Man Jobs

As I write this I will make about seven dollars. There are perks to be had when you’re working for your dad. I was telling my sister the other day that I feel guilty about being able to spend downtime here at the body shop dorkin’ around* on the Internet. She said to not worry about it. Then I said I didn’t really feel guilty about it. I was just pulling your leg.

*I have to wonder if there’s a class in college that teaches you motivation. I’d have to take one with five credit hours. It might be a good idea to take the lab, too. That would be perfect for me. Too bad I’d have to work up the energy to see an adviser first.

Back at the shop… I’ll do anything and everything they instruct me to do, but beyond that I flip on my home mode switch, meaning I put on a slightly confused look and thrust my shoulders forward into a admirable slouch. I swear, you could confuse me for a Neanderthal.

When I am earning my pay, I’m detailing, scuffing and buffing, simply pimping cars to the extreme. It’s all easy work but I like to imagine while I’m writing my name in the floor mats with the vacuum that I’m doing something just as as important as signing of the Civil Rights Act. Being creative, if that’s what you want to call it, doesn’t seem like anything that would fit in with banging on metal and being manly, but the shop is not the high testosterone environment you might think it’d be.

If there was a gauge for testosterone, let’s call it a testostometer, it’d run steadily around strong enough to bend a fender but secure enough to listen to–and occasionally hum to–Alanis Morissette. Still, to anyone who will listen, I brag about the man jobs I do and how they’re conditioning me to be a fine monster truck rally attendee someday.

I’ve been beating around the bush getting to the point here because the one thing I love most about my job needs a load of self-esteem-saving sentences before it’s mentioned. You see, I’m gangly, clumsy, have two left feet, and trip more than your odometer. I’ve had to develop a sense of humor about it because, frankly, I’d be so down in the dumps about my sense of balance that I’d have to employ someone named Jeeves and order a Christopher Reeves chair to never have to think about it and to save that last shred of dignity.

Thankfully, washing a car doesn’t take a whole lot of precision. In a few years the amount of water that I pump onto cars haphazardly will probably get pinched, but for now I can turn the faucet dialer all the way to full blast and douse every square inch of car body. But when the job is nearly done and I’ve just turned the faucet off I’ll look back to see that the wheels are in dire condition and require a strong drenching, a water pressure level just a few shades off an autoclave.

In contrast to the smooth hood, doors, and roof, wheels present angles that will blow your high school math teacher’s mind. If you didn’t know that wet cars have a way of showing it to the man, let me tell you exactly how they do it. Just like Yao, they know how to stuff your spray and propel it right back atcha, and I’m left with a clean nose and a smile right beneath it.

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Published in: on July 12, 2008 at 1:40 am  Leave a Comment  

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