For the last few days my co-worker Kevin and I have been freezing our asses off through our little job at the Keystone Station out here in Pennsylvania. It’s cold. We had a high of about 35 today, and it was humid and breezy. That makes for a damn chilly way to spend a day, and it’s not slated to get much better. Our hotel is horrendous. No fridge, no microwave, no hair conditioner (seriously, I’m dropping 90 bucks a night and they can’t give me a 25-cent bottle of conditioner) and both Kevin and I have gotten more than a couple of mystery bug bites we attribute to bedbugs. Not to mention the town our horrendous hotel is in is one of the most nondescript, vanilla, hillbilly-infested places I’ve been in a while.
But all that said, we’re in America. So far this job is going swimmingly. I realize I just jinxed the crap out of myself, but it’s a been a breath of fresh air after working 39 out of 40 days between my last two trips to Germany.
First and foremost, this plant was infinitely better prepared for our arrival than the last plant. Second and foremoster, people at this plant speak English. God, it’s awesome. There have been a few problems; there always are, but when everyone is speaking the same language (pun intended) it makes everything so much easier to deal with. I can point to something and be like “we need a barb on that ball valve for our air lines,” rather than attempting to mime that incredibly un-mimeable sentence. Not to mention we can chat with the electricians. We’re working with Tom, Mike, Dave and Gary. Tom’s anniversary is Saturday. Mike loves to hunt. They’re all Steeler fans. See that? I’ve had like, conversations with these dudes. It’s awesome.
Also, the work’s going well, probably because we can actually explain to said electricians what we’re after. And the plant dudes could read our drawings. And the units are all in good ol’ American inches and feet. No need for the converter on my phone this trip.
It’s astonishing how much easier it’s been, and how much more fun I’m having. Well, that’s overstating it a bit, but I’m not not having fun this trip. I’m sure a lot of this has to do with the after-work festivities as well. And by that I do mean walking across the street to the Ruby Tuesday’s for dinner and a few cocktails (this is our fourth night in a row), watching Sportscenter and writing for the blog. It’s delightful.
Hopefully it keeps up, and we stay warm. A little better than a week to go. I’ll let you know how it goes.