Callouses:

Discussion in 'General Conversation' started by postbeetle, Sep 21, 2007.

  1. postbeetle

    postbeetle New Member

    Messages:
    6,598
    State:
    Iowa
    Went fishing this morning and happened to go by a place where they were putting in new barbed wire fence. The outfit that was putting in the fence has put in fence for me. These people put in 36-50 miles of fence every year. Barbed wire, woven wire, rail and on and on. They have everything imaginable in machines and manpower, and it is amazing how fast they can put a fence in, usually for 16-18 dollars a rod.

    I, in my lifetime have done many kinds of physical work. Rotten, dirty, hard, never ending physical work. Farming, Vet Medicine, Landscape and Nursery, Heating and Cooling, Bricklaying, Carpentry, Construction. When I saw those folks it reminded me of making fence, probably the most despised of the many things I have done. From the time I could handle a hand held post hole digger and fencing pliers, I have made fence or fixed fence. The days on end of hand digging corner and brace posts 4' deep. Pounding hundreds of steel posts by hand. The getting cut with barbed wire and bleeding while stringing it. Wading creeks and streams putting in flood gates, the water up to your hips. The heat, sweat and flies. Black flies, horn flies, deer flies, face flies, house flies, mosquitoes, gnats, no-see-ums. The hornets, wasps and bees. Snakes and spiders. Brush, multiflora rose, raspberries, grass and weeds. And especially the callouses. These swollen areas of skin that get thick and dark, that make your hands look like boards with sausages sticking out of them. You could never get them clean, and you actually thanked them because they wouldn't let you get cut so deep. I have seen many men with callouses, my Dad being the most notable. When I shake hands with a man I look him in the eye and squeeze his hand. You can tell a lot about that man from those two simple things, More than he might want you to know.

    I don't see so many callouses any more. Whether that is good or bad I don't know. It is sure harder to tell some things about a guy though.

    I guess after all this I am going to ask a question. All kinds of people on this forum, all kinds of jobs and lifestyles and ways of getting things done. What is, was and never want to be again the worst physical job you hated? The ones that gave you callouses.

    John
     
  2. PhillyCatcatcher4

    PhillyCatcatcher4 New Member

    Messages:
    1,596
    State:
    S.W.Phila.,Penn.
    I once worked in a cardboard container making factory. Callouses,papercuts, backaches you name it. Bad enough the owner walked through the plant like a tyrant everyday. This place had a high turnover rate,and the union didn't give2 squats about most of its members.Funny thing is my dad put 25 years in this place until he retired.I guess it was worth because he gets his on the 3rd every month. :eek:oooh:
     

  3. Ol Man

    Ol Man New Member

    Messages:
    3,170
    State:
    Illinois
    Hauling sand by wheelbarrow from one end of a foundry to the other.
    __________
    A retired husband is a wife's full time job.
     
  4. 223reload

    223reload New Member

    Messages:
    10,798
    State:
    Oklahoma
    Cant really remember when I got em, But I think They are a badge of honor nowdays John. I cant say that I wouldnt relive those days either as they made me what I am today . I'm proud of them and thats just the way it is.
     
  5. CHAVEZ CHAVEZ

    CHAVEZ CHAVEZ New Member

    Messages:
    751
    State:
    WesternSlope,CO
    fenceing has to be one of the hardest labor jobs out there , that is a faimly B-down here lodge pole , barb , smooth , corals you name it i've built it afew times and then some . the most i enjoyed about it was being in the mountains all the time .
     
  6. BIG GEORGE

    BIG GEORGE New Member

    Messages:
    10,362
    State:
    JOISY
    ROOFIN! Wich included ornamental sheet metal work. Scrapein slag is a drag! LOL! The old sayin that ya can tell a good sheet metal mechanic by the blood up to his elbows is true. LOL!

    I once had a job pickin fly crap outa pepper with boxin gloves on. That was a drag! LOL!
     
  7. bwhupp

    bwhupp New Member

    Messages:
    1,680
    State:
    Belleville
    Logging one summer was rough on the body and hands. In between my college terms and to make a quick fast buck to carry on the next semester... logging is some rough, rough stuff.

    Was also a trim carpenter for number of years to help pay for my college education.
     
  8. kkyyoottee

    kkyyoottee New Member

    Messages:
    754
    State:
    Iowa
    I owned a sewer cleaning business and since I dont know when most are you are scheduled to eat I wont go into details!!!! But Post I can email you with a list of things I found!!!!
     
