Scent Notes: A job site full of hot metal, leather tool belts, diesel smoke, and tar barrels melting in the sun.
Jane sighed with satisfaction, surveying the site. It was hard work being the only woman general contractor in the tri-state area. It was even harder when lower level employees doubted her work and her management skills because she was “just a woman.” She’d been doing this job for 25 years and she loved every single moment and every single skill she’d had to learn to work her way up to this level. Every boss she’d ever had (before launching her own company) had given her hell at first, but came to admire her hard work, dedication, and strength, and knowledge of construction. Her mind just understood everything after she saw something done for the first time. She’d do something for the first time, and never have to ask how it was done again. It just stuck in her brain, wormed its way in, never to be dislodged.
Overall, she was highly respected in her industry with many loyal clients. Of course, her previous boss had tried to proposition her, which is how she quit on the spot mid-project and decided to start her own company. Go big or go home, right? This was her new company’s first big project: a gigantic skyscraper/multi-unit multipurpose building with shops on the bottom, offices in the middle, and expensive condos on the top. It was going to take a lot of knowledge, effort, money, and time to get it completed to her exacting standards. She’d had another meeting with the building owners and the architects just the day before. Everything was running on schedule so far, though it was still early days. But, as the company was new and this project was so gigantic, she’d had to take on a couple of younger guys she didn’t know to help round out the crew, as she hadn’t hired enough workers yet to get the project done in a timely fashion. She was always willing to give up-and-comers a chance to prove themselves, though due to the tight timelines, she’d had her lead foreman do the hiring. After all, he would be working with them more closely on the day to day tasks, so she trusted his judgment.
That is, until this moment. The lot had been surveyed and approved and excavated; the footings had been installed and sealed; the concrete had been poured, cured, and was going to be sealed again today. Instead, she found two of the new hires just standing around, shooting the shit. Their backs were to her, so she decided to walk up and give them a talking-to. As she was walking, she heard one of them say, “Is the chick that runs this company hot? Because, y’know, women who do jobs like this, I don’t think I trust them. She doesn’t REALLY know what she’s doing, right? Like, her husband died and she took over and she just pretends to know shit?” The other one laughed. “Dude, no idea. If that’s not it, then like, she has to be dead ugly, bro. I mean, I’ve been doing this for a year and I barely know what I’m doing. How could she know? What kind of woman does this job?” She cleared her throat, loudly, and they both turned around in surprise. “I’m not really interested in if you find me attractive, gentlemen. But I am assuredly interested in this coat of sealant going on ASAP so the concrete can be cured and sealed effectively, something that neither of you two seems to be interested in doing. My life motto is ‘Go Big or Go Home,’ so I’ll stay here and do the work, and you two can go home and not return to my company or this job.” She smiled her sweetest smile as the two guys stuttered apologies and walked away. She’d tell her foreman to find some new crew members later. For now, she’d lose herself in hard labor with the knowledge that it was being done correctly.