CLANCY OVERELL | Editor | CONTACT
A wave of pessimism has swept across the worksite of major infrastructure project on Betoota’s rural fringe this morning.
The crew of veteran tradesmen currently working on The Birdsville Development road De-Sal Plant are today catastrophising about the state that they will be leaving the construction industry in when they finally hang up the Blundstones.
This comes after first year builder’s apprentice Ashlee Murgon arrived at work in nothing but a hi-vis singlet, on the perhaps the coldest morning of the year.
With the mercury barely cracking 11 degrees today, the hyperactive 19-year-old is clearly lacking the most basic critical thinking skills, as he opts to eat smoko alone in his workute with the heater on.
The fact that every single strand of his limited body hair has been standing straight on goosebumps for the last 4 hours has not been lost on his boss – or any of the other subcontractors on site.
“Have you got rocks in your head?” asks Kenneth, a local grader driver.
“Do you have anything else to put on?”
While Ashlee insists that he has a few more layers of clothing sitting in the passenger seat of his heavily-financed dual-cab Hilux, he says he’s not willing to dirty his ‘going out kit’ – which he will be changing into upon knock off, before launching into a night on the tiles.
“Nah I’ll be right” he says with a sniffle, as his body’s immune system visibly erodes in real time.
“I don’t feel the cold aye”
His workmates shake their heads and sigh, as they witness the apprentice attempting to warm himself up by rubbing his exposed shoulders with hands still wet from the barrow of concrete he just finished mixing.
With his body now slipping into a mild form of hyperthermia, the rest of the blokes on sight grow increasingly concerned about the future of Australian construction.
However, Ashlee’s stupidity will not be awarded with sympathy, as his boss decides that this is the perfect mistake to learn from.
“Oi Ash” says the boss, looking up at the 5 floors of icy windswept scaffolding.
“Can I get you to get you up on the roof to hose down the slab.”
Ash, still not registering that things are only going to get worse from here, jumps at the opportunity for a bit of action.
“No worries!” he exclaims, through purple lips.