I’ve managed to survive the second week at my new job. This shop is like no other shop in which I have worked in the past. These guys do not get in a hurry to do anything. Sense of urgency? What the hell is that?!?
Our day officially starts at 0700, but nobody stands up from the table until 0715 or 0720 unless either the boss is in early or we have a production supervisor with an urgent issue. And urgent here roughly equals routine or low-priority anywhere else I’ve worked. Eventually, everyone will finish their coffee, and we’ll start out towards the first project of the day.
The old man who is training me knows everyone, and regularly stops to bullshit with pretty much every swinging dick he encounters between the shop and where ever our first destination is. Eventually, we’ll get where we’re going, and will work for a while. Pretty soon, it will be time for first break, which is scheduled from 0930-0945. Usually, it will start by 0925, and is seldom over much before 1000.
After break, we head back out and get a little more done. Lunch is 1200-1230, but usually runs until 1245-1250. After a little more afternoon productivity, we’ll break for the second time around 1430. Most days, we won’t actually break until 1440, and instead of fifteen minutes, it will last until 1515. At this time, everyone changes out of their chemical contaminated uniforms and back into street clothes so they won’t be late punching out at 1530.
There is a definite division within the shop. My trainer is black, and Mr. Light Duty is married to a Brazilian lady. The old man and the other guy are both typical redneck types, and the old man would fit very well with the Klan folks I’ve known in the past. Aside from ragging on everyone pretty much universally, he holds particular disdain for people of color, and for White folks who get romantically involved with people of color. He and the other maintenance man are pretty good friends, so it would be safe to say that many attitudes are shared.
Everyone talks shit about Mr. Light Duty, and he deserves it. He is constantly on his smart phone doing something. I swear to you, if his ass is out of his seat for more than an hour per shift, I’ll kiss your ass.
Old Man speaks particularly ill of my trainer. He has called him a junkyard mechanic, criticized his work ethic (with cause, I’ll give him that one), his abilities, his character, and about everything else he can think of. Stupid nigger this, and dumb mother fucker that. I’m taking everything in, trying to pay attention, and making my own judgments and decisions.
I feel like we accomplished a lot this week, although there are at least a dozen work orders that never got touched. This seems pretty much normal, though. I got to do a lot of hands-on stuff myself, instead of standing around with my thumb stuck up my ass, watching.
I did have an uncomfortable experience just before I came home this evening. We were feeding a length of pipe, approximately twenty feet long, through the grate from the upper production area to the lower area. In the process of guiding it through the obstacles, one of the manual valves next to where it was to be located got cracked open slightly. Maybe a cup of an unknown (at that time) liquid came out of the pipe that was right in front of where I was standing, at about waist level. Initially, it appeared to be water, so I stayed there and got the pipe the rest of the way into position. Then, I felt a bit of irritation where the liquid had hit my belly and upper leg. I hauled ass to the shower and rinsed for about fifteen minutes. After I got out, I was informed that it was a caustic line, and although not an extremely high concentration, it was definitely something that needed to come off quickly.
I had to throw away the clothes that I was wearing (my uniform order won’t be in until Monday) and change into my “going home” clothes about an hour earlier than normal. The only effect so far is a mild rash, sensitivity to water, and mild discomfort. The only thing worse than clothes rubbing over either affected area is perspiration dampened skin on skin.
I decided to use this as an excuse to call out for tonight’s shift at BigBoxRetailer, and I will probably call out for tomorrow’s shift as well. I didn’t/don’t want the shifts, and since I had a semi-legitimate excuse, I used it. I picked up three hours of OT this week via a forklift training class after work Thursday night, so I’m money ahead. Not that I’m doing BBR for the money, but just to keep my boss there happy and stay in the system in case I can’t turn this mechanic position permanent.
I plan to enjoy my weekend. I hope y’all do, too.