Today was my first day of roofing, and my entire body has the sort of deep fatigue that is normally reserved for extreme endurance events. My back is outright sore, and when I got home I was covered in a layer of dirt that made me look like I had a late summer tan. On the whole, I enjoyed the experience, although I doubt anyone would do this sort of thing without being paid.

The first thing I learned about roofing is that roofs are like rollercoasters, not because they’re fun, but because they seem a lot steeper when you’re on them. The roof we were working on is a 12/12, which works out to at 45* incline. Upon arriving at the venue, and changing into jeans, I scrambled my way up to the top of the roof, roughly thirty feet in elevation, hugging every sideways staging plank they had laid down like it was a piece of dry land in a rough, shark infested sea. 

The very first thing I was asked to do, still on the top of the roof, was move an 80lbs bag of shingles from one side of the roof to another. I flat out could not do it. It wasn’t so much the weight – although picking up an awkward 80lbs object is never fun – as the fear that managing the weight would send me stumbling over the edge. I wasn’t ready to add deadlifts to my rock climbing.

Or at least, I wasn’t, until they decided that it might be a good idea to harness in the new guy so he doesn’t parkour himself into an early grave. I was most appreciative of this, and while the harness was a bit of a pain in the ass, I enjoyed the peace of mind that it brought, and got down to work. 

Throughout all of this my boss is standing on the staging planks like they’re nothing, catching things people throw from below, and shimmying up and down the roof as if there aren’t slippery dirt pebbles everywhere and the risk of serious injury. I managed only one picture of him in action. 

Extreme roofing.

It didn’t take long to stop caring about the heights, since I was sweating my balls of trying to pull out the old shingles. I was given a tool called a “ripper,” which is basically a long lever with grooves to catch nails, and told to go ham. For the next eight hours it was mostly that, combined with picking the shingles up off the driveway and throwing them into the trailer, and a few other miscellaneous tasks. To no one’s surprise, this is murder on the back, and I noticed that I still had a mid back pump, far stronger than anything deadlifts have ever given me, when I got back home.

A few other interesting things happened. The guy who got me the job gave me two bottles of water, and a half a delicious sandwich. Thanks to him for doing this. Also, the boss and his girlfriend, who joined the crew a bit after I arrived, had a few “Mom and Dad fighting,” moments where they were passive aggressively muttering to each other. I don’t mean to say that the boss is a bad guy, or the crew is dysfunctional. It was more amusing than arresting. 

Unfortunately, about halfway through the day, when on the driveway picking up shingles, I stepped on a nail which went right through my shoe and into my foot. 

I don’t have any pictures. I did take off my shoe immediately, to see a clear red mark in my sock, although the nail didn’t go very deep. I figured that I could re-assess the damage later, but by the time I got home, about four hours later, a combination of sweat and aging turned the sock into a muddy brown colour which doesn’t show much. 

It was only painful in the moment, and I forgot about five minutes after it happened. I will still need a tetanus shot, since my last one was almost twenty years ago, which is a bit annoying. 

All in all, it was a decent Friday, and I’m happy that things seem to have mostly worked out employment-wise. It’s not my dream job, but I like the people I work with, and I actually find the work refreshing.

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  1. Happy to hear you have an income. Hope it gives you the stability to do what you want.

  2. May want to file a WCB no time loss claim? Maybe as a precaution in case the foot gets a nasty infection? Welcome to the world of WC no-fault insurance.

    1. Yup report it to Worksafe within 24 hours. At least there will be a record of it if it gets infected and you need to take time off for it.

  3. Obviously get the shot but whenever I get punctured by something I always kind of brush it off as long as it bleeds. This is probably boomer wisdom handed down to me with no legit backing in medical science but it makes me feel better all the same.

  4. Hope it doesn’t get infected and that this job sticks. Hard work brings out the best in people. And when you get used to your job, you’ll find the time to think clearly and piece things together. Some of my best ideas for stories, ruminations on the world and plans for bettering myself came during work while my longest period of mental lethargy and stagnation was during the COVID downturn when I was unemployed. When I had the most free time I did the least with it. And there is something innate about the masculine experience that responds positively to purposeful work, regardless of the pay. It’s probably more fair to say that it’s a hard requirement, on par with having a social life and being in a relationship.

    It makes me kind of pity a certain group of out-of-touch podcasters who make a decent living off donations for a few hours of work a week. Work consisting mainly of checking the news on the internet and shooting the shit with your friends, no less. Something about that mixture of self-isolation, internet addiction and easy money poisoned the great thing they once had. Without touching grass and grounding oneself in reality, an insightful and analytical brain might as well just be put to use cranking out hour plus-long YouTube documentaries about some inane little piece of pop culture history.

    1. “When I had the most free time I did the least with it.”

      A paradox, yet one I am all too familiar with.

  5. Nail-proof boot liners:

    There are also nail-proof boots available. Might be worth asking your co-roofers about such things.

    Sorry you got hurt.

  6. lol isreal used “ai” called lavender to decide which houses to bomb in Gaza. Their Lavender system designated 37,000 Palestinians as targets and then bombings were carried out with military discipline…. At their homes, wiping out their entire families and everyone else in the buildings typically in the middle of the night.

  7. Oof bortha XD Well hopefully you didn’t get tetanus lol. Not a bad job though, at least as a temp thing. Working outside and actually creating something something tangible is a nice feeling, though very hard on the body.

    I know a lot of people involved in the trades and it can be very lucrative, especially if you are not a fool.. you should get promoted pretty quick if you demonstrate basic competency, it’s a pretty shallow pool.. but I guess everything is now with diversity and DEI… But roofing is not the best the best thing long term, as far as trades go it’s high risk, low skill and intelligence. Not much room for advancement.

    If you want to go the trade route, electrical or something more skill and intelligence based is much better. They don’t take long to learn and the boomers who make up the bulk of the highly skilled portion are aging out fast. Definitely worth the 1 year apprenticeship paycut I think. If I were you I would use my freetime to prepare to enroll in an apprenticeship program in a harder to learn trade with more growth potential. Something where intelligence earns you more. Something more complicated. The few above midwits who join those always become godlike. Big fish in a small pond phenomenon ya know?

    1. Use the retardation of the herd phenomenon to your advantage you know? That’s how you win, notice the gold that the bandwagon sheeple overlook. College is mostly fake and gay, a few STEM things are worth the money but…. most of the people are just getting fleeced.

    2. Instrumentation or power engineering are good. Tonnes of instrumentaion work out of town in oil and gas. Power engineering is harder to get into and takes longer to move up but a good union job and stable. Lots of boomers retiring.

  8. I knew some construction workers and carpenters, every last one of them has severe back problems in their older age (50s or so)… I’m talking constant doctor visits and difficulty doing basic things like getting up out of a couch.

    Surprising there is any construction going on with the inflation over the top… and we lost over a million jobs in the last 3 mos… all gas-lighted by the pedo army of Orwell….so good job finding one.

  9. Sounds like the ending to Office Space but with a TRS reference that I’m too lazy to come up with.

  10. Iran attacked Israel apparently.

  11. >Getting a DTaP shot

    Enjoy your mercury bro

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