It was a very quiet week around here. It’s relatively quiet when all the seasonal campers are here on weekends, but during the week … Wow! The silence can be deafening. I’m so not used to this having lived about 8 months right alongside I-20. There aren’t even any cicadas here singing in the trees 24/7. Everybody drives around in their silent electric golf carts too, so even when they are out and about it’s pretty quiet. There are birds singing here, some doves cooing, a few squirrels chattering … and that’s it! Something I see here that I never saw in GA are rabbits. There are quite a few of them and they hop through your yard without a worry or care in the world.
I’m alone a lot more now too. Jay worked Monday through Saturday last week, leaving as early as 5:30am and getting home as late at 8:30pm. And last week John was here every night for supper, so our alone time was practically nil. By the time we got supper over with, he showered, did his paperwork and emailed it off to Stan, he just fell into bed and was asleep before his head hit the pillow.
John checked out of his cabin here early Friday morning and moved to the hotel in Mechanicsville with the rest of the boys. Friday night was our first opportunity since we got here to have dinner together alone. Unfortunately Jay was late getting home & by the time he was ready to eat it was going on 11pm. Too late for me, so I just skipped dinner … Again! This is a terrible habit I’m getting into. I have to start making myself eat alone earlier in the evening. I also want to start walking early in the morning after Jay goes to work. I need a new pair of running shoes though. Mine are wore completely out and they weren’t so great to begin with. Not a true walking shoe by any stretch of the imagination. I brought them instead of my hiking ones because they are lightweight and used to be cute. But they’re really flat with little support and now they’re rotten dirty with holes in the toes and soles falling off. Not great for walking for exercise.
Saturday Stan was off the job site taking care of paperwork leaving Jay in charge, so he got home a little earlier than usual, around 7pm. We actually got to take that walk down to the beach but I forgot my camera of course! With an almost full moon hanging over the river, it was really pretty. We walked out onto the dock and saw some crabs crawling along the river floor. The river here is what they call “brackish” meaning it’s not salt water or fresh water, it’s both. There were a couple of people putting boats in for the night, but nobody hanging out partying because it was still pretty early.
Our neighbors Debby and Dana had been gone all week and didn’t show up this weekend either because they had to go to New York for a fair. I don’t know whether they spend all week here or just show up on weekends like Lisa and Dan behind us. I guess I’ll figure it out if they turn up some day this week. I’d really like to talk to her to find out who they got to come help them set up their satellite, because Jay moved ours again and we still got nothing. He’s going nuts without television, can’t stand missing the Nascar races. It really doesn’t bother me as much, other than the fact we’re paying for a service we can’t use. I’ve been reading “Eat, Pray, Love” in any of my downtime that I would normally watch tv. So far I’m loving it! You need to read this book! Trust me!
About 10pm Saturday night John called. Living in the hotel, he’s right in the thick of things and apparently there’s some drama going on with Brad and the Mexicans. I guess the Mexicans don’t like him much. On Saturday one of them put a diesel fuel soaked rag on his lunch in the truck, ruining it. Brad had been doing really well Saturday morning, despite having had heat stroke and being in the hospital on Friday. Jay was at a different part of the job leaving John in charge and John was reporting back that Brad was doing good work (he’s never done pipeline before so he’s still green & learning & apparently hasn’t been catching on as quickly as you might like). Then after lunch he felt weak and had the runs. Also, one day last week they all went to Newport News for classes and some of the boys were given free t-shirts, including Brad, but his got stolen by someone in the truck before they even got back to the hotel. John was livid telling Jay all this that he had found out, and Jay was equally pissed. Jay is Brad’s boss, so if he has a problem he should come to him. He hasn’t. My hubby was very upset about this too. I said maybe Brad is just riding it out, hoping it will go away, and doesn’t want to rock the boat further. I mean it’s a new job, he hasn’t been doing very long, and he was out of work for a long time, so it’s possible he’s nervous about keeping it.
