The Fechino Files: Preparing Yourself for Situations You Know Will Occur

Words: Steven Fechino

Steven Fechino

Man, oh man, it is Monday, gunna’ be a good week.  On my way to work I go through all of the major tasks I want to accomplish this week.  What I did over the weekend will prepare me for the problems that were not estimated as a task that will arise.  I set up my truck to keep me going: 

  • I purchased a fire extinguisher, mounted it into the floorboard of my truck. 
  • I put an extra water hose in the bed of the truck under the toolbox so it would not get cut with by other items I haul. 
  • I grabbed a hose repair kit, nozzle washer and a spray nozzle and put them in the tool box.  Nozzles tend to drip or break at the absolute worst times. 
  • I took that old mortar hoe in my shed and cut the handle at about 3 feet from the hoe, sanded the edges and make it perfect for” temping” the mortar on the scaffold. 
  • I grabbed a roll of plastic to put in my toolbox so I could cover my materials that are in the lay lot and on the scaffold.  I had been getting sloppy about this during the dry summer, well, now that is about to change with the season. 
  • I actually put batteries into my flashlight, seems that I always need light and using my phone as a flashlight has put my communication device in need of a plug most of the day.  I need my phone to be mobile. 
  • I washed my truck and cleaned out the cab, no receipts, no trash, no clumps of mud and I hardly recognized it this morning, seems the radio even plays clearer.  Feels pretty good to drive a clean truck. 
  • I stopped and picked up a can of WD-40, I plan to oil the rollers on the saw tables, hinges on the mixer and even my office chair that squeaks.  
  • I grabbed a 5-gallon bucket, put a small trash bag in it and put several quarts of oil, grease tubes and grease gun in the bucket.  Wrapped the bag up and this will keep oil and grease off everything I own as well as keep cartridges from getting stepped on by my new laborer. 
  • Grabbed a gallon zip lock bag from the kitchen (No, my wife does not know why I took it) and put every trig and line block I could find in the bag, I even had room for three partial rolls of braded line.  The untangling of the line can be a real pain. 
  • I filled up my truck with fuel and I filled my mixer cans with non-ethanol fuel, I am good until Wednesday. 
  • Put an old pair of boots and wool socks behind the seat of the truck along with an old Carhartt, it will be cold and wet before I know it, dry and warm is good! 
  • Swapped out my safety vest for a clean one, been needing to do that for a few weeks. 
  • Downloaded all of my jobsite photos and put them in folders.  Funny how the job has progressed.  It was nice to see that things were performed correctly, and a good record has been kept. 
  • Oiled up the Cricks, wire brushed the tools and dumped that sand out of my tool bag, still sneezing from all that dust. 
  • Taped the changes into my drawings, taped all the ripped pages and separated the MP&E drawings out of my set, now they are so much easier to work with. 
  • Stopped at the Hardware and bought 3 cans of lacquer, 2 red grease pencils and a chalk refill, no lines will escape me now. 
  • Going to get a bag of ice and some cups for a change, sure hope I got all the soap out of the cooler when I washed it. 

Getting prepared is fun when it is all done, being without is never fun.  I have been on jobs when the little things that are managed ahead of time seem to make problems disappear and the overall attitude better among the crew. Masonry is a tough trade, I say this in most every article I write, because it is true, and I respect those that make it look easy.   

Today, do the little extra that makes it look easy…tuck in your shirt, loose clothing can hurt you, you know better. 

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