Shimoniac Jones

I didn't lose my mind – it fled in terror.

Archive for the tag “writing”

Clue Who?

As part of my new job in Material Handling, I’m no longer tethered to a machine, or machines, as the case may be. As a result, I’ve been able to talk to my co-sufferers workers more than I was able to do before. This is not always, or even necessarily, a good thing. I sometimes write little notes to myself about the funny, or irritating, things that happen at work so that I can share them with family.

A recent note had the following on it, Supervisor In the warehouse With a pipe wrench. Now there is a small segment of the population that may recognize the format as belonging to the game Clue by toy maker Hasbro. In my case I was driving the fork lift through the warehouse, after dropping off a full bin and was returning to the floor when I met my supervisor walking through the warehouse in the opposite direction, he was carrying a pipe wrench and muttering quite loudly that, “Well the bitch won’t do that to me anymore.”

I momentarily wondered if I had driven up on something I shouldn’t have and maybe should just pull a U-turn and peel out. I would have too, but my fork lift is not nick-named “Shitty Shitty Bang Bang” for nothing.

Trepidatiously I asked, “Is there something I shouldn’t know?” He replied that I pipe wrench in question was merely an old one and the teeth had worn off, causing it to slip when he needed to tighten/loosen something; that slip often resulted in banged-up knuckles. He’d purchased a new wrench, which was unlikely to slip, and was consigning the old one to the scrap metal dumpster located outside the warehouse door.

“Ah.” I replied, “Good story, we’ll go with that one. I’ll be your alibi if necessary. A character witness, even.”

“Whaa?” Supervisor queried, taken seriously aback.

“Obviously someone found your discarded wrench, did the bitch in, and threw it away in the metal dumpster.”

He thought about what he’d said as I was rolling up on him. “You’re seriously disturbed.” He diagnosed.

“Ten years you’ve known me, and you’re just now figuring that out?” I returned.

He shook his head at me and walked along. I returned to work and shared that story with several people. It says something about me that no one was surprised about the direction I took that encounter; but I’m not sure what.

Promotion

It’s been more than a year since I last posted. It’s not that I haven’t had ideas; it’s that I’ve had crippling self-doubt about the relevance of my subject matter. I’ll start composing a post and I’ll be half-way through it, then go, “No one would want to read that rubbish.”, and I’ll cancel the document without saving and go to YouTube and binge-watch cute pet videos or something.

Recently, though, I’ve had an experience that just demanded to be shared with the class. Since my last post, I’ve been promoted(?) to the position of Material Handler. I’d become increasingly bored with being a Machine Operator over the last few years and had applied, unsuccessfully, a few times for the position. When the last opening occurred I didn’t even bother, thinking that I wouldn’t get the job anyhow.

That said, my supervisor went on vacation for a week and the Production Manager filled in for him. The second day the P/M was there, he asked if I was still interested in the Material Handler’s job, I said I was but hadn’t bothered since I was never chosen. He told me to fill out an application and put in on his desk `by the end of the week’. I had one done by break-time and on his desk before lunch.

Surprise! I was chosen to be the latest in a round of M/Hs who get hired, work for a few weeks, and then disappear. That was the first step; the next step was to be trained. I’d filled in for the M/H many times before this and was a pretty good half-trained monkey, but `nooo’, you’ve got to transfer to the Day Shift so that the M/H lead hand can go item by item through the, largely irrelevant, check-list. When that was done, I got to do some unpleasant donkey work that is the responsibility of the M/H Lead, but that, not surprisingly, he didn’t want to have to do.

Next, I got trained on how to drive a fork-lift. Driving a fork-lift is absolutely nothing like driving a car; it starts, stops, steers, and handles nothing like anything you’ve driven on the roads. Being trained on Fork Lift Operation took most of a week, two and a half days in class, half a day getting familiarized with a fork lift, and two days moving things with the fork lift, while being shadowed by a licensed operator. Thanks to warnings from others who’d undergone the same training I had, I passed the test the first time. I probably would have anyway; I’m a little paranoid while driving around pedestrians and obstacles.

