Yesterday I did my boss another little favor and worked up in Nicholas County at another coal mine to fill in. I had to be there at 11 AM and work to 11 PM. Along with it being a twelve-hour shift, it's about a two-hour drive to the mine from my place one-way so by the time I got home this morning around 1 AM I was a complete zombie and went right to bed.
I don't mind doing this once in a while because not only does he pay me for my travel time but lets me use the company truck to travel back and forth, saving me the expense of fuel. So this little side trip netted me another four hours overtime pay.
The thing I really don't like about working at these mines besides the mind-numbing boredom is within minutes of walking through the gate you're filthy with coal dust. It's everywhere. I can't wear a clean uniform because this coal dust gets everywhere, fast. I mean everywhere.
Please do not take that the wrong way and think I'm some clean freak. I don't mind getting dirty at all, but when you wear a uniform for work as I do, you try to look as professional as possible in it, at least I do. And it's next to impossible to do that when you're filthy.
I guess it all started a while ago. I've been wearing uniforms my entire life it seems. From twelve years of parochial school, the army, then the police department, now security work... It does save time. I don't have to think about or worry what I'm going to wear the next day... I know exactly what I'm wearing for work. Einstein actually had seven suits, all alike just so he didn't have to expend the energy thinking about what to wear.
Not that I'm an Einstein.
But I've always tried to look my best when wearing a uniform. Shirt and trousers pressed, shoes shined. It projects professionalism. Long gone are the days on the PD when I could take my uniforms to the dry cleaners weekly, but I try my best with what I've got. So it bugs me when I'm not even on the clock five minutes and I'm filthy.
Someday, when I'm working on the railroad again and don't have to wear a uniform all the time I won't have to care, but for now it still annoys me.
Copyright 2006 Thomas J Wolfenden