This is the official blog of my Study Abroad Trip to Australia and New Zealand. I'll be leaving December 26th and returning home February 2nd.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Day 20: We're wearing these yellow vests so we won't lose each other.

G'Day! Today was a busy day! Melbourne's RMIT University Construction Management staff was kind enough to take us under their wing for the next few days as they lead us through several large construction projects going on in the city currently. RMIT invited us to their offices, served us lunch, and discussed how Construction Management programs work in Australia. After lunch we received our very own bright yellow safety vests and hardhats we headed down the road to the site, the Lacrosse Docklands Serviced Apartments, built by the L.U. Simon company.

 It was a nice site with what seemed like a very efficient schedule and an interesting workforce. Most of the laborers were in boots, jean shorts, tank tops, and were covered in tattoos. Skilled labor union workers in Australia have it made. Carpenters can make up to $240K a year. All laborers work from 7-3:30 on base pay, they are considered to be on overtime and make 1.5 times base pay from 3:30-5, and if they work after 5 they make 2 times base pay and are required to be provided with dinner. They work Monday through Saturday and get every other Monday off. If the weather in Melbourne gets over 42 degrees (105 fahrenheit), job supervisors are expected to send the laborers home with a full day's pay. Also, the guys were telling me if it rains for more than 4 hours at a job they get sent home with a full day's pay, and supervisors are required to have awnings built from parking to the site because the workers don't have to walk in the rain. Sounds like union workers seem like divas, but I wouldn't complain with all those perks.

Top floor of the complex, 22 floors up.
Towards the end of the site tour, I found myself getting distracted knowing what I was going to be able to go in the next few hours, the Australian Open! We all got tickets to the Monday night evening match in Rod Laver Area featuring Roger Federer vs. Alexander Kudravstev and Caroline Wozniacki vs. Andrea Rodionova. For any of you that were just skimming let me repeat that one more time. I saw ROGER FEDERER and CAROLINE WOZNIACKI live. It was amazing. We thought we would be in the nosebleed section after seeing the tickets, but once seated we realized there wasn't a bad seat in the entire arena. Federer and Wozniacki dominated because it was still an early round, but it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I'll never forget. Gotta grab some sleep because we have two site tours tomorrow. Thanks for reading! War Eagle!

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