Under Construction

There is something compelling about a construction site and it should be no surprise that I often snap photos of them in passing.

I don’t think I’ve ever shared any of them before now, but I thought these discoveries from last weekend were very entertaining.

This piece of equipment caught my eye because it reminded me of the Canadarm used on the Space Shuttle.

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It amused me even more when I discovered the name of this piece of equipment is the *Putzmeister*.

I would translate Putz Meister to mean “Master of the Useless and Unproductive”, however I don’t think that was the intention.

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From what I understand, this equipment pumps concrete along the boom arm from the truck to the intended destination.  In spite of its very unfortunate name, it seems to be a very useful thing to have on a construction site, don’t you think?

Even better was when I spied the “Wacker”.  I can’t even think about this name without smiling.

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Many years ago, the Ontario government enacted a piece of legislation called Pay Equity.  It required employers to pay “equal wages for jobs of equal value”.  Companies like our’s jumped through hoops to implement a methodology that would ensure compliance with this legislation.

I sat on the Pay Equity Committee for my employer and spent endless hours over several months evaluating positions in the company for complexity, judgement, skills required, etc.

You’re probably wondering what on earth that has to do with construction equipment.

Well, one of the positions we evaluated from our manufacturing facilities was that of a *Whacker*. How would you like to have that as your official job title?

Needless to say, it didn’t require much advanced education or job complexity, but physical brawn was an obvious asset.  I don’t suppose I have to mention that we were often reduced to a giggling mess during these evaluations.  The Whacker was one of our favourites.

Admit it.  You too can’t resist sneaking a peak at a construction site.  You never know what you might see.

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About Joanne Sisco

Retired but not idle. Life is an adventure - I plan to continue to embrace it.
This entry was posted in Memories, Outdoor Stuff, Random Stuff, Things I Like and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

76 Responses to Under Construction

  1. LB says:

    Thanks for the chuckle. Those names!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. reocochran says:

    Joanne, this was hilarious and so amusing! 😀
    I liked the grid work of the fence which at the angle and time of day you caught the yellow equipment, made the fence beautiful.
    I like and have attempted to capture industrial equipment and construction sites. I was just thinking of the looming crane photo I had taken awhile back. . . The building is now nearly completed, so crane is gone. . .

    Like

  3. I’ve been watching the construction at Union Station for many years, as I commute – admit it was interesting at first but lost its fascination a while back now 😱!

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  4. Can’t say construction sites are my thing. They remind me of renovations and they make me want run and hide! Not sure if “whacker” has the same colloquial meaning in Canada as in Australia…that made me giggle.

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    • Joanne Sisco says:

      Constructions sites are interesting to goggle at, but a nuisance in your neighbourhood – traffic restrictions, noise, dust and dirt. It’s kind of a good news/bad news story.

      Since I came up with a couple of different meanings for whacker in Australian slang, maybe I should be asking you!

      Like

  5. Debbie H says:

    Great post Joanne, I enjoyed your under construction stories and learning about the Whackers! Lol 🙂

    Like

  6. Those are some hilarious names for big equipment. 🙂

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  7. Susanne says:

    What a funny post! All of downtown Ottawa is a construction site these days, Joanne. We’re getting ready for a big party on July 1. But you daren’t stop to ogle the Whacker for fear of sinkholes so you drive as fast as the pylons allow.

    Like

    • Joanne Sisco says:

      Oh yes … you’re gearing up for a mega-party!
      Seeing as big crowds and bad traffic make me very uncomfortable, it is unlikely I will be there …. maybe after all the fuss dies down.
      …. but I do have a list of things I want to do when I get there 😉

      Like

  8. Heyjude says:

    You’ll be getting yourself arrested if you’re not careful… 😀

    Like

  9. Ally Bean says:

    I want to see a Putzmeister in real life. I live in a subdivision with a section still under construction. Suppose I could call ahead and request one to be on the street when I walk by? Probably not. Asking for too much, I suppose.

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  10. Su Leslie says:

    Whacker? I can only imagine …. Love the shots, especially the last.

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  11. Cement trucks are my favorite.

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  12. Lynn says:

    Oh, how I wish my job title was as interesting as the Whacker. Seriously, what do you do for a living? Oh, I’m a whacker😂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. A Putzmeister and Wacker. No wonder you enjoy construction sites, Joanne. Too funny. Well, at least Ontario made an effort at pay equality. That’s admirable. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Clearly the construction company people don’t give a thought to marketing when it comes to name branding. Then again, maybe they do – what do I know? But this was an hysterical read.

    I remember those days of pay equity evaluations when I worked at Bell. I remember the surprising results that ranked a lineman’s job as physically demanding, or nearly so, as a desk clerk’s. Sitting at a desk for long stretches at a time can be just as rigorous as climbing telephone poles.

