Friday, January 23, 2009

I do enjoy my job!

The building I work in is actually the presbytère of one of Montréal's grand old Catholic churches. The presbytère is the building where the nuns and priests used to live and I imagine it was once bustling with church activity. As the role of the church in Québec society declined, so did the need for staff and this building eventually got transitioned over to be rented out to non-profit organizations. When I first started working here, there was one locked door on our floor that I eventually learned led to an apartment where a single remaining priest was living. He accessed his apartment through a side entrance. I never saw him and he finally moved out (or died) and his apartment was opened up to some other organizations.

The building is old and beautiful. There has been some minor renovations (like a hideous, grimy linoleum in the hallway, white paint everywhere, lead windows) but not enough to ruin the spaciousness and patina of age that makes it such a pleasant place to work. I've spoken of all this before and taken some pictures which, if you are so interested, you may read about by following this link.

I wanted to recount a little adventure I had today that makes me really enjoy my job. Mostly, I keep the computers and equipment running and make sure all the employees are physically happy in their workspaces. A certain part of my job is low level handiwork, like fixing tables, hanging pictures and lights, building shelves, etc. These are often a pleasant diversion that get me away from my desk and the computer.

We have a cool attic here where we store a lot of our action equipment. It has a trap door on the roof, a 2' x 2' framed square lined on the outside with metal flashing. The thing is pretty heavy, maybe about 30 pounds, but not heavy enough to withstand the big gusts of wind we sometimes get here in the winter. I went up to the attic earlier in the week and noticed it had blown off again. Unfortunately, it must have happened before the big snowfall of two weeks ago because I couldn't see it anywhere on the flat plain of snow that is our roof. I had to go back down, get my boots and toque and a big pole and then go on the roof and poke around like an explorer looking for crevasses. I checked immediately around the hatch, but it wasn't there, so I walked in ever outward-increasing concentric circles, poking with the pole until I found it. Fortunately, it didn't take too long and it's a great vista from the roof, which I will share with you below.

I've worked in many different jobs in my life. The majority of my working years took place in an office. I've never had the need (or right) to go on the roof of the building and poke around in the snow with a pole before. It's pleasant.

Looking south towards the river (with downtown peeking on the right):

If you look closely at the bottom you can see the disturbed snow where I found the hatch cover.

Looking Southwest towards Mont-Royal:

And the hatch cover in question:


Jason L said...

Can you not McGyver a small latch that would keep the hatch fastened down during the windstorm?

Two eye bolts and a length of wire would do it.

OlmanFeelyus said...

I can and I should! I just keep hoping, winter after winter, that it will stay on by itself. But I'll get on it this year.

Buzby said...

Plus you do look somewhat like McGyver!