When you think of the downtown street construction worker, does the kind of dirty wolf whistling at the ladies stereotype pop into your head?
Well that was yesterday. Today, the street construction worker will barely look at a woman … I know! Good news, bad news? Of course, good news.
They’re actually polite, respectful, and working their butts off! They barely have time to look up and whistle. The only whistling they do is to each other to get their attention for assistance.
I’m working in the middle of the Project 180 construction, right by the Civic Center, Oklahoma City Museum of Art and City Hall. I can be real patient with construction because I’ve learned it will be over with before you know it and that sometimes you have to get through a lot of ugly to get pretty. So I try to show respect back to the worker.
I’ve seen people yell at them. I hate that! Maybe that’s not the person you should be yelling at … you yeller.
One thing I kid them about is saying things like, “Are you guys almost done with this?” When clearly, they are not! They look at me like, “Are you craz?”y and I give them this look that says “I’m so kidding you, silly!”
I’ve seen them very concerned when a “downtown dummy” is going the wrong way down a one-way. It really upsets them. They want to help them. I’ve learned from the many years downtown, a downtown dummy will quickly learn they’re going the wrong way. Hey! I’ve been there.
Currently, they are replacing sewage pipes down Walker between Main and Robert S. Kerr. They dig way down deep. The deepness into the street kind of freaks me out. So I like to bend a little bit and look down the hole and go, “Whoa!”
I look at the dirt as a part of history — is that dirt from 1889?? The construction workers humor me. One time they let me look down into the sewage tunnel — you know, the kind where super heroes nemesis live? Freaky!
For spring break, the Oklahoma City Museum of Art held its art camps. The instructor for the class with ages 8-10 decided to take the kids outside and have them sketch the construction of Hudson at Couch and also the new Devon tower. Little did they know it would be AWESOMENESS!!!
They happened to be demolishing Hudson that day. The kids with their sketching pads proceeded to draw what they were seeing then — the cranes lifted up, then hammered down on the concrete breaking it apart. The kids started chanting ‘Tear it up! Tear it up!”
The construction workers were laughing. One even talked to the teacher, asking about the students. He said he was an artist himself! That was an exciting day for the kids … and me too. I totally get why little boys love those toy tractor, crane-type trucks. I would love to handle one — just once … just the little one.
In a world where business people are teamed with construction crews, it’s nice to just all get along. Respect each others’ jobs. The mess will go away, flowers and green grass will come back. The jarring of your office will stop. And while you’re looking out your office window, you’ll think, “Wonder what their next project will be?”
Here’s a video of the kids screaming “Tear it up!” It’s very short because I thought I was taking a photo. (New iPad dummy here)
Here, I’m taking a photo of their finished sketches but I actually took a two second video