blue moon (2)

Friday, May 11, 2007

Wasteland ©

I think my phone should have its own blog, the thing gets more action than I do.

The other night I got a phone call from Mike.
Those of you that remember Mike know he went off to work at the mines in Sudbury.
He is my cousin and best friend to those that don't know of him.
We have done a lot together in the past but I got to say I am happy I didn’t go to the mines with him.
I’ll dig him out with my bare hands if I have to but there is no way in Hell I am going that close to hell for any reason but that.
I asked him how Sudbury is.

Bud, it looks like someone dropped a nuke here and killed everything and what isn’t dead, is dieing.
Everything is black and what isn't will be covered with black dust soon enough.
At night you see nothing but the stars everything else blends into the blackness all around.
The grass is dead the trees……trees, there are no trees except for a pine here or there and they are dieing or begging to be burned and put out of their misery.

Wow must be one hell of an ugly place to live.
What are the women like?

Big ready BIG and I don’t mean fat big but BIG BIG.
Bigger than some guys and could probably beat the shit out of most of them.
They work in the mines to and they’re built like bulls not cows that’s for sure.

So I guess the hookers are popular there then?

Hookers, HA HA HA!
The hookers are ugly as hell and if you find a cute one it’s usually some gay guy dressed like a woman because he doesn’t want to break a nail working at the mine camps.
I have heard a couple of stories about a guy picking a cute hooker up only to find more than he bargained for.

What about the strip clubs?

The strippers there are all grandmothers.
When they spin around the bar and stop to fast their tits keep going and they gets all tied up then someone has to go and untie them.
The real strippers are in the mines because they make more there.

But they get business still because the guys are scared of the woman at work.

Scratching Sudbury off the visiting list.
So what’s it like working at the mines?

It’s hard heavy work.

Mike is not a big guy, about 5-6 135 pound soaking wet.

We work in a this huge building that has a machine 4 times bigger than your house that has seven floors
It takes the ore in and melts it down at 1300 degrees, then they make it into these small balls and sent it to Norway so they could extract the gold and other minerals.

Wow all the way to Norway, they don’t have one here in Canada to do it?

No, it all goes there but every 3 months or so they have to redo the big smelting machine and change all the parts in it.
So we are the ones that take it apart and put it back together all new again.
The other day we went into the section and the told me to dismantle a part of the machine and the nuts on it were bugger than your fist.
They told me where to go get the tools and parts I needed.
That’s what we spend half the day doing for $32 an hour, wait or walking for something.
We have to go across the complex to the parts place for the part and then get the tool we need and sign for it then come back to the people waiting for you to return so they could continue working.
There is a lot of sitting around let me tell you.

I went to the tool building and told them what I needed and they gave me a four-inch socket and an extension.
Both weighed about ten pounds when together then they hand me an impact gun that must have weight forty pounds.
By the time I dragged the tools back to where I was working I was tired.
When I got back to where I was supposed to take the part off I donned my breathing mask.
We all have to wear them because they use cyanide when they are melting the stuff and its poisonous even when the machine is not working.
After I have all my safety gear on, I go and get the air hose and when I picked it up it was heavier than the gun.
It was a one-inch heavy-duty hose and the more of it you pulled the heavier it got.
After attaching it to the gun I was ready to start.
I went to pick it up and it was heavy, I mean really heavy, so I put it down on the table again then I looked around to see if anyone saw me put it back down but they all looked like they were about their tasks.

Turning I looked to where I had to go then back to the impact gun and with one swift movement I picked up the gun and quickly went to the machine and raised it high over my head to where the nuts was.
I almost got it there but I got weak when my arms were that high so I leaned it on the machine and sort of pushed it along the side of the machine to where the bolt was.

I held it there for about thirty seconds catching my breath before I got it around the head of the bolt.
Braced my feet on the floor and I pulled the switch.
The thing went crazy, everything was flying out of my pockets as my body shook all over the place but I held on to the fucken gun as it battled to loosen the bolt.
It felt like an hour before I heard the whine as the bolt came off and I had to get the machine to the floor before I dropped it.
I think my teeth are all loose after that and what hair I had left, well I’m bald now.

That’s when the boss came over and asked what I was doing with the impact gun trying to take off the nut, so told him I was taking that part off the machine.
He then asked me with whom and I told him by myself.
He said two men are supposed to work the impact gun because it’s to hard for one person to hold over their head then he turned to the others who were laughing their butts off at me and told them to stop screwing around and for someone to come over to help me.
Ha Ha Ha, they all had a laugh on the new guy.
One of these days I will get even.

