Book Synopsis- For Los Angeles Film Crew Project
You can now click on the above “LISTEN ON SPOTIFY” (WHEN AVAILABLE) to hear this in audio!
I figured I would share my synopsis that I created to help a film student friend, I met a five years ago, pitch the book to her film crew. I am hoping it is what she is looking for to help the team see the vision that is the project. I am sure it will have to be fine-tuned. I will keep you posted on the status of the project when I get news. The book is going to be created into a webisode. Once created, it will be submitted to 3 Hollywood studios for submission and feedback. I am excited about seeing the project come to live on television/film. *Update***As of now, I have not seen any media material developed. Construction Tales is available to be created into a movie or tv show or play.*
Have a great work week coming up and speak to you all soon!
Leslie M Jasper
Construction Tales: Volume I: A Woman’s Journey to Become an Electrician by Leslie M. Jasper
Construction Tales takes you on a real journey of what it is like to step foot onto a male-dominated, dirt crusted construction site as a young woman. You will see what it was like to become an apprentice electrician in New York almost 23 years ago. My co-workers are the last warriors of the wild west who shoot from the hip. Middle aged, grey haired co-workers, like Chester, say and act exactly what is on their mind. The filter on their mouth is missing and the content is explicit and outrageous. Many of them believe that the jobsite is their domain to do exactly what pleases them. Anything from drinking beer or smoking weed to catcalling women walking past the jobsite is their duty to fullfill. If you mess up, you and everyone around you will be the first ones to know the error of your ways. If you have a little meat on your bones, the boys will remind you that you are either favorable on the eyes or in need of your mouth being stapled shut. Despite the raw dialogue on any given day, I learned my trade from these skilled craftsmen. I also learned, over time, how to develop a thick skin and produce rapid fire retorts to any smart ass shot fired my way.
Back Cover Summary:
Strap on your work boots and put on your hard hat. Let me take you on a sheetrock dusted journey to see what it is like to work within the construction industry. The work is hard, the environment is unforgiving, and the jobsite can be either extremely hot or cold. Over 23 years ago, I stepped foot into a male-dominated work environment. Despite the lack of a warm embrace, I pushed my way into this world to learn the trade. I showed my many mentors that I wanted to be here and was ready to learn and work. After some grit and sweat, I worked my way out of my apprenticeship to become a journeywoman electrician. I earned a great working reputation within my trade and some aches and pains along the way. I work with guys from all backgrounds and all walks of life; and a few females that share my goal to be called journeywomen. Construction workers do not care that you do not feel up to the challenge that day. You must suck it up and get the job done! You will witness what it is like on a weekly basis to work within my industry. Every story in this book is real. The names of my co-workers have been changed to protect the innocent….or the guilty!
Chapter 7: Working With Chauvinist Pigs (Excerpt)
I will never forget my first day meeting Chester on a job in White Plains. He shook my hand and commented on my “manly” handshake. Chester then explained, in a long, dragged out, theatrical manner, that there were two things that just don’t happen. There is no crying in baseball and there are no women in construction. As soon as I heard this come out of his mouth, I thought to myself that this was going to be a very tough job to work on. Imagine a guy who is very tall with a big basketball for a belly that he rubs often. Chester has a giant head of curly salt and pepper hair with an overgrown mustache and a five o’clock shadow. Chester usually wears a cheap netted baseball hat, worn out solid color t-shirts, Dockers pleated knit pants, and moccasins. He does look like an odd character when you first see him and definitely when he opens his mouth and talks to people. When Chester latches onto someone, he usually makes a statement and will walk back and forth repeating that statement intended to take a swipe and zing someone. I came onto a job and there were a few workers. One guy who introduced himself was a short and muscular black guy, named Ron. Ron was very nice and explained what we were working on in the space. When I first got there, I was given a very easy task since they didn’t trust the new girl helper on the job. After awhile, I was gradually trusted more and more. That is one thing I still face in this business. Each new job I come to I run into the new foreman who is gun shy about giving me work that requires skills. What is good is that I usually end up on a job with guys I have worked with before. This and my reputation for being a good, competent worker will sometimes help me out. On this job, my reputation did not precede me. As a result, I had to work very hard to create a reputation and win over Chester, who clearly didn’t like me from the beginning. I started my journey in this new shop by following Chester around and handing him whatever he needed for the job he was working on. I think this surprised him since he probably expected me to be clueless. Whatever he needed, I moved to help him make the job at hand happen. With my hard, consistent work, I started winning him over. I could tell from his comments about me that he was shocked with himself that he preferred me over a male helper. I must warn you that this book is not for the faint of heart! (cont.)
