In Summary
  • On Saturday, I reported to the construction site earlier than the contractor.
  • I wanted him and his team to understand from inception that I meant business.
  • Do you have feedback about this article? Please email lifeandstyle@ke.nationmedia.com.

I told you about my chicken rearing project last week. Time has come for me to build a coop for them.

On Saturday, I reported to the construction site earlier than the contractor. I wanted him and his team to understand from the beginning that I meant business.

I had even prepared some toolbox meeting talk points where I had intended to drill into the workers such principles as lean manufacturing and efficient water and energy usage.

Being the first weekend since we started the project, the casual labourers also known as the “guys of hands” were very excited.

Since most of them are expatriates from neighbouring counties, they have a boarding facility on site and they were all excited at the prospect of payday, and going home to meet their village first families.

USUAL GREETINGS

I spent the day trying hard to buy their social acceptance as one of their own. Instead of the usual greetings, I awkwardly fist-bumped all of them.

One of them lamented, albeit too loudly, that the rich man was around and therefore it was going to be a hard day for him.

I immediately made a mental note of him as a lazy person; and I was going to have a discussion with his line manager after work. 

To further endear myself to the fundis, I spotted the smokers and promptly sent for a packet of respectable cigarettes for them.

They received them with appreciation, but they still viewed me with suspicion.

'GUYS OF HANDS'

Being at the formative stages of the building foundation, I joined the guys of hands in carrying the big foundation stones.

We call them stones of nine, meaning they are nine inches wide instead of the customary six and therefore quite heavy.  

My gym workout came in handy but not quite.

The big stones do not come with a nice and well-cushioned handle, and the pressure on my palms and shoulder hurt big time. 

I alternated between carrying stones and water from a nearby well using a bucket, but neither of the tasks was a walk in the park.

SWEAT DROPS

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