The Break Room: Are We Painting Today?

Yes. No. Maybe.

The Break Room Are We Painting Workest
This satirical column is part of our series The Break Room. Each column takes a humorous look at an aspect of the workplace. All the characters and scenes are fictional.

It’s a familiar scenario for exterior painters or anyone who works outdoors. You wake up (at a much earlier hour than you would prefer), groggily look out the window, then at your computer, then at the weather app on your phone, trying to ascertain whether or not you will be working today.

On the one hand, you’d really like to make some money. On the other hand, that bed still looks mighty inviting. On the other, other hand, if you do go back to bed for a few hours, you’re bound to open your eyes to find the sun streaming in through the window, followed by a frantic rush to the job site, 2 hours of missed pay, and some choice words from your foreman.

You could call or text your foreman. But, if you are not painting today, he likely went back to bed himself and will be annoyed if you call. But if you text, he’ll sleep through it. If you are painting today, he’ll also be annoyed that you called, or will respond to your text with something sarcastic like, “What do u think?” or “Duh.”

With all this in mind, we’ve created a handy checklist that can help you — and most other weather-dependent contractors — determine whether or not you will be painting/working today.

  • If you wake up and it is pouring rain, you will not be painting today (most likely).
  • If you wake up and the sun is shining, you will be painting today (probably).
  • If you wake up and it is not raining, but there are some ominous clouds rolling in, you will mostly not be painting today, but you will be going to the job site, getting all the gear set up, and painting for approximately 12 to 14 minutes before the rain starts to fall and you have to pack it all back up again. You may log 1.5 hours to your timecard.
  • If you wake up and it is not raining, but there are some ominous clouds rolling in, and your foreman had a few beers last night, then it might not be raining now but those clouds are definitely going to open up any minute, and you will not be painting today.
  • If you had a few beers last night, because the forecast said it was 100% going to pour all day today, you will definitely be painting today.
  • If you wake up, and it rained overnight, and your foreman had a few beers, then even though it is not raining right now, there is still a lot of moisture in the air that can affect the paint, and we’d better not paint today, or at least not until about 10 or 11 a.m.
  • If you wake up, and it rained overnight, but your foreman went to bed nice and early, then there’s no reason to worry about the moisture in the air and you will be slogging through puddles as you set up the ladders bright and early to get started ASAP.
  • If you wake up and it is lightly drizzling, but it’s previously been hot and humid all week, then we could probably all use the day off anyway, and we should not paint today.
  • If you wake up and it is lightly drizzling, but has been lightly drizzling for several days in a row, and your foreman is bored of sitting home watching reality shows where they drag race tricked-out old cars, then a few drops of rain never hurt anything, and we’re falling behind, and we’ve gotta eat don’t we? And we will be painting today. (At least until the homeowner calls our boss and asks why we’re painting in the rain, and the boss comes to the site and yells at us to go home.)
  • If you wake up, and it is a sunny Saturday morning, and because it has been raining all week your boss has given you the option to work this weekend to make up some hours, but your friends are planning to watch college football, and you have just enough money to kick in for pizza and a few stray beers in the fridge you could bring over, you will not be painting today.

Does that help? No?

Well, I tried.

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