Punching the Clock: Full of hot air

I think I’ve found my calling.

It came to me after spending the day with Blueox HVAC technicians Nick Straniero and Shawn McGrath, both based out of the energy company’s Oxford headquarters. No, it’s not installing furnaces. My gift: Standing around shooting the breeze while other people install furnaces.

Yes, I was “that guy” on the job site that everyone has to work around, but no one complains about it because they like having me around for some odd reason. You know the type; all they do is stand over your shoulder, block the light, ask random questions and try to make light-hearted, pointless conversation while you’re trying to get a job done. They’re like the color commentators for television sporting events: They don’t offer much, if anything. But somehow the ball game just isn’t the same without them.

I got to know the type well when I worked summers for the City of Norwich Public Works Department. That’s how I recognized my symptoms and made the diagnosis that I was, in fact, “that guy.” Here are the tell-tale signs:

– You enjoy spending hours with a work crew, yet have no official affiliation with them.

– Every so often -- in between the long stretches where you point out the obvious, tell bad, mildly offensive jokes or talk about the old days -- you instinctively hand someone a tool they don’t need or help them lift something they don’t need help with.

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