One too many skinned knuckles. Too many stinging words from a boss that didn’t care about difficulties–they were just excuses. Excuses crudely compared to anatomical excretory features, that every human possessed.
The tossed sledgehammer traveled in a steady arc, landed in a vacant lot with a dull thud. Anger boiled over, settled to a steady drip. It was February for cripe sakes, and he’d been sweating like a pig. Larry looked around, embarrassed that anger engaged his persona for a few seconds.
“I’m going to get after it, today, Boss.” Larry said that morning–before he left the garage.
“I’ll believe it when I see it,” Larry’s boss replied. “Three rods in eight hours? What was he paying him for?”
Empowerment was management’s favorite word. What it really meant was-whatever happened, you were on your own to get it done.
All new subdivision homes required ten-foot ground rods for utility connections. An easy task in soft soil. These lots were back filled with a mixture of hard packed clay and slag from a nearby steel mill. How could he have been so unlucky? Things had to change in a hurry.
The answer came in the form of a mobile home anchor–a strong, thick steel rod, with an auger screw at the bottom, and a closed loop at the top. By inserting a wrench handle through the top loop; adding a piece of pipe over the handle for leverage–the crude contraption worked slow, but steady, after breaking surface hard-pan.
It wasn’t standard issue tooling, but it was too short a walk from empowerment to unemployment.
Ghoulish specters of industrial waste lay hidden underground, ready to spring, without so much as a warning given to future generations. Sacrifices made in the name of balance sheets and low-cost housing.