My Experiences

Things Midwesterners Know

hilarious blue collar

I grew up in Indianapolis, where people work with their hands and know that doing anything else isn’t work. But I’ve spent most of my life in Seattle, where people work with their MacBook and turn the air conditoner on when it hits 74 degrees. Here are things I found out about after returning to the Midwest:

When drilling through a steel girder, you need more than just a hammer drill. You need WD-40, or the oil that drips off your butterburger, or at least something greasy on the girder. Otherwise, the bit will bite and the drill will leap like a wet leopard.

A magnetic screwdriver is useful for removing shards of metal from your friend’s eyeball.

To drive a forklift out of a hole it has fallen into, you must shift its weight onto the drive wheel. Try rocking it by using its fork to lift another forklift. Just don’t drive that one in the hole too.

Duct tape and paper towels make the best bandages.

When cutting hundreds of pieces of metal framing, use a sharp pair of cutters. Otherwise, it’s not like your arm will “get tired.” At some point, your hand will simply refuse to perform the task.

Making a building out of metal and drywall takes sweat and hard work. Also, aside from the primal satisfaction that comes from affecting the physical world, it’s just as silly as making a “financial derivative” out of numbers and bullshit. The guy wearing the tie points at his bank account to prove he did something truly valuable with his time. The guy with the tool belt can point at a wall.

Physical labor is just as arbitrary as anything some slick California-type ever did with a laptop to make money, but we all need to justify whatever it is we do all day.

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