My life is very polarizing, as I live two very different lives depending on my work. I can be at home with my man, Ryan, every day or I can be 500 kilometres away, getting to talk to him a few times a week on the phone. I can be gone for weeks to months at a time and it can be very trying. That all being said, I enjoy both parts of my life for different reasons. My life at home is comfortable and I get to be with my friends and family, but my work life keeps me fit and funds my life at home.
A Day in the Life of an Ironworker:
Assuming I am working day shift, I wake up at 4:15 am and head to the washroom which I share with one neighbour or the entire floor of rooms depending on the camp (that’s up to 56 people who use the same communal bathrooms). Do my morning routine, like brush my teeth and wash my face then go back and get dressed in my work wear. This consists of black Carhartt pants and a few layers of shirts and hoodies.
I head to the kitchens, which can be anywhere from a hundred meters away to nearly a kilometre. I don’t eat breakfast in the kitchens, so I just pack my lunch, grab a coffee and brass out of camp. Depending on the job I either get into a company truck or onto a site school bus and head to my lunchroom.
Once in the lunchroom I have my peanut butter and jelly sandwich and hang out with the crew. Once shift starts our supervision comes in for our daily safety meeting and to give us our jobs for the day. At this time we get our gas monitors (H2S is the biggest issue) and if required we put locks onto various boxes to stop the equipment from being energized while we are working on it. I usually work as a rigger, so my partner and I head over to the crane and sign on all the crane paperwork as well as write out our safety paperwork for the day. At this point we distribute radios and establish our lift plans with the whole crew and operator.
Once all the discussion is over and the connectors are on their way to their work area, we start inspecting the rigging and set up for our first couple lifts. Once everyone is ready, we start sending what ever material or steel needed. Often throughout the day we will do lifts for other trades and companies to get their material to elevation as well.
We also organize the rigging, set up materials with zoom-booms, and prepare materials before they get sent up. Often on maintenance jobs we go a lot of grinding to prep pieces for welders who have to weld on pieces while they are still hooked up to the crane.
Often times we won’t need the crane all day so we’ll wind up doing a variety of other things, like breaking bolts, installing new bolts, torquing, getting materials and fabricating pieces. Often we also jump crane to crane or have to break down and set up cranes in different locations during the day.
When the day is over we head to the lunchrooms, give back our gas monitors and locks as well as signing our end of day paperwork. We then jump into the truck/bus and head back to camp. I eat my dinner in the kitchen, take a shower and try to sleep because 4:15 comes very quickly when working 12 hour shifts.
A Day in the Life of Me at Home:
I wake up at an undefined time and check the job tape to see if there is a job I can go on. If there is a job available I call in and by noon I know if I’ve gotten the job or not. I often do my make up videos early in the morning so that I get to enjoy my art of the day longer. At that point I start editing my video and once a week during this time I am uploading the podcast that my man and his friend do because while I’m editing I don’t need Internet connection and uploading a whole podcast to Youtube takes a while.
Generally once I’m done editing I go make my lunch, which is almost always chicken and rice soup with 12 soda crackers with crushed red pepper and dill weed added. I eat it right out of the pot while I read and if a book has really caught me, I won’t leave the table until my back hurts too much to keep reading there.
Once I have cleaned my pot and spoon I check for jobs I could do in other industries away from construction (I would really like to work in my home city, because I really miss my family and my man when I’m out of town for weeks or months at a time). Once I am completely out of hope because it seems all jobs require degrees and diplomas that I don’t have. Apparently a college diploma in graphic design and photography and a journeyman ticket does not make me “hireable”. That doesn’t stop me from trying again and again. I believe that one day I will be able to have dinner with my partner every night, it’s just not what I get right now.
Once Ryan’s home we start on dinner, which these days is often Korean spicy pork or chicken noodles because they are delicious and you can make them in less than twenty minutes. The ingredients are very simple and it allows you to not use any MSG products and still get to enjoy delicious ramen noodles. I know not everyone reacts badly to MSG but I do, so I avoid it as well as I can.
In the summer, after dinner we would often go for a walk or play football, but since it’s winter, going for a walk is cold and football would be in a foot of snow.
We often watch Netflix or Disney plus shows that he is going to talk about in the weekly podcast or anime that we just want to enjoy together. After the show I generally move back into the office and start writing for this blog. Eventually Ryan collects me when he’s done reading for the evening, as we snuggle up until he falls asleep. At which point I sneak back to the office to keep researching and writing.
During my research time I often wind up putting a lot of time into researching things I don’t use for the blog, but I do enjoy learning for the sake of simply expanding my knowledge. I would really recommend throwing on SciShow while doing things around the house because you get to learn interesting things while being productive.
Once my lids grow too heavy to keep going I head to bed, and I am blessed to be able to fall asleep beside the man I love.
I love hearing from you guys so please let me know your favourite part of your day in the comments! An email address is not required to comment, please just share your thoughts!