Friday, 17 August 2007

Back From Holidays, Back To "Work"

I’ve just come back from my holidays. It was tough but I’m back to work now so I can take it easy again. Unfortunately I’ve been moved away from Karl Gustavgatan, and now I’m at yet another different site. This time it’s in Eriksberg, an area once encompassed by Gothenburg’s massive port, but now being transformed into a colony of ultra modern apartment blocks. Barely a single building in the whole area would predate 2004. Every block is either a recently built apartment building, or a construction site for an apartment building. Unfortunately in their haste to construct so much accommodation, no one seems to have thought about things like shops, public transport, and other services, but they do get great views of the city and the river. Think Docklands in Melbourne, but spread over a 2 km stretch of the Yarra, and not quite as accessible to the CBD.
The biggest difference from every other site I’ve worked at, is that it is much more like what you’d expect a construction site to look like. Everyone wears a hard-hat, lots of huge cranes, forklifts, scaffolding, and all that sort of thing. Every other site I’ve been at has essentially been renovation work inside an already existing building, whereas Eriksberg consists of six brand new buildings built from scratch.
The work pace at Eriksberg isn’t as relaxed or as easy-going as Karl Gustavgatan, but only in the same way that say, scratching your back takes more effort then scratching your head. I’m now forced to make do with half-hour breaks every two hours. The good part about this site is that I’m getting a lot of opportunities to learn new things and develop my skills. I’ve basically been assigned to be an assistant to another more experienced carpenter called Bjorn. There are no dull cleaning chores, just following Bjorn around and listening to everything he tells me. Although I’m also starting to suspect that Bjorn might be an alcoholic. While not 100% sure, I’m pretty certain I could smell booze on his breath the other day, and he does have a habit of disappearing for a suspiciously long time just to do something simple like get more screws. He certainly seems to be prone to addictive substances. Not only does he smoke a pipe during breaks, but he also regularly smokes cigarettes during shifts, AND still constantly has a lump of snus under his upper lip. That’s three different ways of absorbing nicotine, all used concurrently! No wonder he needs the odd drink.

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