What do I do all day?

One of the hardest questions I have to answer is 'What do you do each day?' It depends largely on the minute of the day you might see me at work. With the ongoing large project underway things have settled into much more of a routine than normal but I still have to wear many, many hats through the day.

During the course of a typical day it seems like I do a hundred different things. First thing in the morning when the crew arrives it is my job to assign everyone their tasks. I, along with the crew need to figure out what needs doing and in what order. Thankfully, Hailey also helps organize things and the crew knows to just pick up where they left off the day before until instructed otherwise.

I make a trek up to the worksite to deliver the tool trailer as close to starting time as possible. Most mornings, while the crew unloads the tools, Chris (the owner) and I spend some time reviewing the project, deciding on the order of upcoming jobs and laying things out, tape measure and spray bomb in hand. It has been a long while since I've seen a blueprint of any kind. We'll spend up to an hour in discussion and planning each day to keep both his and my crew busy and organized.

Then it is back to the shop to get some work done there. I have a specific list of projects which I want to do myself but my primary job is to keep the crew productive. With up to ten people working on up to ten different jobs I answer many, many questions all day long. I pick colors, demonstrate carving techniques or textures or show how I want a particular task done. In between I sneak up to my office once in a while to answer emails, or do a little designing on something that will need to be started very soon.

On most days I'll spend a little time with my welding hat down, building a framework I can then hand off to another member of the crew, confident the direction and basic design is set. There is always a carving project awaiting my attention with the painters waiting for me to finish.

A couple times each week I also get to do a little sculpting too.

If the crew is doing concrete I always do at least a little to help them finish. Sometimes I manage to snag an entire piece for myself, but this does not often happen these days.

When it is time to carve the concrete I will do a little section to demonstrate what we are looking for, and if the concrete is getting hard I jump in with the rest of the crew until the job is done. On delivery days driving the forklift and rigging loads is primarily my responsibility, because of the danger that might be present. So much could easily go wrong in an instant if it isn't done right. 

Some days I help clean or push a broom as needed. If I try to help with the heavy lifting my crew will always stop me and threaten to tell Janis, for that is the one job I am not allowed.

It's my responsibility to make sure tools are used correctly, and that safety equipment and protocalls are implemented by the crew. Supplies need to be ordered, delivered and organized. And I also need to take pictures throughout the day so I can write and post them here to this blog. I lso write three other blogs and a number of magazine articles as well.

There are of course many, many other things I do each day, as necessitated by shop circumstances, the ringing of the phone or the dropping in of visitors. It can get a little hectic at times.

In all of my tasks I am of course helped by my cheerful and eager crew. I am but the leader of a crazy band. They humor me and let me think I am in charge. At the end of each day, before I lock the shop door, I like to look back and appreciate all the beautiful and amazing work that did get accomplished that day. It makes my efforts meaningful and worthwhile.

Most days I would have a tough time listing all the things I worked on. I know at the end of the day my clothes are dirty, my boots caked with mud. I'm spattered with paint and I am bone tired from running all day long. I also know the list of things needed to be done tomorrow is already long. But no worries, for it has been a great day! Tomorrow is a brand new day and I'll get to do it all over again. It sure beats actually working! :)

-grampa dan