Apropos yesterday’s observation that no one much is interested in real work, the lovely reader and commenter and very amusingly named Joan of Argghh sent me that video. Joan’s so wise she sent it to me a week ago or more, knowing I’d need it.
I really can’t watch a regular news story like a normal person. Everything is weird and wrong and every question is begged and I find it boring and infuriating at the same time, which is a particularly noxious combination.
Dirt is something the effeminate, ill-educated newsreader hires Vietnamese women to dig out from under his fingernails, but he doesn’t know that. Excavators dig earth, or soil, or loam, or fill, or processed gravel, or sand, or stone and a handful of other things, but “dirt” isn’t one of them. I’m like a fortune teller, too, and would bet cash money that if a mixer was present he would have referred to its contents as “cement,” which is of course one ingredient in concrete, and the one ingredient in that fellow’s head.
Don’t get me wrong, just because I know a little about earthmoving, I don’t think this fellow needs to, although it’s amazing to me how ignorant your average educated person is about everything that doesn’t have an apple on it. His job is not to know about excavation. His job is to ask questions about things so he can report on them to a third party. He sucks at his job. They all suck at their job, and don’t even know what their job is.
There’s a thumb on the bucket. Why is there a thumb on the bucket? You don’t use a thumb for excavation. It’s for grabbing things, like in demolition.
Back when I did a bit of this sort of thing, the operators needed a Hydraulics License. I can assure the public that there’s precious little that looks like buttons on an iPad or a Bob the Builder episode on there. Here ya go, have at it. Don’t forget to pick up the half-million or so of liability insurance you need to sit in the cab and fart if you’re getting paid. You’re going to need the insurance for funeral expenses at least, because outside of Las Vegas the ground has a lot more than mouldering gangster corpses in it for you to hit, and the first thing you do when you climb in the cab will be to touch the arm on the bucket to the overhead power lines and kill everyone within shouting distance. If you survive that you can hit a gas main later for a change of pace.
Ah, well, the people look like they’re enjoying themselves fooling around in the, ahem, dirt, and the instructor is my kind of guy, with his sunny “beats working” attitude. And since the representatives of the class of people who entirely destroyed the construction industry by being so smart want to rent out the residue of constructive work still hanging around, I say knock yourself out, everybody. Make Excavators of the Earth into Pirates of the Caribbean. It is rather fun to use big equipment, after all.
But please don’t let anyone fool you into thinking you’re getting a taste of the real thing. Because the real thing involves being handed a shovel, and being pointed at a pile of something out in the sun and rain as very skilled and highly trained persons cruise past you in that machinery, while a very cross gentleman stands behind you and directs your efforts in a volume and at a temperature that exceeds the Caterpillar exhaust. Because the first thing you learn in that sort of enterprise is respect for the process, and for the people who have mastered the process, and you don’t have any; and you’re going to have to get it the hard way.