Chapter 3: The Big Job (Excerpt)
I was sent to work on a brand new job coming out of the ground in Connecticut. This job would provide massive amounts of overtime and help my living situation tremendously. I learned real quickly that the pace on this job was very different from my last job. It was more of a laid back, easy-going work environment. I would have never guessed that I was about to meet a whole group of characters on this very large job. I set foot on the largest construction job I had ever witnessed at this point in my apprenticeship. By this moment in time, the country was coming out of a recession and this massive deck job was going to catapult many trades’ people into a good financial position. My first day was in a giant room that was in the process of becoming the data center for a very large trading floor. As an apprentice, my first three hours of the day were all about getting coffee for a third of the crew of roughly 100 electricians. There were no elevators so two other apprentices and I had to walk up a minimum of six (up to thirteen) flights of stairs and provide coffee for the group of hungry and hung-over electricians each day. The coffee trek was a half-mile walk to the deli each morning. I placed my order and sat there with the other apprentices until the order was ready. I had to make sure I had proper change for each person who ordered and double-checked all orders for accuracy. Coffee was the most important part of the day and screwing up the order could ruin the entire day. This was especially true when we went into overtime. If you got the coffee order wrong, plenty of these guys would react like spoiled children and have an actual temper tantrum. I started to get to know two fellow apprentices, Ryan and Todd, very well while getting our daily orders of coffee. I will never forget my friendship with these two fellow apprentices. Ryan was a tall, dark-haired, and very hairy guy from a community normally filled with rich and upper-class folk. Ryan often reeked of body odor, cigarette smoke, or booze from the night before. He was and probably still is clearly a fish out of water in his community, yet he fit right in on a construction site. Ryan played in a band. He was very rough around the edges, with plenty of piercings all over his face. Ryan came in to work on a regular basis hung-over, often stinking as if a keg of beer had been splashed all over him….(cont.)
Despite the harsh conditions and raw commentary from my co-workers, I did enjoy my apprenticeship overall. It was rather memorable and helped to generate my tough exterior and hardened work ethic. I embrace the most difficult coworkers and work to soften up their shell and make the exception for my presence. My collection of jobsite stories should inspire women and minorities to pick up the trade and to not take “no” for an answer. A great career with benefits lies ahead if people can push past the few negative co-workers and tough jobsite conditions. The jobsites I have worked on have served to provide the most humor anyone can experience while on the clock earning a paycheck. The overall tone of the project should project a new learning experience of raw and edgy co-workers while they learn that it is not that bad working with a woman. Most guys who get to know me will figure out that I work harder than a lot of men. I am also funnier and able to make the men cringe more than they could ever do to me. The story should convey a jobsite experience that pushes me past my normal limits for a woman. I like to surprise co-workers with my ability to work with my skilled hands. As a woman in construction, I enjoy the ability to break down barriers in the minds of my male co-workers-one job at a time.
About the Author:
Leslie is a Local #3 IBEW journeywoman electrician who previously worked within Westchester County, New York, Fairfield County, Connecticut, and the five boroughs of New York City. Leslie has worked within the construction industry for the past 23 years. Leslie now works for a large electrical contractor on a variety of multi-million dollar projects throughout New York City as a project manager. She is currently involved in the East Side Access mega project in Manhattan.
She is also an evening OSHA instructor/writing coach working part time for Empire College. Leslie graduated in 2013 and received an MBA with honors at Iona College in New Rochelle, New York. Leslie holds OSHA 502 instructor credentials needed to teach and issue OSHA 10 and 30 cards to students within the construction industry.
She has two sons, Tom and Johnny. Leslie splits her time between New York and Connecticut. Leslie enjoys spending quality time with her fiance Curt and sons such as snowboarding and visiting haunted houses throughout New England. She also enjoys cruise ship adventures and traveling around the world, renovating her home, and spending time at the beach.
Leslie M Jasper
Construction Tales: Volume I is registered with the Writers Guild of America and copyrighted with U.S. Copyright Office
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