Do It Yourself Drywall

For five summers and a couple of Christmases in high school and college I worked in construction.  The office staff was complete so I worked outside with the men.  My second or third summer they sent me out with the boss’s son and his best friend to do finish work after they hung drywall.

Caulking Vaulted Ceilings

That Christmas we were working on a house with an open stairwell up to a loft.  The drywall had been hung and my job was to caulk all of the seams, including between the wall and ceiling.  I did everything I could reach with ladders and then stood at the bottom of the stairs trying to figure out how to get up to the vaulted ceiling over the stairs.

Chutes and Ladders

The boys I was working with offered to rig something up for me.  I really should have known better.  I left to work in another room and when I got back, they had stacked ladders, boards, and sawhorses up to the height of the stairs and then stretched an extension ladder from the top of their tower to the top of the stairs.  For safety purposes, they had placed a board on top of the extension ladder for me to stand on.

I’m Too Short For This

I used this setup to do the majority of the ceiling, but I was still too short to reach the peak.  At this point, the boys got me a step ladder.  It was too wide when open to put on the extension ladder so they propped it up against the wall for me.  I stood on the bottom step and caulked what I could reach while the ladders shook underneath me.  After about five minutes of this, I told the boss’s son he could finish up for me since he’s seven inches taller.

Boys Can’t Be Trusted

In my time working construction, there were a handful of moments when my life flashed before my eyes.  Standing on top of a ladder, on top of a ladder, on top of a stack of ladders and sawhorses, is the only time I questioned my choice of summer jobs.  I learned a lot that summer about finishing and repairing walls.  I also learned, again, never to trust teenage boys when they offer to “rig something up” for me.

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