So, the training that should have taken maybe two-three weeks, max, lasted six. They wanted to train another person on fork lift at the same time as me to maximize the cost-benefit ratio. That meant I was constantly chosen to do the fiddly, annoying jobs that were other people’s responsibility, sweep the parking lot, clean up the smoker’s area, sort boxes by content into their proper areas, rearrange the cardboard area, combine two, or more, half-empty bins into as few as possible, etc, ad nauseam.

Finally, they let me escape the illogical, regimented Hell that is Day Shift, back to the cool, calm insanity that is Nights. “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose”, that’s French for same shit, different day.

That said, when the two-week long Plant Slowdown rolled around, the Plant Manager came up to me and asked which week I wanted to work.  When I said, “Neither?”, he told me that wasn’t the answer he was looking for.  Sigh.  I bit the bullet and worked the first week; four days, twelve hours each.

Healthy Insanity

Since it’s been a while since I’ve posted, I thought I’d pass along some advice I received once upon a time.

HOW TO KEEP A HEALTHY LEVEL OF INSANITY:

1. AT LUNCHTIME, SIT IN YOUR PARKED CAR W/ SUNGLASSES ON AND POINT A HAIR DRYER AT PASSING CARS. SEE IF THEY SLOW DOWN.

2. PAGE YOURSELF OVER THE INTERCOM. DON’T DISGUISE YOUR VOICE.

3. EVERY TIME SOMEONE ASKS YOU TO DO SOMETHING, ASK IF THEY WANT FRIES WITH THAT?

4. PUT YOUR GARBAGE CAN ON YOUR DESK AND LABEL IT “IN”.

5. PUT DECAF IN THE COFFEE MAKER FOR 3 WEEKS. ONCE EVERYONE HAS GOTTEN OVER THEIR CAFFEINE ADDICTIONS, SWITCH TO ESPRESSO.

6. WRITE “FOR SEXUAL FAVORS” IN THE MEMO LINE OF ALL YOUR CHECKS.

7. FINISH ALL YOUR SENTENCES WITH “IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROPHECY.”

8. DONT USE ANY PUNCTUATION.

9. AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE, SKIP RATHER THAN WALK.

10. ASK PEOPLE WHAT SEX THEY ARE. LAUGH HYSTERICALLY AFTER THEY ANSWER.

11. SPECIFY THAT YOUR DRIVE-THROUGH ORDER IS “TO GO”.

12. SING ALONG AT THE OPERA.

13. GO TO A POETRY RECITAL AND ASK WHY THE POEMS DON’T RHYME.

14. PUT MOSQUITO NETTING AROUND YOUR WORK AREA. PLAY A TAPE OF JUNGLE SOUNDS ALL DAY.

15. FIVE DAYS IN ADVANCE, TELL YOUR FRIENDS YOU CAN’T ATTEND THEIR PARTY BECAUSE YOU’RE NOT IN THE MOOD.

16. HAVE YOUR COWORKERS ADDRESS YOU BY YOUR WRESTLING NAME, ROCK HARD SHIM.

17. WHEN THE MONEY COMES OUT THE ATM, SCREAM, “I WON! I WON! 3RD TIME THIS WEEK!!!!!”

18. WHEN LEAVING THE ZOO, START RUNNING TOWARDS THE PARKING LOT, YELLING, “RUN FOR YOUR LIVES, THEY’RE LOOSE!”

19. TELL YOUR CHILDREN OVER DINNER, “DUE TO THE ECONOMY, WE ARE GOING TO HAVE TO LET ONE OF YOU GO.”

AND THE FINAL WAY TO KEEP A HEALTHY LEVEL OF INSANITY…

20. START A BLOG AND HAVE PERFECT STRANGERS COME BY AND READ IT.

THANK YOU AND HAVE AN INSANE DAY!

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