  9. 223reload

    223reload New Member

    Messages:
    10,798
    State:
    Oklahoma

    Thats quite allright ,Will ,I dont need a play by play :surrender::bad_smelly:
     
  10. postbeetle

    postbeetle New Member

    Messages:
    6,598
    State:
    Iowa
    I eat all the time Wil, so no time is a good time. Now if I was drinking, which I never do that's a different story.
     
  11. kkyyoottee

    kkyyoottee New Member

    Messages:
    754
    State:
    Iowa
    Dont make me come to your place of residence John and put you under my new high power brooder lamp to make ya talk!!!:big_smile:
     
  12. Redd

    Redd New Member

    Messages:
    790
    State:
    Southeast Kansas
    Back in highschool a buddy and me used to cut firewood. Everday after school, we'd cut until it was dark. When it was dark, we split until it was done. Then we hauled it and stacked it. On saturdays we'd start at about eight in the morning and wouldn't get done 'til anywhere from eight to ten that evening. We cut oak, hackberry, percimmon, elm (fun to split...*rolls eyes*), and ash. And then there was hedge... Atleast ninety percent of what we cut was that god-awful stuff. So hard it'd dull a chain in no time. Those little thorns would constantly rip me open and the way these massive twisted trees laid on the ground would often make them roll. Was actually in one when it did and it sent me to the ground with my saw still running... luckily I landed on my feet and the saw in the dirt. The wind would cut right through my bibs and coat, yet I'd always sweat, making the situation worse. What was probably one of the biggest pains was when we cut too late in the evening trying to get done with a tree and have to haul out +100 lb logs through thick brush and limbs, twenty or thirty yards to the truck. All done in the dark, as we were too stupid to know when to stop. I still got scars on my hands from those days, and one on my face you can see if you look hard enough. And after all that pain, agony, and long hard hours... I didn't even break even after buying my chainsaw. Tough luck for a dumb kid..lol Atleast it kept me from bein' fat and lazy.

    -Red
     
  13. Ictalurus Punctatus

    Ictalurus Punctatus New Member

    Messages:
    353
    State:
    Greensboro, NC
    I believe that the really tough thing about building a fence of considerable size, is the demoralizing thought that you aren't making any progress, the carcinogenic idea that this is going to go on forever because no end is in sight. Personally, the few fences that I've built always seemed to get a bit easier when we could see the barn again.

    All jobs have their respective,"*sigh* I hate this part of this job". I think at the time I was doing it (I was 14), the most despised job I've had was priming tobacco. The sore back, the relentless sun/heat, and that cursed sticky tar stuff. Of course, understand that that was before I learned to lay brick and found out how sore a back could get and how relentless the sun could really be.

    I've been in brickwork for just over 16 years now (I'm 34) and yes I have a few callouses. I've met older brick masons' whose hands look like leather, basically their whole hands are callouses. I have great admiration for hands like those, they belong to men who know what working is. Men who're truly tough. Men that I want to be like. I wear every callous that I have with tremendous pride. Rememeber the song "Daddy's Hands"?

    Jon
     
  14. redneckdrum

    redneckdrum New Member

    Messages:
    623
    State:
    kansas
    Being a drummer & climbing telephone pole's will give you callouses,but the weird thing about it is I love doing both.
     
  15. CatFishingFinatic

    CatFishingFinatic New Member

    Messages:
    198
    State:
    Iowa
    I have done jobs from clerical, factory, waitress, bartend, loading truck, but I think my least favorite job was when I worked for a cabnet company. We made cabnets for hospitals. The job itself wasn't really that bad but the tools I had to run were just a tad bit big for my small frame. The gluer seemed simple enough, till I pulled the trigger and it looked like one of those cartoons where the fire hose just goes nuts. Know what I am talking about. Luckily I was behind a curtain and no one could see. But I guess the final straw was when I had to run this sander, the thing weighed about as much as I did, but I was being a good sport, my supervisor put it down on the board I had to sand down and gave me the low down on how not to hold it in one place because it would put dips in the wood. So I put a little bit of weight on it and off went the board. So, I did some thinking and went and got a couple clamps and small scrap wood, clamped the board down with the clamps and scrap as not to put any dents in my board. bent over pushed the button on the sander and that darn thing drug me all the way across to the other side. So here I am laying across this board that was a 5 ft by 5ft section. Not really that big of thing, except this time there was no curtain across and everyone in the place seen what happened. Now the only reason they hired me was because their contract said they had to have so many woman working for them and at that time they only had 1 other woman, and she looked like she could have been a man. When I applied there was me and a guy applied. He was more qualified but I was a woman. I got the job even though they knew when they interviewed me I was to small for the job. I mean heck I weighed 100lbs soak and wet. I didn't last very long, I did come back the next day and my supervisor told me he was surprised I came back, but he really thought I should think about not coming back the next day. So I surrendered my name tag and went back to the food industry LOL.
     
