I-beam, U-beam, we all scream for…(I-beam?)

When the place where I worked shut down last October, I started doing freelance construction PM/estimating.  It puts an edge on my life that I don’t particularly enjoy, but it pays the bills and keeps the cats and dogs in kibble.

It isn’t consistent, though, and my current employer (oh, that’s me) can’t afford benefits.  So, I have started randomly applying for jobs.  The first person who called for an interview was Gulf Marine who needs an industrial estimator.  I’m not an industrial estimator; however, I’ve got estimator sense which goes a long way and I like the fake it til you make it theory of employment, so I applied.

The interviewer was a man who looks like a blonde Mr. Whipple.  Instead of squeezing Charmin, he was squeezing a file folder with my app and resume.  In the course of our conversation, I learned that he had only been at his job for 6 weeks.  He said-like this was a news flash-that bids  have to go out on time and the client is the most important person.  Really?  Having done this kind of work for 25  years, I had a hard time not turning the hairy eyeball on him. 

Generally, I would have put the interview at a 7.8 out of 10…up to a point. 

We started throwing around fabrication terminology which I really can fake since my best friend (in the male category) is a pipefitter and we are workaholics whose pillow talk revolves around our jobs.  Then, Mr. Whipple drew a picture that looked like this:And wrote “W8x24” next to the sketch.  He asked what those numbers meant. 


I had to admit that I had not a clue.  Actually, I knew the 8 was the width but the significance of the 24 escaped me.  (It’s the weight in lbs per linear foot in case you want to apply for a job at Gulf Marine.)

You know, even though I knew I wasn’t qualified for that job, it bothered me to not be able to answer the question.  I felt strangely embarrassed and like a failure.    On the drive back to the house, I did that old “I should have said…” and replayed the conversation.  As soon as I got home, I googled I-beam.

All this for a job I didn’t really want and wasn’t qualified to do.   I think the geek that I was as a kid is the geek that I am:  I hated to not ace a test then and now! 

So, I am a font of information about I-beams today.  Just ask me.

About texasgaga

I am a mom, a grandmom (Gaga to my 2nd oldest grand-child), a sister, a friend, a construction estimator, a homeowner, an active member of a 12 step recovery group, an artist, a reader, a survivor, a do it yourself wannabe, a laugher
This entry was posted in Jobs. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s