Punching the Clock: Road warriors

I have never considered myself a girlie-girl. My nails are not proper, my hair is always a hassle, high heels are simply part of the job description and make-up is something I remember to put on only on rare occasions. So, when I decided to try working with the Town of Norwich highway department, I knew it wouldn’t be that far of a stretch for me.

Not knowing what I was getting into, what to expect or what to wear, I guessed at all three. I have worked several jobs anywhere from cleaning pools, to being a certified nursing assistant to fast food and computer design, but working road construction was a whole new experience.

Arriving at 9 a.m. on that Thursday, I was unsure what the men at the garage had heard I was coming there for. The look on the faces of the three unsuspecting workers was priceless as one of them took a look at me and said, “You’re going to work ... with us?”

I said “yup” and off we went.

First I rode along with Ron Whaley, one of four men who make up the town highway crew. Working that day as well was Rolland Manwarren and Jimmy Jaycox. Missing that particular day was deputy superintendent Mike Petry. Whaley explaned first that working for the highway department means he is on-call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

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