There's a word for senior men who pass the time watching construction sites

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/10/07/theres-a-word-for-senior-men-who-pass-the-time-watching-construction-sites.html

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The Old have always been the comment thread of reality.

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I thought you were going to say isolated by society or lonely.

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Unqualified old White men telling folks what to do.

Imagine that !

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They deserve extra cosmic turn-about credit if they make cat-calls/whistles back at the construction folks (“Whoo shake that number 416E bucket excavator!” “You old fool! That’s not a 416 that’s a 420!”)

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This hits too close to home. I recently retired (2 months) and so far have avoided this. I was a mechanic for 40 years and everyone in the field hates when people come by to comment. As I was approaching retirement age and other mechanics asked me what I was going to do with my time, I would always answer I will walk around and find worksites and say things like"I used to have a wrench like that" and “Do they still use victraulic fitting”.

While out yesterday I saw a guy replacing a residential A/C condensing unit.I did not say a word, and kept walking. Hope I can keep it up but you know “Glory Days”!

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“Umarell … is a folk term in Bologna referring specifically to men of retirement age who pass the time watching construction sites, especially roadworks — stereotypically with hands clasped behind their back and offering unwanted advice.”

There’s already a term for that… no matter the activity involved or the observer’s age: Kibbitzer

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Not necessarily. Maybe the wife doesn’t want him hanging around the house offering her advice. There’s also the social aspect, yakking with other old guys standing around. Many working-class guys who spent a life working hard find it difficult to occupy their time when retired and maybe didn’t develop enough hobbies.

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Those kibbitzing construction sites are also known as Sidewalk Superintendents. When a city I’ll call Piedmont had a rail underpass installed circa 1960, Dad brought home lapel buttons emblazoned with PUSS for Piedmont Underpass Sidewalk Superintendent.

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I’m not afraid of hard work; I can stand and watch it for hours…

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How do you know they’re unqualified? For all you know they could easily be retired construction workers, watching what’s going on and thinking just how much, or how little things have changed since their day.

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They’re former construction men or just general handymen and are just waiting to be invited to help.

And if the other Mr YankinNewZealand (63 years old) was standing there he’d say something like, “Aw, y’know, you should really use a 7-2-A screws for the 280 stainless” (or some such thing)

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This also assumes that the workers know what they’re doing. Dreadfully, in my experience around residential construction, I seen a few examples of inexperienced younger workers who just don’t know any better, but more examples of experienced workers who do know better, but they cut all the corners they can and get away with it… at least long enough until they get paid and move on to the next job.

I could have used a couple of these guys. Are they for hire?

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Playing the odds, plain and simple. Since every white man thinks he is an expert at everything, there is a very small chance that the person speaking down to you actually is. Walk a mile in any woman’s shoes and you’ll learn soon enough.

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My job puts me onto construction sites every few days or so and I can say definitely that someone should be watching what those screwups are doing.

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An innocuous article on old guys watching construction go on developing into a woke raceclassgender argument is so 2020. God, take me now.

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Oh. You mean like me and my plumber.

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It’s only innocuous if the systemic problems illustrated therein don’t happen to affect you. I’m sorry that discussion of the daily frustration of 50% of the population is tedious for you.

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Related to the person who has to get involved in every conversation: Buttinski

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