‘Alright, alright,’ the foreman rolled his shoulders and adjusted his hard hat, walking quickly along the construction site and gesturing at workers to fall in line behind him. ‘Here’s what we’re gonna do – that wall? Gone. Those bricks? Outta here. That mural… that mural is gorgeous and if any of you morons breaks it, you’ll answer to me, got it?’
A muted chorus of yes sir’s rumbled out of the pack and the foreman nodded, satisfied.
‘Questions?’ he asked, then immediately began to walk away.
‘I got one!’ a loud voice from the back piped up. The foreman frowned, turning around to look for who spoke. A barrel-chested man with a big beard and a hard hat that barely fit on his head pushed his way to the front of the crowd.
‘Alright,’ the foreman frowned. ‘Let’s hear it.’
‘Are we doing one of those easy-step bathtub conversions in the Sydney CBD next week?’ the man asked.
‘What? We don’t do those, what are you talking about?’
‘Oh,’ the man said, his face falling. ‘Oh, never mind.’
‘Who told you we did that sort of a job?’ the foreman put his hands on his hips.
‘Just some old lady,’ the worker said, eyes darting around nervously, sweat beginning to pop from his forehead. ‘She said that we might be heading to Sydney to fix her bath? Y’know, make it easier for her to use?’
The foreman shook his head and narrowed his eyes, stepping forward. The rest of the crowd took an involuntary step back, leaving the large man standing there alone.
‘If I hear any more people asking if we’re a company that does bath tub conversions for elderly people,’ the foreman whispered. ‘I’m going to start analysing my budget.’
‘Your… your budget?’ the worker asked, confused.
‘Yes, son,’ the foreman smiled. ‘Maybe I want to expand my business in that direction. The only issue is that I think I might be paying too many salaries for such an entrepreneurial venture. Might have to make some cuts.’
The worker gulped and adjusted the brim of his hat.
‘I’ll get back to work, sir,’ he said loudly.
‘Good plan,’ the foreman replied.