On very low-budget freebie jobs (like the one I did over the weekend), usually the help one gets is in the form of students who have been press-ganged into working for free on what they’re promised is going to be an awesome life experience.
What it mostly turns out to be is a lot of boredom alternating with periods of hard work. Sometimes the students are into it and try to have fun, and sometimes they’re not.
Sunday night, we had to light a night exterior and our helpers were two teen or very early 20’s girls who, once they saw they were supposed to be helping me (a totally uncool mom-like entity), completely lost interest and decided to hang out with the ‘super cute’ art department guys. Although I can’t really blame them for this (I’m certain a cute art department guy is way more interesting than I am), it did kind of suck when I needed help.
Like when we needed a light to go fairly high up in the air – we used a par can and a mombo combo stand. This particular type of stand is very large and heavy – its maximum height is about 24 feet, and it weighs about 50 lbs, so it’s normally a two person carry. It’s primarily a grip stand, but occasionally set lighting will borrow one if we have to send a small lamp really high up and don’t have the luxury of anything fancy like a condor.
Since I was in a hurry to get one of the stands from the truck to the place where the DP wanted the light five minutes ago and couldn’t find any of my ‘helpers’ (who turned out to be sitting in the living room of the house, flirting with said art department guys), I just picked up the stand, threw it over my shoulder and stomped across the uneven grass of the house’s front lawn, muttering angrily to myself.
The problem with carrying 50 lbs of steel on one’s shoulder is that said shoulder isn’t really designed for that sort of thing, so when I woke up Monday, my shoulder was incredibly sore – I thought is was a pulled muscle and tried to work it off, but it just kept hurting. Turns out it’s a hairline fracture in the collarbone. Of course, since I was tired I forgot to mention the steel stand and the shoulder to the doctor, so I’m just guessing about the cause.
The doc thinks it was a purse strap and now wants a bone density test (although the way I load up my purse, it weighs about 50 pounds, so that may actually be a plausible theory).
It’s not stopping me from working, I just have to be careful how I lift things. As long as I keep the left arm close to the body, it’s fine. It’s when I try to wing the elbow out away from my side and lift that it really hurts.
So yesterday, I’d be doing something like hanging a lamp, reach out to the side and then get a reminder that I shouldn’t do that.
Since it’s a holiday weekend, I’ve got an extra day for the damned thing to heal before I have to be back at work on Tuesday.