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surfers who work ~ where to lunch?



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Seating arrangements at meal times are unvaryingly rigid. Some mature crews have a permanent mobility that circumvents the usual infighting in that they have accumulated a superior number of well cushioned chairs and lounges that they are able to transport from site to site.

Inheritances and dispositions of these assets are a serious matter, and any accidental displacement must be immediately replaced in order to minimise the loss of face occasioned by the need of the loser to have to scrounge seating, although this is usually solved by simply taking the most comfortable seat from any of the lower labouring classes whether they be using it at the time or not. It is helpful in instances such as these if the lower class member is a non-english speaker.

A domino effect can sometimes be observed when mandatory seat redistribution is fully implemented across the whole social range at the site. Furniture fights are not an unusual phenomena.

In those cases where a fixed ownership is not the case the creativity of the working man can be hard tested. This can be evidenced by the melancholy appearance of a vacated and untidy circle of upended buckets, stacked bricks, mattresses, old car seats, a bundle of painter’s drops or some times a crushed young Azalea or Hibiscus covered with somebody else’s old clothes.

Client note: Ramshackle seating arrangements such as these are, at times, an indication of a low standard of professional work.

Individual seating may sometimes be subjected to vengeful sabotage and a tranquil lunch can at times be disturbed and in some extreme instances completely abandoned when an otherwise sturdy and dependable chair collapses under the combined weight of its user, his mug of hot tea, his bag of hot pies, his hot chips and sauces, smokes, matches and newspaper. Not to mention his personality, which almost always remains the basis of such an action.

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Positioning of the lunching area is a native skill some are born to and is particularly evident in summer when the heat and sun invariably induce stupor on a full stomach. This of course is the desired after lunch activity in the construction industry and a soft grassy patch under a shady tree that is also open to the sea breeze is considered sacred ground and as such is hotly protected from all other incursions.

At the conclusion of eating at the midday break it is not uncommon for a visitor to walk in and see six to ten men laying on the ground, soundly sleeping. If the visitor happens to be the client he will be later reminded that he should not enter the site without prior arrangement and then only after proper notice, preferably written.

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