What's in my head

This is the home of your average girl in her early 30s making her way in the big city...Not really. I have thoughts. Now I have somewhere to put them.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

The orange is growing on me

Despite what I said in the summer, I gave in and now wear the orange shirt.

I played hard to get for a while - accepting the compliments from my crew leaders when they suggested I become a crew leader. I was happy just to make my bi-weekly Saturday visit to the Habitat for Humanity build site and NOT BE IN CHARGE. To NOT BE RESPONSIBLE for my actions, let alone those of eight or so other people. I mean, people are actually expected to live in these homes and I write for a living. I should not be responsible for giving instructions on how to use a drill, saw or any other tool besides say a pen or a pencil.

Then everything changed. About a month ago I decided to stop my teasing and step up to the plate (well, really I just wanted to volunteer, but the Saturday shifts fill up so quickly I couldn't go until December! Crew leaders can volunteer whenever they want so I said I finally felt comfortable enough to accept the invitation to wear the orange shirt - volunteer's wear white). They happily signed me up (they're regretting it now).

I was supposed to be eased into the position by being an apprentice first, but the alternate plan of giving the new girl eight of the 18 volunteers who showed up (when there were FOUR other crew leaders) worked just fine too. Also, deciding to put the people who are moving into the house on her crew? Great idea. No extra pressure. NOT. AT. ALL. Luckily, I was only in charge of painting. This turned out to be quite enjoyable because all I did was go from floor to floor painting a wall here, some trim there and saying things like, "that looks great. Keep up the good work and don't forget to take a break, remember there are cookies in the trailer." (Volunteer work is all about the free food). And at the end of the day? I handed off my brushes for someone else to clean.

I was back the next Saturday ready to give orders, do a little work and feel good for helping others. (The head volunteer lady got a little over zealous when I said I'm be a crew leader so she signed me up for four things in two weeks). This time I was only given a crew of five. We were assigned the task of vapour sealing the headers and walls in the basement. Sounded easy enough, although I'd never done it before. The regret of promoting me was evident as the site superintendent took me around telling me what we needed to do and what tools/materials it would require, to which I responded with looks of confusion and said things like, "what is that?" and "How do we do that?" for apparently really simple things that everyone should know.

My crew was great though and one of them had done this job before so he became my helper. We made great progress and were ready to begin room with no windows - or lights - after lunch (I could have moved ahead to get things set up there, but when the site superintendent took me down there he used words like, "mice" and "spiders" so I felt it really was a job that should be delegated to my helper...). I returned from lunch to find my crew photographing my helper who was tac taped to the wall! (Picture it: a six foot something, 225 plus guy stuck to the wall with a big red X of tape). Even though it was pretty funny I couldn't laugh. I had to remain all boss like so I said, "when you get down it better not rip the plastic." (I could so be a teacher). It didn't rip and at the end of the day I pretended I didn't hear them say they were going to write their names on the beams.

I don't go back until Dec. 10 and I am a little nervous about what I'll be in charge of next (maybe there'll be more walls to paint by then...)

Although no future habitat homeowners will never read this, I just want to send this message out into the universe.

I am sorry.

They should have never let me put on the orange shirt. I know not what I am doing, but my intentions are good.


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