3 Abañiles is Better Than 1, Right?

We?re back in a construction zone again. Those of you who have seen our house know that our floor level is far above the current ground level and that means that our kitchen drainage just goes out into the dirt. Recently, we cleared the area below the house and that meant that the dishwater was pouring onto the neighbor?s land. He wasn?t too happy about this, so we decided to just go ahead and build the perimeter wall around the bottom so we can fill in the whole area and put in the kitchen drainage.

I wanted the job done quickly. I hate construction, I hate the dirt, I hate having guys hanging out around my house all day long. So, Irving told the builder that he wanted him to hire some extra guys to work on the wall with him and that we want it done in 8 days, max.

So. Three guys show up. One of them, the main guy, I haven?t even seen today, though supposedly he is off wiring some hierro or rebar together. The other two are grunt labor . . . they?re supposed to be digging the zanja or trench for the base.

It goes something like this. The one guy uses the pickaxe to break up the dirt . . . 3-4 strokes. Then he sits down on the edge of the trench and starts talking. The other guy, in his own trench, a few feet away, scrapes his own dirt a bit with the shovel. Maybe two or three scrapes, then he leans on his shovel adn they talk for 7-10 min. Then the first guy shovels two shovelfuls of dirt out of the trench and sits down to fan himself with his hat, chattering away. The other guy does pretty much the same, minus the hat.

I should mention that they are doing this RIGHT outside my window. I now know that the short, young guy has two kids, one of whom was up with nightmares all night long and the other who should be in school, but he feels his wife is babying the boy too much by keeping him home too long. I know that the other guy has worked with every abañil who has screwed us over. They?ve also discussed what they had for dinner last night, how annoying their wives are, how annoying their children are, how annoying the other abañiles are . . . oh, and how hot it is. They also talked about the upcoming feriado (public holiday) and their plans to get away and drink some beer. I guess they don?t think I can understand Spanish or else they don?t think I have any power to do anything about their inability to work more than 30 seconds at a time!

I get that it?s hot . . . but this is their job. I wouldn?t mind if they had a break from time to time, but seriously . . . 2 shovelfuls per 15 min. of work? Uh, not gonna cut it boys.