    Like

    • Joanne Sisco says:

      Bridget gave me a lesson in German translation. Putzmeister isn’t nearly as funny in German as it is in English. When putz is combined with meister it means Plaster Master, but Putzmeister is actually the name of the German manufacturing company that makes this equipment.

      I remember discussions about whether an employee could move around in the course of their job vs someone (for example) in a call centre who is ‘tied’ to the desk and highly restricted in their mobility.
      I spent a couple of months in one of our call centres and I developed a profound respect for those (typically) young people who are answering phones all day long … my nightmare job!

      Like

  15. Always something interesting at construction sites but I have never seen any construction equipment with names like you found! I am going to have to look! The Putzmeister is too funny!

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    • Joanne Sisco says:

      Putzmeister is actually the name of the German manufacturer. Sadly, it’s not nearly as funny in German as it is in English …. so I’m sticking with the English version 😀

      Like

  16. bikerchick57 says:

    I would be a “Whacker” if it meant a pay increase. Bring it on!

    Like

  17. Dan Antion says:

    I never pass a construction site without stopping to look. In New York, where the sites are often bordered by a plywood fence, I look for a gate or a peep-hole or a gap in the seams. I have always been fascinated by the equipment, giggles aside.

    Thanks for stopping, shooting and sharing, Joanne.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joanne Sisco says:

      Many of our construction sites are also fenced and next to impossible to get a good look.

      What’s interesting about these photos is that there were actually a lot of workers around. Somehow I managed to take all my photos without anyone in the frame.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Phil R says:

    There’s an Australian cricket ground known as the WACA. I’m now kicking myself for not writing about it on Cookie… 🙂

    Like

  19. I like people who are easily entertained. 😀 As for the Putzmeister – isn’t ‘putzen’ to clean in German? My grandma (from the part in Slovenia close to Austria where especially many dialect words are derived from German) used the word and did the deed so much that I declare her our family Putzmeister(in).

    Like

    • Joanne Sisco says:

      I knew that putzmeister was German, but Bridget at The Happy Quitter also pointed out that putzen was to clean.
      Obviously it’s not nearly as amusing in German 😉
      …. but I love your version in applying it to your mother. On any given day, I’m guessing my family could use either interpretation to apply to me 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  20. nrhatch says:

    The Putz Meister was named after its inventor, Mr. Putz . . . who is a cousin of the POTUS . . . who we all wish would become imPOTUS (or impotent) (or both). 😀

    Wait! Maybe we could sic the WACKER (or the WHACKER) on the WANKER and fix his WAGON.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Donna says:

    Yup, having ‘Whackers’ at work does sound wrong on so many levels! Putzmeisters too for that matter. We do have several construction sites currently in operation near our home. You have now inspired me to take a much closer peek inside!

    Like

  22. mickscogs says:

    I do sneak in a squiz a building site when I can. If the wacker is what I think it is, it’s quite a handy tool to get things flat and compact. At least its not a wanker or a spanker!
    Where I work we use manometers. With me everything’s a song.
    manometer – dar dar du du du
    manometer – dar dar dar du
    manometer – dar dar du du du, du du du, du du du, du du du du du, du du, du du dar.
    Sorry at work and bored.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joanne Sisco says:

      At work and bored is prime time for creativity. Let your imagination soar 😀
      Years ago at work, I developed personalities for each of the 9 numbers. Now I only remember 8s and 9s. Eights were happy, jolly guys pleasant to be around, while nines were quiet and mysterious, borderline secretive 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Whacker! Priceless!! Well, there is going to be LOT of construction close to home, starting soon. So I’ll be on the look out!

    Like

  24. LOL! You made me giggle.

    I really like that last image with the excavator. It looks huge!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. joey says:

    I DO like to peek into construction sites, I do! The Whacker. Yes,I can see why that’s moved people to fits of giggles. I like that last shot a lot. Yellow and blue, bit of metal, quite nice 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  26. loisajay says:

    Hard to say if I would rather be a Wacker or a Putz. Some choice, eh? Oh, I would love to have been in those evaluation meetings!

    Like

  27. I could just imagine the burly construction guys saying ‘hand me the wackier, will ya?’ Or ‘Bring the Putzmeister over here!’

    Liked by 1 person

  28. There really are some great names out there, sometimes unintentionally funny. Your post has me smiling with the joy of words as well as construction sites.

    janet

    Like

  29. Joe says:

    LOL at least Whacker is a better title than a wanker 🙂 The term Putzmeister has a dual meaning and refers to my neighbor Joanne (it could also refer to our current President).

    Like

  30. I am not ashamed to admit it. I love looking at such things and I am tickled by the names.

    Like

  31. You actually had a Whacker working for you? That reminds me of some of the odd titles people have who work on film sets. Dolly Grip (who moves camera cranes and dollies) and the Python Wrangler (who performs a variety of tasks, most typically pulling cables) are two of my favorites.

    I loved your definition for Putzmeister… perfect!

    Liked by 1 person

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