man cleaning up trash on job site
Photo: Kindra Clineff
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7. Thinking Cleaning Up the Job is a Waste of Time

I worked with Roger Goldenberg on a job restoring the front exterior of a museum house that is a National Historic Landmark. It was a dream job with lots of exposure. Fun work. Good money. Last pro carpentry job I ever did before becoming a journalist.

I'd never worked with Roger before, and for the first week or so, it drove me nuts because he would stop work (the real work, I thought) about half an hour before quitting time and clean up the site, including the adjoining barn where we'd set up a temporary shop for milling. He'd get out his different brooms and sweep and clean. Arrrgh! It was my job, I'd landed it, and what the hell did he think he was doing? I was always of the school of thought that you only clean up when you couldn't find something, even after kicking through the debris for ten minutes look for it.

But man, did I love showing up in the morning on that job with Roger, knowing right where everything was. I wish I'd worked with Roger when I was just starting out.

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