My boss quit...

My boss quit on Monday. It was a shock only because some thought he was going to get fired. We are now on day four of the rebuilding process and oddly, things are looking up for now.

I used to be a roofer back in college. We had a team of about 8 guys. I was the only kid. As with most construction jobs, the kid got picked on. It was almost a loving kind of abuse, probably because the guys knew I'd go back to school and be out of their lives once summer was over. But there was also one other guy on the team that got abuse... one of their own so to speak. Everyone hated that guy. He was either lazy or stinky or dumb or his wife cheated on him... all merely allegations, but these things were said behind his back, but just loud enough for him to hear. Either this guy would quit after a week or try and stick it out and become my buddy. I think they would seek refuge in the other guy who got picked on.

No man can take that much abuse and they would snap and start a fight or walk off the job. Either way they were gone.

For a few days, all the guys would sit around at lunch and talk about what an asshole the quitter was and how they were happy he was gone. Everyone was happy. But then after those few days were up, you would see everyone looking around for the new guy to start picking on. Sometimes it was easy when a new guy was hired to replace the last. Sometimes no one was immediately hired and the cannibalism set in. One of their own was chosen. The circle is complete.

I guess what I'm thinking is that we've got about a week to blame all the company's issues on the old boss. If things aren't fixed, where will all that hatred and blame go? I don't see us hiring anyone in the near future.

Well, to keep this from ending on a downer, let me tell you this: I went on a smaller job with two other seasoned roofers (Old Goat and Charles.) While we were working, I managed to put "Kick Me" signs fashioned from asphalt can stickers on both their backs. I went to one and pointed out the other's sign. I went to the other and did the same. What followed was a round or two of comical kicking, followed up by some aggressive kicking and then the inevitable old guys shoving back and forth on top a 25' roof. By the time I pointed out the signs on their backs, it was too late. They were pissed at each other and did not see the humor in my little joke.

The truck ride home was pretty quiet. My small talk did not create a truce. I was sure that one or both of the guys were going to quit once we got back to the shop.

The next morning at the shop, while changing into my work clothes, I found out the hard way that both my boots had a dollop roofing asphalt in them. I didn't notice the first one until after I had the second one on. Just enough to make me uncomfortable as hell, but not enough to keep me from working. Both guys said nothing. But I'd like to think they collaborated. Punk kid.

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