I asked him how was it down in the mines and he said he hasn’t been down there yet because he needs a special certificate and he has not the time to write the test for that yet.
It seems they get more money down there, around seventy an hours plus bonuses, but for now is working in the smelter.

From what he tells me they are very big on safety and rightly so.
He has to wear his mask all the time and his hard hat.
If you run up the stairs OR ANY WHERE, YOU’RE FIRED.
If you carry a bucket down the stairs, you’re fired.
They have to be tied up and lowered to the ground.
When you climbing a ladder you have three contacts to the ladder all the time, either two feet and a hand or two hands and a foot if not, you guessed it you’re fired.
If the garage door to the plant is open and you walk through it instead og the door next to it, you’re fired.
There are tons of other rules and to show how strict they are.
300 started 150 are left after two weeks.
The numbers thin mostly from people being let go.
When you enter and area you have to put on a lock on the door handle.
It says someone is in the section so there may be 10 locks on a handle indicating there are ten people there.
If you don’t put your lock on the handle and are found in an area, you’re fired. If you forget to take it off when you leave, you’re fired.
If someone is coming to your section they have to call oyt getting permission to enter, just in case you are doing something that could cause and accident.
You tell that person it’s ok to enter otherwise they have to stay there.
Even if it’s your boss he has to ask your permission.
You don’t you’re fired.
Hmmmm, can you see the boss looking in the mirror and saying “You fucked up, I’m fired”

Mike’s biggest complaint is all the goofing off people do.
Out of a ten hour shift they work five and the rest is killing time.
He is used to working all day and not trying to hide so no one could find them to assign work.
The truth is there isn’t much work sometimes and you just hang around until they find some for you.
Because they need people there just in case something happens they don’t say anything besides they don’t care, they 12 million dollars a day there, what’s a million tax deductible dollars any way to these people.

So how do you like the work?

I can get used to it I guess.
It is heavy work when we do work and some of the parts are twice my size, that’s scary but two thousand dollars a week is a good deal and a quarter of it is not taxed because it’s a living expenses bonus so I could do this for a while.
Work two weeks rest two weeks.

So that was pretty much what Mike had to say and we talked for about an hour on the phone.
He will be here Saturday night and I’m sure he will spill some more stuff that he saw and did so I’ll leave it here and who knows he may have something else to say.

Have a nice weekend if I don’t see you here on Sunday.



Peter said...

I'm with you Walker, they can shove Sudbury, hope Mike doesn't get hurt by any of those parts that are twice his size.
So what's the bad news about getting fired?......... Oh yeah no $2000 per week.

Angel Without Wings said...

Thats a tidy sum for not doing much but it sounds like hell on earth to me. All that standing around doing nothing would do my head in I'm afraid. I'm not good with boredom. I'm 5ft 3in and 125 pounds, how do you think I would go with the spare

Shaz said...

I was going last year to drive the big trucks in the mines before treatment but put it off, obviously. I am of 2 minds wether to actually go next year for a few years, I think Id miss my kids too much.They love women to drive the machinery because they are supposedly gentler on them.
(They havent seen me drive LOL)
I would of started on $130000 a year not bad for sitting on your ass in air conditioning doing 4 days on 4 days off.

Looking forward to hearing more.
Its good to be back and I read your last post.
Some things never cease to amaze me.

Vickie said...

All I'm saying is there would not have been a mine there if you and Mike had been there working together---you know what I mean---I mean think of the way the two of you operate--well the mine would have been there but the other people would have been long gone--and a new crew would have been brought it---Here Come the Bond Girls---

Glad you stayed behind as you are just an accident waiting to happen.

Take care sweetie and enjoy your visit with Mike.

Vickie said...

Dang---spelling---a new crew would have been brought in not it...

You know what I mean. :)

Dotm said...

Quite a write-up about this kind of work.
Think I would be too afraid if someone I loved worked in a mine. Hearing about accidents in mines always leaves me scared for those who work way down in the mines. Also sounds l;ike a good place to ruin ones lungs breathing in all that dust. But then, my husband and many of his mill buddies all died from emphasema from breathing in all the chemicals from making car paint , making wallpaper and so forth.. So, Lung dangers are also caused by other jobs just as much. Accidents and fall-ins are too scarry underground where they can`t always be reached very easy. .
Good that they do enforce the rules.