and mental fatigue behind it all.

As you have guessed, I make my living as a commercial painter. Very few people love what they do and I am no exception. For all of you folks out there who look at me with my paint splattered (once) white painter clothes on and say to me "You must love to paint", come try it for a week and then tell me what you think.
For example painting steel supports on a staircase eighty feet in the air on a boom lift with a harness on while it is 1oo degrees out and facility has no air conditioning because it is not installed yet. Or how about painting pipes in a sanitation pumping house (pretty picture eh?) Better yet a nursing home that constantly smells like shit, with old people walking around saying things to me like "kill me" and trying to grab you while your working.
I do not paint with an artists brush or just paint trim which I think many are mislead to believe that is all we do. Try rolling with an 18 inch roller (any of you even ever seen an 18 inch roller?) spraying forty foot block walls on a lift with block filler, or rolling ceilings all day for a week straight. (And needing neck surgery while looking up all day long.) Are you still having fun suit and tie guy or gal? Did I mention the protective tyvek suits and respirators and spray socks we have to wear while in that heat in addition to our regular clothes?
Now on to the stereotyping of painters which to be fair, describes about eighty percent of my field and gives hard working guys like me a bad rap. I think I have seen it all in the painting business from poor quality work to hard drugs on the job. I have seen such crap as guys smashing up pills on break and snorting them like they are cocaine. Drinking beer on the job... every day. Falling asleep in closets or bathroom stalls because they are so hung over or strung out from the night before, or even from lunch time. Even drug deals going down on the job is a regular occurrence.
Last year was a new one. I saw two drywall workers screwing a hooker at seven o'clock in the morning in some new construction (which means no walls) thus, everyone could see. I say painting is not fun but it is a shady lifestyle and I am trying to survive it to provide for my family the best I can. It is actually hard to be the "good guy" on a work site. So I challenge those who say painting is fun to come work with me for one week and then tell me how much fun you had Picasso.
Plus, once it is all done and said for the day, I have to come home to my wife M.I. Save me!

6 comments:

Drafting With No Direction said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Malicious Intent said...

I personally think you look totally hot in those tight white painters pants.

I just thought you should know.

Malach the Merciless said...

See, you got all wrong, you need to be a painter, as in an pro artist like me, and not a painter . . .

Of course, the money's probably better being the latter.
I am off to go heat strip my kitchen floor then tile it!

acrosstheuniverse said...

Dude, I feel for you!! Hang in there...you deserve a prize for being such a supportive dad and hubby!! I know first-hand that you totally changed MI's life.

Keep fighting the good fight! And maybe if you filmed some of that hooker action, you could get a nice little second job going....:)

Stargirl said...

You have the respect of Stargirl.
Right now, I am kicking myself because I volunteered to paint my neighbor's house for them. It's not as much fun to paint someone else's stuff as it is to paint your own stuff.

As far as the commercial painting with the scaffolding and all that...WHEW!!! I can only imagine how hard you work!!! And in pain on top of all that. Something tells me you are overworked and underpaid like me.

Maybe you could get your wife MI to give you some kind of award. I got a "You caught and held my attention MI award" and it has changed my life for good.

Stargirl said...

Oh, and don't worry about the growing catfight between MI and myself. I'm running a clean campaign-spouses are off limits.