Jay hung up from John and called the welders, who are also white and were hanging out at the hotel bar/restaurant having many drinks. Oscar and Larry had also heard about the t-shirt theft and the ruined lunch, but they didn’t know who was responsible. And I guess Stan knows about it too, but hasn’t done anything about it. Maybe today Jay will get to the bottom of it. The Mexicans already hate him, so it won’t matter much if he gets on their asses. Saturday night in the heat of his rage he was ready to pull his crew and go elsewhere, because everyone knows if anyone is leaving this job it will be the white boys, not the Mexicans. They work cheap and they work hard … even if they don’t have a clue what they’re doing.
There’s a real lack of professional on the job site too. Jay was livid at Stan for acting out with one of the welders while the VNG (Virginia Natural Gas) inspectors were on site. He cussed out the welder on the phone and told him he needed to be more professional, at least when the inspectors are around. Stan is supposed to be leading this project and really should have more common sense. This is the company’s first job in VA so VNG is being very particular about how they want things done and they’re watching over every move, making them do it exactly to specifications. Already, Jay has won them over and they’re by-passing Stan, coming to him to discuss how this will be done or that will be done and what his ideas are to do this or that. It’s the same thing in Atlanta. All the AGL (Atlanta Gas Light) inspectors love Jay, but Stan and Horatio (the Mexican crew’s foreman) not so much.
After only one week on the job, the boys can already see their bonuses going up in smoke. This job is going to fail unless things change drastically and soon. I hope they can turn it around. I think the owner of the company is coming up this week, so maybe that will get things heading in a better direction.
We got to sleep in on Sunday, which was freaking wonderful! Jay didn’t get up until 8am. He made me coffee and I enjoyed it in bed until about 8:30. Then we had to get our butts in gear and take care of business. I spent a great part of Saturday making my shopping list and pulling together all the coupons I hoped to use. We decided to go to Tappannock this week to do the shopping because they also have a Walmart and Jay needed some new socks, underwear and shirts. I got directions online and we were off. It took about a half hour to get there because we missed a couple of shortcuts that we didn’t figure out until on the way back. There was an accident on the road blocking traffic when we returned, so we think it only takes about 20 minutes if you use the shortcut roads.
These towns are so small that we stick out like sore thumbs. Everyone looks at us because we’re strangers. Walmart was having a back to school sale so we took advantage and I got a couple of wire ringed notebooks (15 cents each) since the one and only that I brought with me is now full. I also got a black binder and some plastic sheet protectors so I can better organize my coupons. I was disappointed at Food Lion because they didn’t automatically double my coupons, so the savings weren’t as great as they could have been. The Food Lions in Atlanta area double coupons up to 60 cents, so my hopes were a bit high. I guess maybe it’s a store by store policy. Next week we’ll try a different location and see what they do. $137 later and our cupboards, fridge & freezer are all bulging at the seams again.
We grilled burgers for supper with caesar salad, and I have some leftover patties for my lunch this week. After dinner we walked down to the beach again (it was dark, so no pics). Aida, Ida or Aileen (I still can’t remember her name) was sitting down there in her golf cart watching the water, so we chatted a bit. She says everyone in the park has problems with their satellites because of all the tall pine trees. It’s really hard to get reception here and everyone who’s ever got a dish had to have someone come out and set it up for them. So apparently these people who will come out here do exist. When Debby gets back I need to find out who did hers.
In other news it’s looking like we’re going to be in VA a lot longer than first anticipated. The company won the bid on the work down at Virginia Beach, so that job will be starting up when this one finishes. Another six months or so of work. So we could very well be here until next June or July, though we’ll move to another park. I guess we’ll see what happens. The way this job is going so far it would not surprise me for Jay to arrive home anytime and say pack up we’re going to Nebraska to work with a different company. Oh lord I hope we don’t end up in Kansas or Nebraska! 🙂