Thursday, March 19


Funny how reading blogs will bring back thoughts of long ago. Being said thank you Psyconym.

Long ago in a galaxy far far away... I had a short lived relationship with my 1st wife. Young, dumb, inexperienced or what ever the reason. I can say now I was running. I wanted life to be ok again. I had the last of many arguments with my father. This particular argument ended in me saying, "well fine, than I don't live here anymore!"

This was the day after I had met Debbie at a wonderful Rock n Roll Club, etc etc...

Well actually I am diving way out of the topic here, back to point...

While living with Deb I went through a slew of jobs, being I was unemployed at the time. Some of the worst jobs you can find are at the local "Industrial Temp" agent.

The Great P&G
In a packing mistake P&G made for the first of quite a few assignments through the temp service. Call it a reproduction line. The skid of boxes come in, one crew breaks open the packing sending the boxes to the next crew. There the cartons are opened, pulling 12 boxes out and sent to the next crew, I was in this one. The individual boxes of Nivia hand cream or what ever the product was, are individually opened and the cap is tightened. On goes the other way till the cases are packed up on a skip again. Part of the great machine to repack items. Wasn't so bad, 1st shift, easy work no heavy lifting I could do this for a bit, well that was only a 4 day assignment, I went lean on that week.

or what about this one:
One 'assignment' I remember was to prepare a 21 year shut down warehouse to be leased out again. I scrapped an inch and a half of caked dust off the floor for a week that seemed to be an eternity; also swept and mopped. This is complete by Friday and the foreman instructs me to climb to the top of a 3 story scaffold with a puddy scraper in hand to remove the broken panes of the skylight. As I push left the entire scaffold moves right. I see my life flash before my eyes, (I decided I was not going to lose my life at $4.50 an hour) I graciously climb back down to the floor, ask foreman, "Is there anything else I can do?" When he answered no, I handed him my time card and he signed me out.

Well there are other war stories but what I really meant to talk bout was shift.
As I started my youthful life a nothing, maybe 2 yrs college behind me and left school, I tried various jobs and the worst thing I came across was working other than first shift. At first it was 2nd shift 3-11. It did not seem all that bad at first till it became old; me leaving for work about the time Deb got home from school (she was going to com. college). Things got real bad ... well that's another post.

I just felt like my life was surreal while on 2nd shift and it got more bizarre when I moved to 3rd shift. It makes you feel so much like a machine or tool or part of a terrible monster. You clock out as the replacements clock in day by day by day. You start to feel used, almost un-human.
2nd shift I felt like I was living to work rather than working to live. Clock in was mid afternoon and "lunch" hours (1/2 hour as we all know) was about my normal dinner time with one 15 min break before. Another 15 min break and then time to go home, about the time my wife was going to bed. What! I can't sleep now I just got off work, need to wind down, snack, have a couple drinks... Actually a "friend" of mine I knew from a few temp assignments before was doing my job* while I was away at work (he would sleep over, and he and Deb were ... well you know) Looking back, 2nd shift seems like it would work for a single person, sleep in till early afternoon, do your 8 and get off just about the time bar and club activity is getting good.
3rd shift didn't turn my life so crazy* but still, I was working while the rest of the world was sleeping and the rest of the world was working while I was sleeping. Sorta crazy trying to get to sleep at about 10 or 11 am. Waking up at 9ish to get ready to go to work while the rest of the world was sitting down for the evening. It just didn't work to hang with people, (most of the world) that didn't work other than 1st shift. You work your life around your work all week and the weekend comes, you square up with all the regular people you know and get on the weekend shift- and all changes about 9 pm Sunday night. *Actually it doesn't get much crazier than that.

So anyhow that was back in my bounce back days, when things didn't mean so much, thrown from the horse just get back up. Did lead me to find some real gainful employment.


Jonathan Bert said...

Been there, done that. The great industrialist Henry Kaiser didn't allow his companies to run odd shifts because it was so unhealthy for his employees, and productivity goes to hell. Not every corporate giant is so smart.

Neo said...

Was Henry Kaiser "the" Kaiser of Kaiser Aluminum?