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Someone Please Come Collect This Giant Tool

, , , | Working | CREDIT: pupperpaw | May 16, 2022

I was working as a cleaner and just-do-stuff person on a construction site and the boss man didn’t like me — because I was a young woman in a man’s world, I guess? Other workers were nice to me, especially [Coworker], who is important to the story. [Coworker] was a good man, nice, funny, and kind. An example of that is when [Coworker] took me under his wing when [Boss] denied me the ability to change my clothes anywhere else than his office. [Coworker] started to track when I came in for work and kept [Boss] busy while I changed my clothes.

This particular event happened when the building was close to finished. I was cleaning the inside of that building when I heard [Boss]’s voice.

Boss: “Hey, [My Name], why this place is looking like this?”

Me: *Looking around* “Like what?”

Boss: “Like this, there are tools all over the place. You should keep this place clean.”

Me: “This is a construction site. There are tools. Workers use them. What do you want me to do? Collect them?”

Boss: “Yes. I need you to collect all tools that are not in use right now.”

Me: “Umm… you want me to collect all tools? That are not in use right now? Like, take them outside to the storage, so people need to walk there to get them again?”

Boss: “What is your problem? Do what I say! Collect all of them and don’t do anything else until you do.”

Then, he walked off. Just walked off. First, I was mad, but then I thought why not? And so I started to collect ALL of the tools. You let go of your hammer to use a circular saw? I took your hammer and took it to storage. I even found a wheelbarrow that I used to take even more tools in one trip.

I took all of the tools to storage. I did keep different subcontractors’ tools in different piles so no tools were lost or mixed.

At one point, [Coworker] stopped me.

Coworker: *Very puzzled* “What are you doing? We use these tools.”

Me: “I know, and I’m sorry that this makes things hard for you, but [Boss] told me to collect all of the tools that are not in use right now. So I’m doing that.”

Coworker: “Why would he make you do that?”

Me: “I don’t know.”

Coworker: “I’ll go to talk to him.”

He left and came back.

Coworker: “You didn’t lie. [Boss] just told me to let you do your job.”

Me: “Well then, I do my job.”

I took more tools to the storage. After an hour or two, other workers started to put up signs like “I use this” or “This is mine,” and of course, I didn’t take those tools again. I had to explain my surprising enthusiasm to steal people’s tools lots of times, but all of the workers were nice, so they just took more cardboard or paper and made more signs. Soon, [Boss] started to note the signs of the workers, and he wanted answers.

Boss: “What are these signs?”

Me: “Workers put them up.”

Boss: “Yeah, but why?”

Before I had time to answer, [Coworker] intervened:

Coworker: “You told [My Name] to collect all of the tools. She did it so well that we couldn’t keep up, so we put signs to mark the tools that we used.”

Boss: “Why you didn’t stop her?”

Coworker: “You told me not to.”

Me: “And because I have been running around gathering tools, I have not done anything else.”

Boss: “Why not?”

Me: “Because the tools are constantly coming back inside. And no one uses them.”

I got yelled at, but it was worth it.

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