1995 war ich 20, sah aber aus wie 15. Außerdem wußte ich nach dem Abi nicht so recht, was ich wollte und hatte mich irgendwie in ein Bauingenieurstudium verirrt. Und als Studentin des Bauingenieurswesen war ich verpflichtet, in den Sommersemesterferien ein Baustellenpraktikum zu machen und darüber (für "Englisch für Bauingenieure") einen Praktikumsbericht zu verfassen, welcher mir kürzlich wieder in die Hände fiel... Ich amüsierte mich sehr beim Lesen, war aber auch zunehmend schockiert, wie wenig man damals als Frau auf einer Baustelle, bzw. vom Bauunternehmer ernst genommen wurde. Von Gleichberechtigung konnte da keine Rede sein, das fing schon damit an, das die männlichen Studenten für dieses Praktikum gut bezahlt wurden und Studentinnen froh sein konnten, überhaupt einen Platz zu bekommen.
Ist das heute anders? Ich hoffe es doch sehr!
|Doch ein Bild: ich mit 19 1/2|
Heute würde ich mir das in dieser Form nicht mehr gefallen lassen, aber zu meiner Entschuldigung kann ich nur vorbringen: Ich war jung und brauchte die Praktikumsbescheinigung...
Hier nun der Bericht. Ich habe zwar eine Komödie daraus gemacht, aber ich habe mir nichts ausgedacht. (Noch nicht mal den Herzinfarkt!)
Das ist alles wirklich so passiert! Ich schwör'!
HOW TO GET A PLACE FOR THE PRACTICAL TRAINING
One day it's inescapable: as a student of construction-engineering you need a place for your practical training. Strictly speaking you need a certificate of your practical training.
So students, who have relations, friends or a friend of a sister of an acquaintace of their cousin, who work in a construstion firm, don't need a place for practical training.
Students, who only know people with unpractical occupations like car-trader, physicist or teacher should read the telephone directory every night before sleeping and make a list of all construction firms they can find.
If you have a list with 31 names and 39 numbers you should take the telephone and dial...
After six answering-machines, eight company holidays, four refusals, one dissolving of the firm an one heart attack (not yours but a contractor builder ones) you will usually get an invitation for an introducing conservation and if you are lucky you will soon have a place for your practical training.
Of course you won't earn anything except maybe praise when your work is excellent but instead you will be allowed to begin work every day at nine o'clock and if you want you could take a day per week off.
Now you are a happy student and for the next five weeks you will be a diligent trainee.
THE PRACTICAL TRAINING
Now you are a trainee. You are eager for knowledge and want to be useful.
It's your first day on the building site.
The chief himself brings you in his own car to your new place of work.
You are allowed to watch the working building workers and to try (while doing this) not to disturb them.
Usually the building workers are too shy to talk with you or to ask your name. Because it's your first day, the contractor builder let you go early. Besides he tells you, that you will change the building site tomorrow. You shall meet him in his office at nine o'clock and he will give you a lift to the new building site.
Second day: It's the right time (nine o'clock) and the right place (the tenement, in which the office is in) and you are ringing the right bell (the office one's). Nothing will happen.
You try it again. Now you seem to be lucky: somebody opens the door. However it isn't your contractor builder but an old man.
You tell him why you are ringing the office bell. He tells you that nobody is at home because all have gone shopping, that nobody is there and that he came from Canada few years ago and that he now lives by his daughter, that there isn't anybody at home and that they told him to pay attention and that they may be back in, well, maybe two hours.
You dare to ask for your chief and he says again that nobody is at home except him of course, that they just have gone shopping but told him to pay attention so he pays attention and all will come back in rough two hours at eleven o'clock. He's all alone till eleven o'clock then they may come back. "Bye!" he says and shuts the door.
You are confused and you don't know what to do now. You decide to wait for some time.
36 minutes later, a car arrives and a man gets out.
You recognize your employer.
He seems to be very busy but nevertheless he stares at you and says: "Oh! I forgot you totally! You still have to wait some minutes in my office till I'll have phoned some people."
So you are sitting in the office for ages while your place-of-practical-trainig-giver is gesticulating on the phone fiercly.
After that you have to go with him to some building sites and future building sites until a customer complains about an earlier work of your practical-training-firm. Then you will be brought to your new building site rather quickly.
There the building workers (who are very shy and don't speak with you) are working on a second storey of an house for eight families.
