This is me troweling a freshly poured footing. Rough on the left. Smooth on the right. Any questions? Good, now we'll study "how to take out the garbage."
No, no, no still not my house, dammit. Pretty straightforward this work. Like making a cake. Pour the batter in, let it bake, and presto! - a foundation! Someone asked me if this work is difficult. I thought about it, and no, for the most part residential foundations are not that difficult (unless you get into a really weird shape or dicey conditions). It's back-breaking, but it's not difficult. I think tricky is a better word. It's definitely tricky. The layout, the assembly, the steel. To me tricky means that out of the 50 things that you have to remember during the process, not a single one is difficult, but if you forget one of those fifty things or ignore one, you fucked everything up. And it's not like my mistakes doing carpentry where I pull some nails for a morning and rebuild it. When you botch concrete layout, you could be stuck with an 80 ton mistake. We're talking jackhammers, excavators and dump trucks fixing your stupid mistake for a week. You feel like a total retard - like the time I was working at a deli counter as a teenager and I asked a fat lady when she was expecting and she wasn't.