I met Brock while I was working for mining equipment sales and service company. His first day on the job turned bad when the weirdo yardman dropped a crane bonnet on his fingers. I heard a fair bit of swearing and saw Brock holding his hand. He wouldn’t show me the damage although I could see the blood. He wouldn’t go to hospital and never took a day off. They must breed them tough in Victoria because he must have broken at least one of his fingers.
He’s a tough bastard but the nicest bloke you could meet. I worked with him for years and we never had a real argument. We had plenty of fake arguments, especially if one of the mine shift supervisors got on our backs when repairs took too long for their needs. We’d scream at each other and throw tools around until they pissed off and let us finish the job.
We did some long hours together, working around the clock a few times without a break. The Perth office would whinge about the overtime and the illegal hours. They were all talk though. We’d get unofficial pats on the back since they knew sales would suffer if the customers weren’t kept happy.
We learned how to play the system quickly. A lot of mine sites only allowed contractors to work 14 hours. We could stretch that out a few hours if we were almost finished. Then we might have to drive 1000 kilometres to get home. On the way back the mobile would ring. Another site would have a breakdown. Could we come right away? So we would. Some trips would have us mine hopping for up to thirty odd hours straight.
The wife and I lived next door to Brock and his wife Hayley for a while so the wives could look out for each other when we were away. You’d think living and working closely together might get irritating but we’d even go on holidays together. I’m sure our bosses thought we were wife swapping. We never said anything to make them think otherwise.
We had an informal competition going between us to buy the biggest and best stuff. Brock and Hayley bought a big screen TV, (Hitachi of course), which instantly caused me to be dissatisfied with ours. The wife must have picked up on my whinging so, as a surprise anniversary present, she bought the biggest TV available in town.
Plasma's and LCD’s were still around $7000. We weren’t that rich so the wife got a whopping 82cm, rear projection TV. The outer box only just fit into the back of a Hilux ute. She got it home and slid it onto the BBQ, (credit for thinking), to wheel it to the door and then got stuck. She called Brock to help her. He couldn’t believe his eyes at the size of bloody thing. He never got tired of bringing up the fact that he had to lift that huge, heavy TV into my lounge room on his day off. I never got tired of telling him it was bigger than his.
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