My pool monitor job has to be the easiest way to make legal money in the world. Yeah, I have to keep myself busy so I don’t veg out in complete boredom, so occasionally I break up a Marco-Polo game in the pool, or strongly suggest that the alcoholic beverage in the spa area needs to completely disappear (I don’t mean guzzle it down and belch in my presence). For what I must do, the job is what we called in Tennessee a pie job. Everyone loves pie.
There are no commutes, no meetings, no reports, no paperwork, and no bosses to supervise my work (but I am sure that is done every morning when he opens the pool I closed). There isn’t much I can do that if not done would have dire consequences. The worst might be a high electric bill because I didn’t turn off a light, pump or heater. Costly yes, but not world crippling. As a condo owner I have some incentive to keep costs in check. This keeps my condo fees from going up. The fact that I get paid to look after my own interests seems too good to be true. I can even project that my fees pay my salary, so I get a little of that back.
The main draw back is that I don’t get a week crammed full of hours. Twenty hours a week would put me into the magic employment bonus round, for the state mandates an employer to provide health care to any employee who works more than 20 hours a week for four consecutive weeks. It hovers around 17 to 19 hours. With the shortage of pool monitors this month, I’ll get the 20, but not much more. Since I have this huge tiling project to do in one of my rental apartments I need a few bucks to cover my travels to Tennessee.
So as my employer and condo association embark on repainting the largest complex on the Island of Hawaii, I hinted that I can paint. Last night my boss told me to show up at quarter to eight the next morning. Yahoo, but after a little thought I got nervous. I’ve painted my first house back in the 80’s. I’ve painted my rental units numerous times. I’ve painted inside and outside. I’ve painted large and small projects. I’ve painted my father’s house (one major project for this summer will be to stain the siding). I’ve painted a couple historic buildings that were in rough shape. But what I have never done is paint with a crew of guys. I’ve always painted alone. That is what I love about painting. The solo work. Me and my radio.
Would my style, skill and speed be up to par? Before we got started, one guy asked if I ever painted before. When I said yes he asked, “With what company?” I laughed and told him I never worked for any company. Always individuals. He quickly ran down the process. Top to bottom and wet on wet. All to minimize ladder work. Get up and stay up until that area is done. Stupid to me, but these are the same guys who can’t go around the complex without a golf cart. I know I was being tested. To add to the pressure, they assigned me to the lanai area of the President of the Condo Board.
They gave me a ladder than was too high to clear the fan that hogged the enter ceiling. It was impossible to work around the fan. It didn’t take long for me to ask if they had a shorter ladder. They did. The ten by seven foot area is obviously not large. But with two windows, a sliding glass door, and a closet door there was plenty of trim and little siding. Nothing that gives lots of unbroken square footage. But by 11:45 I had every surfaced painted light cocoa brown with white trim. When the guys saw me standing back to look at my work they asked if I was okay. I said I was done.
Surprised they asked, “Everything?”
“Well, no. I left the two spots under the window that needed to be re-prepped. Remove the old screws, sand down the old paint ridge around the bracket and fill in the holes.” In other words, where the prep work sucked. I said nothing about all the gecko shit I painted over.
I asked about clean up, but they told me to leave my buckets and brushes. They would use them in the afternoon. I cringed. I had to scrub out my buckets this morning before I filled them with paint.
“Coming back tomorrow?”
“If I passed the test, I hope so.”