6:00am + 1 Thunderstorm + 14m Deep Pit = 1 Crappy Morning
This morning I went to visit my hole. It is currently less than 3m away from its final depth of 14m. It's getting big and scary and, miraculously, it hasn't fallen down yet. I was required to go observe the stressing of the last level of soil anchors. This was problem #1 - the stressing was supposed to start at 7:30am, meaning I would have to leave at 6:30am to get there, further meaning that I would have to get up at 6:00am. As I am not a morning person, this was excruciatingly painful. Excruciatingly. However, I appear to be getting smarter: unlike last time, I remembered my safety boots and hardhat so I didn't have to drive all the way home again.
Things started well when I got there. Then the rains came. It started as a sprinkle, then died. The contractors said that if it rained too much, they'd have to take their trucks out of the pit and stop construction because the pit would be impossible to leave if it got too muddy. Well, it started to sprinkle again, then we saw some lightning and heard a thunderclap somewhere in the distance. Then another, closer. Then the deluge started. The contractors hustled to their trucks, desperate to get them out of the pit before the access slope got too muddy, stopping only for essentials, like lighting up a cigarette.
The first truck made it up okay. The second truck required 3 runs at the slope and all of it's 300+ horsepower to make it up, sending up huge plumes of mud in its wake. Man, did it get muddy in a hurry; my boots were so heavy I could barely walk. Those of us not in trucks hid under a steel beam protruding from the wall, that is, until the thunderstorm came closer overhead and the potential for electrocution outweighed the certainty of getting very wet. As we abandoned our refuge, we realized that the rain was decreasing in intensity, and, within about 15 minutes or so, it was actually getting a little sunny. It was too late, though; the deluge had turned the entry slope into a big, muddy Slip 'n' Slide, and we could see in the horizon that more rain would be on the way eventually. There would be no stressing of anchors today.
So the result? I woke up freakishly early (by my admittedly nocturnal standards), drove about an hour through frustrating construction, got rained on, found my clothes (and myself) to be covered in mud, and we didn't even accomplish any of what we set out to do; all this while I should have been in the office doing design work on stuff that's already running behind.
However, the morning wasn't a total loss. For instance, I learned that the two most popular words among construction workers these days are "fucker" and "cocksucker," which they use to address each other (jovially) and to refer to consultants (this includes me, while I'm within earshot - decidedly not jovially).
Stressing has been postponed to Friday and Monday, and someone still needs to observe on our behalf. It won't be me, though. I'm going on vacation until Tuesday. So long, Suckas!