Surfers Who Work – Episode 6

ManchBrick Layers 1900DRUGS

The taking of drugs during the working day is completely unacceptable and is not condoned by the writer – despite some evidence of a permanent record kept by Australian Customs that may or may not relate to their hand delivering a package mailed from Durban to Warriewood in 1968 which contained a masterful amount of DP wrapped in a Durban Pro T Shirt –– unless it’s Friday afternoon, or if a visiting grower calls by to have a social lunch and promote a new variant from the northern rivers, or if the boss is absent, or on the job, or if the job is on schedule, or lost in time, or if it looks like rain may commence, or may stop.

The unacceptable drugs that may not be taken during working hours are hard liquor (no one will work with a drunk) good hashish (taking this at work is definitive drug abuse) Acid (the user becomes coldly unemotional and may want to sit on the roof for long periods waiting for the sky to change colours). Marijuana LEAF (if the user cannot afford buds his reputation on the worksite will be diminished and the wheels taken off his vehicle and rolled away for ever, this is a time proven symbolic gesture that becomes more meaningful as the user advances in years) –

Ecstasy and amphetamines, in fact any phsychostimulant such as Adderall, Dexedrine and Vyvanse are equally unacceptable onsite as (1) no builder will ever want to be put into the position where he is tempted to hug a plumber, and (2) Speed, by its very moniker, is hardly compatible with the accepted philosophy of a charge by the hour contract.

The definition of a Working Day is important in this regard too as it is generally accepted that such a day commences after the meet and greet in the street, it then ceases for morning smoko and the rule is temporarily suspended, only to resume for a short period until lunch (refer an earlier chapter here) where the rule is temporarily suspended yet again.

There is then another short period of toil until afternoon smoko – another suspension – and then the final wind-down to three thirty knock off. The boss is usually long gone at this late hour; either twilight sailing on the Pittwater or pleading with the bank, so the standards may well be put under some stress.

However the roughly rolled shared joint or the chilled slab is commonly consumed in the afternoons at knock off, with a complacent vigour.