At first we were upset over this new arrangement, mainly because it was somewhat sprung on me by surprise, but we discussed it and came to the consensus that work is work. If we want to be able to buy a home this year it's better to be working than to be sitting at home idle and collecting E.I. And the schedule isn't that tough. My late shifts are from Tuesday to Friday. I'm home earlier on Saturdays, and I'm off Sundays and Mondays.
There's perfectly logical reasoning behind our new schedule. It's much easier for us painters to do what we need to do when all the other trades have gone home for the night. We're applying some smelly products (don't worry I wear a respirator) and that requires some considerable preparation, not to mention drying time.
My tasks have so far revolved around the preparation end of things: masking and hanging plastic and paper over things we don't want to get paint on, then tearing down the masking after the other guys have painted. It's not a glamour job, but it's not that bad either. I have less exposure to the paints and I get to drive around the place on cool machines like scissor lifts, articulated lifts, and the classic boom lift just like this model.
I admit, I'm not one of those guys who can whip these things around and drive them at high speeds. Most of the time I dial the machine down to turtle speed (yes, there's actually a picture of a turtle on the panel) and really only dial it up to rabbit speed when I've got a lot of open space. I don't like that jerky feeling of the boom swaying really fast. The slightest movement on the ground translates into a big movement 60 feet up. It's kind of like working on a diving board! (Don't worry, I wear a fall safety harness.)
My brother, who is really scared of heights, told me there was no way he could do my job. To me it's no big deal as long as I feel comfortable that whatever I'm standing on is secure. I'm actually far more relaxed in the basket of one of those lifts than I am on a wobbly ladder. Trust me, people, you'll NEVER see me doing things like these guys: