All Work and a Tiny Little Bit of Play


So if you’ve been reading my last handful of posts you’re probably asking yourself how it is that I ever have the audacity to miss home or complain about my job and the like.  But Brett, the hypothetical you might say, you’ve seen Nuremburg, Cologne, a bad ass castle, Brussels, and you’re driving around on the audobahn in a fine figure of German engineering….  I totally want your job.  What the hell do you possibly have to complain about? 

Well, this trip has had more than its fair of good experiences, but the fact remains, I work an absolutely insane amount while I’m out here too.  I’ve had all of one true day off among the thirteen days I’ve been here.  The Nuremburg and Rothenburg Fortress day was on the day our plane landed in Frankfurt, so I spent a good portion of that day in airplanes, customs lines, and traffic.  Yes, we found a few hours to squeeze in some fun, but I was essentially a dead man walking after all the travel.  Tuesday was it; the only day off of the trip, and it will remain as such unless we get lucky as hell and get done a day early.  Not holding my breath on that one. 

According to my time card from last week, and my best estimates from this week, I’ve spent 150 hours, better than six entire days, either travelling or on the lovely Block G boiler at the Neideraussem Generating Facility.  Slightly less romantic than Brussels.  Compare that to the cumulative 18-ish hours I’ve spent doing fun shit.  Just turns out the fun shit is a lot more interesting and photogenic than the power plant.    

So here’s the darker, hotter, noisier, dirtier, more dangerous side of my trip to Germany…  The side that has occupied by far the majority of my time and will continue to do so until the end of the trip….  Keep in mind that it’s like jet-engine-loud and about 130 degrees in there, but it’s hard to take a picture of that… 

Careful, there’s a picture or two below you might not want to view on a full stomach. 

 
 
 
 

There she be. One gigantic German power plant. Pretty sweet right?

The biggest boiler at the gigantic German power plant. As you can see, we get to work pretty early...

Welcome to our staging area. We've got literally tons of crap and equipment in here.

Awe-inspiring isn't it?

I spent 9 hours straight at this little 'desk' one day last week. It's almost as comfortable as it looks.

 

The Block G boiler. Our home away from our home away from home.

Getting ready to pull some cables. We put miles upon miles of fiber optics and power lines into one of these systems. This done by setting the spools up thusly, and literally pulling them through all the pipes. Is almost as fun as it sounds.

And this is the worst case scenario during a cable pull. We have a bright green laser amongst that tons of equipment, and when one hooks up said laser to a broken fiber optic line here's what one sees... This little guy means either pulling the cables back out and starting over or attempting to fix the break and continuing. Tried the second, it failed, so we did the first. Fun couple of days.

Here's me fixing that break in the fiber by cutting out the break and splicing it back together. I'm standing on the handrails of some scaffolding about 20' up in the air. Don't tell OSHA. Photo was taken on my birthday by the way.

The scaffolding on which I was standing...

Welp, someone shat in the stairwell.

Bathrooms ain't much better... Nasty. I prefer either a diet coke bottle (hey, don't judge me, it's far more sanitary than this) or, if it's more...urgent... I walk the half-mile or so to the bathrooms in the visitor's center that don't make me vomit. They keep those a little cleaner.

So this is the Europe I see far more often than not.  See why I’m pretty damn ready to come home?

-B. Littleton

1 Comment

Filed under The Sights, The Work

One response to “All Work and a Tiny Little Bit of Play

  1. B.Nord

    Hang in there man

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