Yesterday I pulled a sicky.
Without telling my immediate boss in the Christchurch Office, and god forbid, my divisional manager in Wellington or the New Zealand CEO ever find out, I just tumbled out of bed at my usual time of 0815 hrs and said bugger it I am not one of their PAWNS. I am going to the city to help the daughter of a mate and her business partner to salvage a little of their stock and relocate it to new premises.
The mind numbing thought of another freekin day of boring retirement, we don't get statutory days off, no days in lieu, double time, holidays, sick days, grief days or any other of the hard won RIGHTS that everyone else in paid employment get. Just the endless days of same old until death releases us from our contract, even the poor unfortunates in the rest home are still facing the bird every day. They suffer the additional degradation of having their earnings purloined by the authorities before they get their grasping hands on it to pay for services they in all probability have absolutely no yearning for.
Anyway it was a great day out but the disaster of the actual situation that had forced the evacuation from the tilt slab in Ferrymead, liquefaction had deposited silt and water mixed with things I would rather not think about amongst anything stored on the floor. The floor had buckled under the pressure of the subterranean force and "tented" as much as 400mm, cantilevered glass covered offices still attached but looking like they had imbibed to much alcohol last night, office contents strewn on the floor and it was similar for all the others in the culdesac. No water no sanitation, the constant noise of machinery moving as much of the silt before it created further problems, and other trucks and diggers bringing in hard fill to restore a navigable roadway.
Humphreys Drive the main access from the SE (Ferry road was closed) resembled a road in a war zone with partially repaired craters on the road and along the verges. Nearly every vehicle exhibits clear signs of restoration activity, salvage, and recovery from what is the third forth or more disruption to their lives. Every second person wears a Hi Viz jacket.
This post does not diminish the disaster that the residents of the devastated suburbs are enduring we just drove past some of them in our attempt to restore Sarah and Scotty's livelihood.
The day was emotionally challenging to an old bugger who has seen some tragedies in his time but the obvious fortitude of those trying to get back on their horses and the spontaneous giving of time and energy of those who gave a few hours of unpaid help was just so uplifting.
This town aint dead yet it aint even dieing but some of it is very sick. So to the faceless person to whom I would report, to Paula and to John Key I am sorry I went missing yesterday but I do not feel guilty.
I feel empowered.