  16. kkyyoottee

    kkyyoottee New Member

    Messages:
    754
    State:
    Iowa
    Okay John I will start with non disgusting things

    1. reading glassess
    2. a rubber duck
    3. every kind of fruit imagineable
    4. wash clothes
    5. false teeth (which has a very unique story and ending!!)

    More to come!!!
     
  17. Dano

    Dano New Member

    Messages:
    13,712
    State:
    Texas
    I guess its about what your exposed too.
    me, it was, watermelon fields in S. Texas. Hay fields wasn't much fun. Guess swinging the pic in hard dirt forming up for concrete pour wasn't a blast either. Did the roofing thing.
    Worked steel mills and a lot more. picked broom corn once. And everything I got, I did myself and still do. Whats really crazy, I loved it and still do.
    After all that and being older. most hardest work was dealing with butt heads while I was trying to work. LOL.
     
  18. derbycitycatman

    derbycitycatman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,296
    State:
    Kentucky
    Hardest job for me was in high school and college pulling parts at a junk yard. Hauling car doors by hand to the customers car isnt any fun. Knuckle busting comes to mind and Ive put my hand thru a window a time or two. Not to mention the snakes, spiders, wasps, bees and rats that sometimes shared the car your pulling parts off of. After that I decided Id rather work inside or less labor if I can.

    Even younger during summers Id help my grandpa clear the road up to the farm. Cutting down saplings, digging ditches and clearing out pipes wasnt much fun either.
     
  19. kat in the hat

    kat in the hat New Member

    Messages:
    4,875
    State:
    Missouri
    The only calouses I have now, are from running trotlines lol. I used to do commercial, and residential roofing. I would not be a roofer again if I had to. Rubber roofing is gravy. I would probably still do that. Hot asphault sux. Tearing off a 3ply gravel coated roof sux really, really bad...especially when it's 300,000 suare feet or so. After the gravel is removed with a scratcher, and swept into wind rows with a power broom, it all must be scooped by hand into wheel barrows, and dumped into a tractor trailer. We filled 3 trailer loads with gravel, all scooped by hand. I don't know how many tons of gravel that was, but it was alot, and it involved alot of blisters, and calouses. There were 3 of us permanent roofers, and every day, we would have a few guys from job-service each day, and usually those guys would be long gone by noon. Most didn't even try to get their money. They just tucked tail, and ran as far away from the site as they could get. I saw a guy take a shower in hot asphault. That was very ugly. Half of his face, and all the skin from one arm was removed, as the dried asphault had to be pulled away from the charred flesh in the ER :crazy:.

    We were on another job, and the "hot buckets" had alot of tar built up on the bottom of them. When this happens, they get real sticky, and it's hard to pick them up off the roof without spilling them. Periodically, they must be torched off. Well, my boss was in a hurry to finish up. All we had left to do was to fill the scuppers around the bracing of a facaude. I insisted that the buckets be torched first. He didn't listen. He filled a bucket with tar, and tried to move it. When it popped loose from the roof, tar shot up his arm. Encrusting his whole hand, and half his arm. I rushed him to the ER, and spent the next 5 hours watching them peel his flesh away. Very ugly...very preventable. I had to say it...I told you so.:confused2:

    Anyway, back then, my hands were like bricks. So many calouses, that I couldn't bend my fingers properly. Packing shingles up a ladder puts blisters, and eventually calouses on your shoulder. I see those nifty little devices nowadays that haul the shingles up there for you, and I think...man, what a bunch of wusses. I woulda killed for one of those when I was roofing. Maybe my boss was just sadistic, and wanted to watch me suffer??? Nobody packs shingles, and loads a roof like that anymore.
     
  20. Dano

    Dano New Member

    Messages:
    13,712
    State:
    Texas
    LMAO how could you tell what was what. :smile2::smile2::smile2: