Pushing Cardboard

The tall black kid who fed the printer at work was let go this afternoon, after failing to report after the last break.

A few minutes later, someone very important came down to show me how to properly load the printer with cardboard without bending my back.

They told us the first day they’d instructed nearly forty people and Easy Money and I were the first ones to stick.

We finally gave them a reason to get rid of the kid.

They tried to kill me at work, today.

I’ll give them another chance, tomorrow.

I wondered how I could be so fortunate as to get a first shift job.

Now, I know. With the delightful black kid gone, it fell to me to feed the 36 inch printer with cardboard, today. But I had been instructed in the proper technique and assiduously practiced it.

After lunch, the muckety muck came down, approached me and said, “Your technique is perfect. You’re doing a great job.”

After the last break, he came down again and addressed the Cuban running the line. The next thing I know the speed of the printer had been turned up to 50 per minute and I was hustling to keep up. Fortunately, I processed all the cardboard in the order.

It appears that I passed the audition for the job nobody wants.

Easy Money was right about this job. Whereas the first order of the day involved rather large pieces of cardboard, the second order was smaller- a real pie job, and the last job, upon which my performance was tested, was not so big.

It’s not really hazing, but assessing abilities, while having a great deal of fun. I’m sure the folks upstairs cried with laughter while watching me, this afternoon.

OTOH, it might be nice to have a 62 year-old around to shame the youngsters.

Easy Money and I threw nearly 15,000 36″ cardboard sheets into the printer, today. We’d have thrown them all, but for the frequent stoppages by the perfectionist Cuban running the line. It is quite something pairing up with a 30 year-old woman of no real size, and yet will work you into the ground.

Because she’s been everywhere and done everything, they had her using the dispatch system this afternoon to direct the sea of palletized boxes to their proper locations in shipping.

I have survived seven ten hour days, while having a cold.

I took her home from work again, as a Golden Goose occasionally requires.

Another obvious reason no one wants to push cardboard to the 36″ printer is the two Cubans who run it and refuse to speak to us, but engage in long conversations with everybody else.

Instead, we are trained to respond to visual cues and doing the best we can.

They are very kind and obviously wonderful people.

Most of my people worked in hosiery mills and chair factories. Several of my dad’s sisters graduated valedictorian from high school and went straight into the mills.

Clay Shirky pointed to the descretionary time provided by the Industrial Revolution and the problems it created. Mom’s brother spent all his nights in a pool hall.

Back then, men did all the tough jobs and would be ashamed to allow a woman to push pallets of cardboard. Easy Money does it better than most of them.

The beautiful oriental lady who is a few years older than me stepped up at the end of the day to help me move some cardboard from the pallet to the the printer. I could hear her thinking, “If he can do it, so can I.”

The nerves in my fingers are dying again, as they always have when I abuse them. They usually re-grow and return in the Spring. X-rays of Lou Gehrig’s hands showed multiple broken fingers, but he never missed a game.

The parking lot smells like a dead skunk. The smell wafts into the building during breaks and shift changes. Yesterday morning, the break room reaked of it.

You cannot stop it. These people are gonna do what they’re gonna do. Every one of them looks you in the eye and says hello. There is no woke shit going on here.

Easy Money obtained some for me, yesterday. It is excellent, as I’ve come to expect.

We go back to a 40 hour week on Monday. I could use it. Unfortunately, boot camp is not over and never will be. Some days will be worse than others, but the suffering will be perpetual.

$14 per hour x 50 hours = $700

$7 per hour X 10 hours = 70

Sometimes, the work was hard, but usually it wasn’t, and I’m learning so much.

Once I got some nice steel toe sneakers, life got a lot better. Another pair is on the way.

I’ve also purchased prescription safety glasses.

The young black guys dress like burglars, all in black. I was complaining about ruining another old shirt and was told they wore clothes to hide the grease stains I get while inside the printer, setting up for the next job.

Everybody seems to like the latest fool working on that printer. And Easy Money smoothes the way.

The first order of business is to get her a car. I ask no questions and so am aware of none of her circumstances, other that she lives with her grandmother and new girlfriend.

I make of myself a worthy vessel into which people like her fall. That she is a modern day superwoman is providence. She read me like a book, the first day. I am thrilled to not be found wanting.

You may remember during the early period of my recent unemployment the fun I had being scammed on VK, and how they immediately moved you to WhatsApp or Google Chat and started the drill. I spent several weeks down the rabbit hole, taking it to the ask for the credit card, calling them scammers and watching them detonate.

Easy Money is not a scam. She is as I found her, the most genuine of living artifacts and evidence of how people are surviving. She’s much more important than this job. She’s a magic carpet ride to places otherwise unknown and forbidden to people like me.

I’m literally sidekick to a superhero. I’m a piece of meat, available to do her bidding, without question.

This entry was posted in Employment Disasters and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Pushing Cardboard

  1. Eric says:

    Reblogged this on Calculus of Decay .

    Liked by 1 person

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