18 April 2008
High time is not for me.
I'm not a fan of heights. Like, at all. At all, at all. So when I was told we were going to move the lights up two landings on both cranes I smiled and said nothing as guts kind of rolled into a frozen ball.
Very simple: take 30 feet from the mass of cable at teh bottom of the crane and move it all the way up, securing it at each landing, so that when the crane is jumped up to a higher level, the lights can be moved as well and readjusted so that the second and third shifts can still work.
So it's pretty obvious that I'm not comfortable with heights. It's actually become a joke. Once, when Drew was still my foreman, he told me that a shitload of pipe needed to be run up the wall a good hundred feet or so, and that since the manbasket wasn't available they were just going to hook my safety harness to the crane's hook and let it hoist me up there. Of course he was joking but it got me all nervous and trembly and everyone had a good time with it.
Okay. Really, I'm getting to it.
I was fine for all the way up the crane, which is at about 240', so Im told. It was at the very last landing, right underneath where the operator sits, that I froze. Every time the wind blew, every time the crane picked up a load, the entire thing swayed like crazy. I spent much of my time tied off and hugging the ladder. To make things worse, the guys up with me thought it was a joke, so when I suggested someone sing a song to keep my mind off it, someone suggested "Free Falling" by Tom Petty and another suggested "Dust in the Wind" by Kansas...didn't help. So I tried talking to myself, all reassuring-like, with "I am a leaf on the wind, watch me soar" and "I am one with the swaying of the crane" and "I am experiencing the joys of solar power and wind power first-hand" but in reality it was all bullshit, I was terrified. Finally, by the end of the day, everytime the crane moved they were all screaming "Oh shit we're gonna die!" and such, crying for their mothers and pointing out welds that they were sure were cracking under pressure...yeah, it was funny, I spent a good part of those last hours laughing, but fuck....not fun. Not fun at all. I think I'll bow out next time.