We lasted a day….That is it…one day. Only one. I guess I’m a wimp when it comes to factory labor. Not that the job was not fairly straightforward and easy . It was …in a way….for perhaps other people. As for me….being the “big , tall , strong” man, I was assigned the job of filling boxes with test packets…..all day long. Each packet was about the size of a phone book. Each packet had numbers that had to be put in each box in order. Each school/district could order up to 1000 ( or more) packets! After 8 full hours…things began to add up. My legs hurt, back hurt, and especially my hands and arms. I developed a nice rash from scraping the boxes and my hands started to develop the familiar pain of carpel tunnel.
As I look over at Cheryl….who only has to put a single packet in each box……every other box….sometimes less. She is smiling and relaxing. All I can think is that she is having a good time while I’m trying not to think about the pain in my arms and back and trying not to lose my place in the number count. But I did not want to be the one who suggested that we quit a job on our first day. That would be just too wimpy…even for me.
The kicker: on our way out, some of the people were making conversation and one of the ladies said ( jokingly) “don’t worry, they will probably quit tomorrow”. A Premonition, perhaps? Perhaps it was the way we were dressed that tipped everyone off. Office workers do not (usually) wear “dirty clothes” to work. I used to! back in the fish farm days, I would wear the toughest, dirty clothes money could buy. But I have left that career behind a long time ago….Along with that wardrobe.
Well, after work, it was dark, cold and we were exhausted. It has been quite a while since I have had to do a job that required simple physical labor. ( or brute force) Cheryl suggested that we eat and head home and wondered how we were going to squeeze in a run and a bike trip after work in the dark like this. It must have bummed her out pretty good, because she was the one who suggested that we make that our last day.
I was surprised, and relieved at the same time. She said she did not want to sabotage the groundhog run this Sunday and she could see I was not having a good time at this job. I guess working at a job I do not like much makes me “grumpy”….and Grumpy Ethan is no fun to live with…Or so it was explained to me.
I’m OK with it. So we figured out that we should stick with testing and leave the blue collar jobs to those who decided against college. It’s only fair if you think about it. I guess blue collar jobs are difficult to come by, so why should we take up a top slot from someone who has decided to make this line of work their life goal? It sounds pretty selfish! Besides, The cost of this job was higher than the paycheck received…. We have a priority in our life at the moment, and daylight is a key part of that pursuit of happiness.