Thursday, November 04, 2004

party dresses at work

girl, originally uploaded by seamonkeylifeboat.

This is the little girl of some of the construction workers. For the last few days that we were here in Nashik she's been playing quietly in gravel piles and balancing things on her head in imitation of the workers. Kids here entertain themselves with whatever they have at hand or playing with each other, 5 year olds carrying babies on their hips as they run around. In Mumbai they play inches from traffic in the street - sometimes you'll even see them pooping a few feet from traffic throwing stones into the cars to entertain themselves while they take care of business. Here in nasik they play at the work they see adults doing, even toddlers holding wood between their little bare feet while they pound nails in with the biggest rocks they can lift. As adults the construction workers build with very few tools and no safety equipment but don't seem to get hurt too often (makes me wonder if we do a disservice to our children when we sanitize their worlds for safety). The guys building the tasting room share one tape measure, one little skill saw and 2 or 3 small hand saws, a pair of nippers, a few small hammers and some planes. And immense patience for the work and the constant changes that are asked of them. In other parts of the winery we have seen them build brick and cement walls only to have to chip them down and rebuild them in a slightly different spot 2 or 3 times. There's something in my western mind that would want to sit down and refuse to put the wall back up until they were sure where it went but for these guys its all the same to them as long as they have work to do and get paid. If someone wants to pay them to keep knocking down and rebuilding the same wall, that's fine. Of course, that's an assumption on my part based on the lack of reaction I see, it could be very different when they talk about it amongst themselves. A common theme I hear from management here is that no one will question or respond to their statements so they don't get any feedback. I've certainly been guilty of smiling and nodding at work when it's all swearing and cussing inside my head.


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