I don’t like to brag but when it comes to being the most physically and mentally tough trade around, concrete is it. The physical aspect is easy to see. A concrete worker has to perform multiple feats of strength throughout the day, every day. From swinging a sledge hammer to loading broken pieces of concrete or pulling a screed board and moving fresh concrete around the muscles are often in flex. It’s the mental part that isn’t quite as apparent.
Being a concrete Finisher is all about timing. In cooler parts of the country or even during cold months here it sometimes becomes a waiting game. Finishing the concrete too early, especially with a smooth finish, can cause delamination problems and waiting too long can end in catastophic failure. Most of the year here in Tucson though it is just a flat out race against a quite perishable product in the heat.
In most trades if the job starts to get frustrating or things just aren’t going your way you can call an early lunch break or just take the rest of the day off and try it again tomorrow…Not with concrete. Once the concrete leaves the plant the time is ticking down. We can prolong that time with chemicals that slow down the set to some extent but it’s still going to get hard.
You will not likely get a break until the work is done. There is something very appealing about that to those who choose to slay the gray dragon. Every pour is a competition. It’s you against the concrete and you get to feed your ego every time you step back and relish in your victory.
Once in a while the wind or rain come along to join forces with your rocky foe and sometimes you even lose… Overall though it is one, hard fought, glorious victory after another and sleep is sound every night.
It’s not for everyone. It takes a special breed. My hat goes off to all who dance with this devil we call concrete. May your victories stay sweet and your defeats infrequent..
If you think you have what it takes go to:
and send in a resume. We are always looking for young un-trained talent, as well as the skilled, with a can do attitude and an optimistic outlook on life.
Thank you for giving a read