Thursday, November 26, 2015

missing Thanksgiving


Hyatt Regency Westshore, Tampa, Florida
Opening December 1, 1986



The job was almost done but not quite, the big hotel on Tampa Bay had rooms already booked for the grand opening next week, so no stopping work now.

The smells of turkey and pumpkin pie wafted into the big 2-story lobby and up through the tower and made our mouths water, making it harder to concentrate on work and wishing we were home with family and our own Thanksgiving dinner.

Then the word came, passed around from carpenters to plumbers to anyone with a toolbelt or hardhat, Dinner is Served.

The kitchen staff wanted to practice before the opening day, and what better way than to feed an army of lowly worker types like us. The tables in the grand dining room were covered with linen tablecloths and napkins, the china and silver and crystal were all set out. You talk about an instant boost in morale! Nice folks, those kitchen workers.

Yes, we used to build these big skyscrapers that after completion we could not afford to go into again. But not any more. Now we build truck stops, and we can go into them anytime to get a cuppa joe or beef jerky.

And we work on Thanksgiving day to finish the truck stop jobs too. Why? Because that is what we do, we build things and try to meet our schedule commitments no matter what. 

No, there are no grand hotel rooms already rented, but the premise is the same, there is diesel to sell and $$ to be made, so the work goes on. 

"It all pays the same"  "Just glad to have a job"  "It could always be worse"

Today there will be no turkey dinner provided for the workers, but my frozen turkey dinner will be waiting for me in the camper tonight.

And today working out in the cold rain and shaking my head at all the shoddy workmanship by the subs - and seeing (via Skype) my family 900 miles away back home by the warm fire eating Thanksgiving dinner, I am trying but just can't think of a worse thing. 

Retirement is on the horizon, 4 more years...

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