They are bringing it down. After forty years of existence it’s going to be replaced by apartment buildings: Mediafax article.
I have been passing by it every day for the past ten years. I cannot say I have a special connection with it. It’s just an old factory on my way to the office. And sometimes it’s the reason for the burnt kerosene smell and loud jet engine noise I can feel while at the office.
Some time ago I was on my way to work and I saw the excavators chewing away at the last remaining Turbomecanica buildings. They were tearing it down one small piece at a time.
As I don’t see anything remotely similar to this everyday, I stopped, I took my phone out and snapped some photos.
Pretty impressive, right?
What happened next was a little bit strange.
A woman in her late 40 was passing by. She stopped in front of me and asked me angrily: “Is it that important for you to photograph this? Is it? Did you work here? Why is it so important to take photos? What gives you the right?”
I was perplexed. I didn’t know what to respond to that. I guess in my head I was trying to figure out whether I did something wrong… But no. I could think of nothing. I was on a public road taking photos. There was no sign telling me I was not allowed to do that.
So I got a little mad inside. There I was minding my own business, taking a few photos of something I thought interesting on a public road. And that woman started yelling at me as if I was doing something wrong. What gave her the right? Right?
Well I didn’t react to the anger. I managed to stop and think for a second or two and I realized that probably the woman’s problem was not with me. Although her rage was targeted at me.
And I thought I could talk to her. Ask her what’s wrong. What was it that made her so mad? It was obviously not me.
But she already left so I didn’t get a chance to ask.
All that follows are just my speculations. Nothing more nothing less.
I think the woman’s reaction was based on the fact that she used to work there, at Turbomecanica. Probably for all her life until then. There she probably grew into the person she is now, going to the factory day in and day out.
I think, now that they are demolishing that place she feels as if they are demolishing her, wiping her out of existence and not the brick and mortar of the buildings that were formerly known as Turbomecanica.
Yes, I think this is a plausible reason for her strong reaction: I was taking photos of excavators that were taking her apart piece by piece until she would be no more.
That’s a sad feeling to have. Don’t you think? That kind of thinking probably comes from the idea that things are fixed, never changing. But they are not, are they?
Nothing is fixed, everything changes. We have this illusion that our things never change but they do. Albeit slowly most of them, slow enough that if we see it every day we don’t notice it. But the change is there, it happens.
Take cars for example. Cars rust, they wear down and break, sometimes to the point when we just have to get a new car as repairs don’t cut it anymore. I won’t even talk about technology. That changes so fast… There’s a new smart phone every couple of months.
Even we change. Us people. Our bodies change all the time. Sure, most of us don’t like to think about that but that happens too. And we also change in terms of how we think, who we are, what we stand for in this world. Admittedly some change faster than others…
So maybe we should think about change more. And accept it as an integral part of life. We are not defined by the workplace where we worked for a life time. Excavators and bulldozers cannot wipe who we are out of existence by demolishing buildings. Oh no! We are not the things we create but the actions we take and how those actions make the people around us feel.
They say that people will not remember what you did for them but they will remember how you made them feel. Maybe that’s true.
Maybe we should all focus more on how we make the people around us feel and live with the idea that change is inevitable, it’s an integral part of our lives. And the best thing for us to do is accept that and move on!
I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments below.