Monday, November 21, 2011

Pillars of a Building

Living in the modern and advanced 21st century surrounds us with tall buildings and skyscrapers everywhere we looked.
These skyscrapers and buildings have pushed out remnants of the past, and are now the icons which grace the skylines of our cities today.

Most of the time, we are in awe as we looked up at these buildings, but have we ever wondered how these buildings come to stand as tall as they are, from the flat land that used to stand in their place?
We have seen construction taking place when we drive around, or even walk past a building during its establishment phase and we see yellow helmets bobbing up and down; through the bamboo stick frames set up and perched on the ground, with an occasional shout from the half-complete concrete walls.
A familiar scenario, and sometimes just watching these men balancing themselves or walking around the eerily shaky poles makes one wonder whether they are safe or what happens when there is a mishap or if one is not careful; especially when most of these buildings are usually completed within a short period of time.
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The following story is contributed/shared by a loyal reader whom I now call my friend, Stan.
This is something which was experienced by Stan's friend, on a construction site of an upcoming mall. For the sake of the story, let's refer to his friend as Dan *
(*not actual name of the eyewitness).

Dan had an appointment at this mall which was still in its construction phase. When he arrived at the building, he was told to park his car at the lower basement of the car park; at B2. There were lots of cars parked at that level as well; including that of the workers and maybe vendors who are there for meetings.

He then proceeded to his meeting on B1; to meet up with his customer and when he arrived there, it was about 10.00am.

The meeting was short, and in a brief moment, he was getting ready to leave. He walked down to B2, and at that point, he needed to go to the toilet very badly, and since it was a construction site and he did not want to go to the inconvenience of going all the way upstairs again, he decided to just pee near one of the pillars in the car park in B2.

After easing himself, he got into his car and started driving towards the exit from the car park, which was located at B1.
When he reached the B1 level, he was surprised by the total darkness which greeted him and he could barely see anything.
He thought that he must have driven to the wrong level of the car park, and decided to drive back to B2.

When he descended to B2, he was no longer surprised but shocked when he saw that there was not a single car in sight!
(Remember I mentioned earlier that there were a lot of cars parked there? Furthermore, it was in the morning)

He was terrified and badly shaken yet he tried to drive to B1 again to seek help from the people at the site office, and no surprise when he saw that B1 was covered in total darkness and there is no site office in sight. In fact, the whole place did not seem like anything he saw when he was there moments ago.

Dan started to panic when he was driving around and he frantically tried to find the exit but there was no light in sight. The whole place seemed like it was thickly blanketed with darkness and nothing seemed familiar to him, at all!
He must have been driving around the whole place for what seemed like hours, and he was badly shaken by now.
Feeling scared and at the same time, anxious to get out of the place, Dan suddenly started uttering words of prayer which he knows.
He prayed and prayed, while he continued driving up and down; traversing between B1 and B2, in rounds, yet still covered in darkness.

Suddenly he saw a speck of light coming from a distance, and he stopped his car and got out.
He ran like a madman towards the faint light, and when he finally reached the light, he realized that it was emitted from the fire exit.
Without hesitation, he grabbed the door and ran up the staircase as fast as he could and grabbed the first door open.

This time, to his relief, he was greeted by a normal bustling scene of people and cars!
There were people walking around, and cars driving as though nothing unusual happened at all. He was so relieved and yet exhausted by his traumatizing experience that he just sat down in the midst of the busy scene to catch his breath and relax.

While he was trying to calm and recollect himself altogether, he was greeted by his customer; or rather, the site manager who was walking past and asked him about still being there when he had already left at 10.30am; which was two and a half hours ago.
Surprise, at that moment, it was already 1.00pm!!
(Guess he was not wrong that he had been driving for hours)
The manager was also surprised at his disheveled state; not to mention him drenching in sweat.

Dan started explaining the whole incident; ignoring the fact that he is probably going to sound like a crazy lunatic then and the manager just listened in patience, and surprisingly, without uttering a single word.
Upon hearing his story, the manager told him that he will arrange for someone to get his car from the car park which Dan thankfully agreed.

When the worker returned with his car, Dan thanked the manager promptly and almost instantly sped out of the building!
I don't think we can blame him for that!

Dan was probably left to forget and get over his trauma for a few years, and probably never to recall the incident had he not met up with the site manager again, by chance a few years later.

It was then that the site manager shared with him on the facts and stories about the construction, which shed light on his experience.
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During times of construction, there are times when the developer or the project owners have to complete the building within a short period of time.
Times like these call for desperate measures and in speeding up the construction process, the safety of the workers may not be considered. In fact,there may not even be specific safety guidelines to govern the behavior or to ensure that the workers are working in a safe environment; despite the laws set by the government.

There are some unscrupulous contractors who hire illegal immigrant workers whom they pay at a low price to help in the construction. It is no surprise why they will do that as illegal immigrants are not registered nor are they protected by the law, and there need not be much compensation or benefits for them as they themselves are afraid of being exposed and risk being sent home to their poor countries.
As such, most of the time, these workers will be treated with disrespect and not properly equipped with the gear and equipment to do the job.
Sometimes, due to their inexperience, may meet with fatal mishaps at their workplace.

How do they deal with the deaths which occurred at the work sites, you wonder?
Now, comes the spooky part; as the site manager reveals to Dan.
When these workers met with fatal accidents at the work site, their deaths are concealed as a secret by burying them underneath the piles of concrete and stones which build the very foundation of our buildings!
The reason is simple, when they are rushing to complete a building, accidents and deaths are deemed as potential showstoppers if they were reported.
The reports will lead to investigations and surveillance of the work sites, and these can lead to an order to cease all work immediately.
This may cause delay in their construction, and as such, loss in profits in huge sums of money.

Therefore, these unethical contractors will not reveal nor report any such incident and instead choose to deal with them in their own ways.
They will dispose the bodies in the most convenient way possible, and that means, burying these injustice deaths underneath the pillars of concrete, sand and stones which form the building.
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Now, you understand the reason why Dan was being haunted when he was in the car park? He 'peed' on one of the pillars, which probably was the grave of one of these workers and his act was deemed as disrespectful to the spirit.

These are probably restless spirits, and these pillars are regarded as their eternal resting places.
So, the next time you want to ease yourself of your full bladder, please be wary of the 'unseen' resting in these places, and just use the designated washrooms/toilets.

2 comments:

Stan Lim said...

Christy,

You are a great writer. You corrected all my grammatical errors and added more emotion to the story. That's GREAT BLOGGING .

Cheers

Stan

Christy said...

Stan, Oh myyy, you DIDN'T Have grammatical errors, k?
I just add to tweak a bit to have my own words and thoughts rather than just copy directly from you, right?

Your comment just made me so happy; as usual, always makes my day!:)
People like you made me more motivated and inspired to keep blogging!:)