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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

These Are The Times Of The Everyday Hero

There are times - such as today, for example - when I feel like I'm living in a real-life comic book. How else can you explain the incredible, amazing, seemingly impossible occurances you witness with your own eyes?

Sure, there's the occasional firefighter rushing into the burning building to save the trapped pet, or, the paramedic calmly exerting pressure on the severed artery; the soldier carrying a wounded comrade to safety under a barage of enemy fire; the Good Samaritan who gives the stranded motorist a lift without a second's thought to safety or compensation. We sometimes hear about the actions of the ordinary person prevailing in extraordinary circumstances, but it is rare indeed that WE are the one performing the superhuman feat.

This is what myself and four not-so-young-or-in-the-best-of-shape guys accomplished today:

We used this machine -

- to raise 110 eight-foot by four-foot panels of drywall (not quite half of which you can see stacked in the above image) two stories up the side of our building to a 100 year-old fire escape -

- and then proceeded to haul them one-at-a-time into our theatre space, like so -

- where all 8,000 pounds (yes, True Believers - a MERE 4 TONS!!!) of drywall is now neatly stacked, awaiting the arrival of the contracting crew tomorrow morning, who will transform this mass of gypsum and fiberglass into a brand spanking-new, acoustic dampening ceiling, so that we can continue to pursue our - sometimes - noisy art without unduly disturbing our upstairs neighbors.

There are GIANTS astride upon the earth:

David, The Wise, who had the Promethean foresight to rent the crane-lift that saved us from literally scores of spine-crushing treks up two and a-half flights of stairs with drywall on our backs.

Stephen, The Fearless, who ventured out onto the rickety fire escape and lifted each and every single sheet from the forked tines of the crane and through the door, in the rain, and gusts of wind, all the while mocking the elements.

John, The Organized, who researched the project, designed the sound-dampening system, ordered the materials, got them all here on time, and still managed to shave $1,500 off his original estimate.

Ben, The Equanimitable, who always shows up knowing that for him "just another day at the office" is going to involve doing things that would send most average employees either to the hospital, or, to a lawyer's office - and then just goes back to doing what's he's actually being paid for when the crazy jobs are done.

Then there's me. Comte, The Reliable. I'm not the smartest, or the strongest, or the bravest (I veritably cowered at the thought of stepping fully out on the fire escape!), but I can still do my fair share of the heavy lifting when it comes to that, and for some reason - I guess it comes with the title, "Facilities Manager" - I've been put nominally in charge of seeing that this insane project gets completed, on-time, and on-budget.

And so far, thanks in no small part to people like these, and the many, many other friends and colleagues who have answered the call when it's been issued, we're managing to do just that.

In my book they're Superheroes, each and every one.

Because this kind of thing should just be downright impossible.

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Posted byCOMTE on 5:47 PM

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