You are only allowed to watch the working building workers but you are not allowed to go on the floor, where they work because the foreman thinks it would be too dangerous for you.
So it is very boring again.
Next day, you have to go on this floor (there was an order from the chief) and from that you sit on a piece of styropor (because the building workers think it's too cold for you to sit on the naked concrete) on the floor for hours and watch the working building workers. In the evening you are burned from the sun (it was an hot and sunny August day)...
After that, you will always take some sunlotion with you.
A week later the youngest building worker asks your name!
Sometimes you will be ask very politely for getting some beer or sweeping the booth for the workers.
You are allowed to give tools to the building workers while they are working and because of this, you know now the differences between a carpenters-hammer and a bricklayers-hammer.
You have also learned how to hang up things on the crane, the gestures for leading the crane-driver and how to solve things from the crane.
During the next two weeks almost everyone learns your first name - except your chief, who only knows your surename (sometimes) and the oldest building worker of the firm (62 years old), who calls you "darling" -with a personal, toothless grin...
Now you have to sweep the ground floor, the first and second floor, the cellar and the staircase. The staircase and the floor they work on are particularly needing care, so you sweep there two times a week.
One especial day you are allowed to smear mortar in joints, in which is till now inadequate little mortar. For it you smash a whole day mortar against the walls which almost always falls down before you can smear it in the empty joint. After approximate two hours you are desperate and you can't imagine how the foreman was able to put mortar in empty joints so quick and easy. From time to time a building worker looks what you are doing there and asks why. You can't tell him except that the foreman told you to do so. In the evening you and the floor are covered with mortar. You are exhausted and now you find out the reason for your work: the foreman wanted that you get "a feeling for trowel and mortar"...
You are also allowed to pile up building stones, which an incompetent supplier unloaded at a steep place. This occupies you a whole day too. But at the time to stop work, you are praised for piling up the buliding stones so exact that "it looks like a painting". In translation it means that you work too tidy and much to much. For it you are burned from the sun again (in spite of sunlotion).
In the last two weeks you have to sweep and to buy beer and mineral water and cigarettes and cocoa and you learn some new things!
You are now able to wet the new walls with a leaky hose and after only three days you know the trick how to wet exclusive the walls and not yourself. You can even say the reason for wetting the fresh brickwork, wherefore your employer is very surprised when he asks you for this.
Sometimes you are permitted to assist the foreman when he mesures the building. Therefore you can work both with the tube level and with the folding rule and you are able to make signs with a pencil on the right spots on the walls or to use a nail, if the right spot shoul be part of a joint.
You also learn to connect the irons for reinforcing the concrete with wire and a pairs of tongs.
The building workers talks to you and make jokes and one of them defends you always when foreigners visits the building place and say something about femal trainees. Sometimes the foreman watches you when you are sweeping and says to the nearest building worker: "She does this very well, does she?"
Today is your last day. Because of this you make a cake for the building workers and fortunately they like it although it isn't beer.
Apart from that it is a day like the ones before. You sit on a piece of wood and watch the working building workers and sometimes you go for nails or a plan or something else. The foreman wants to be especially nice to you and don't let you sweep the staircase although it would be necessary.
But it won't be a boring day!
In the afternoon the chief visits the building place and watch the working building workers and the new brickwork and talks to the foreman. Before he leaves, he watches your very old shirt from your father and says: "I have nothing against emancipate women but why must they always wear shirts? I myself also don't wear blouses." But before you can tell him that you usually wear white blouses with lace triming on the buliding site, the nearest building worker says: "Well, why not? Finally there are men, who wear ladies' underwear!"
These were the last but one words your employer says to you. With the last ones he asks you for paying the stamp on the envelope in which he will send you the certificate of your practical training. Then he leaves the building with the foreman.
Now all building workers are terrified at the behavior of their chief and tell you what you should said to him.
Some minutes later the foreman comes back and associate with the defaming building workers because the chief ate a piece of your cake and liked it but he didn't want to believe that his emancipated trainee is able to bake cake. In his opinion your mother must made this fantastic cake (although your mother hates baking). The building workers complain of their chief because he ates their cake and in the whole.
Altogether the last day will be one of the interestings ones.
After the practical training you will be perfect in sweeping (with all difficulties) and in buying a lot of different things from one of the next kiosks without a list and calculating the exchange for every building worker.
Besides you will know a lot of little useless things like commands for crane drivers and stories about your employer and you will look forward to the next summer when there is the question again:
How to get a place for the practical training?