Ever since we had to pull our daughter from public education for her own health and well-being, I have been a stay at home mom. Before that, I was caregiver in other people’s homes.
Needless to say, it has been a really long time since I worked a job that required a full day on my feet. I was somewhere in my mid to late twenties. The last time I worked in a plant I was barely into my twenties. That all changed this week.
My kids don’t need me like they used to, and very few families can boast that they don’t need more money. Currently, we are not one of those families. That is why, after some family discussion, I have returned to the workforce.
Day one was Tuesday. The work itself wasn’t hard. I took a chunk of plastic, clipped one spot, slid a plastic clip into another spot, and then added a couple foam stickers (they suck) and a label. Into the tote they went and on to the next to do the same thing.
After spending 8 hours on my feet (it’s difficult to find a place to sit during break when even the boss wants to come socialize and isn’t properly wearing a mask, so I barely got off my feet 5 minutes all night), I was in so much pain. I just wanted to get home. I was glad I didn’t have to drive.
I stood in the shower, crying. Not just tears slipping down my face. No. I was bawling. My back hurt so bad that first night that standing in the shower made me want to scream. I could think of nothing more than finishing so that I could get off my feet.
I made it to my bed and just collapsed. I lay there naked and continued to cry. I was making the most wretched of sounds when my husband came in the bedroom. My sweet husband (with the help of the kids) cooked dinner that first night. (What’s for dinner? was actually written Monday as I cooked my last dinner as a housewife/SAHM)
I created this muscle salve when my husband was regularly going to the dojo to practice aikido and karate. It helps to ease aches and pains while helping to loosen muscles up.
1/2 oz [2 tbsp]carrier oil (I used olive last time because it’s what I had)
5to6 drops lavendar
2to3 drops each — peppermint, eucalyptus, cedarwood
Mix ingredients together, store in an airtight container. It’s oil so just a little bit goes a long way.
Wednesday, I was a little more prepared. I enlisted the help of my daughter to put a little dojo salve on my back before I dressed for work. I am so glad that I did because day two was a real doozy.
stand here, stand there
The press that I was scheduled to learn was not cooperating. I spent the first hour and a half of my shift just standing around waiting. I was told to grab a broom, so I pushed a push broom around the shop collecting little bits of plastic. There was a burning between my shoulders, but it eased soon after I hung the broom back up.
I had nothing left to sweep, so I was helping a friend slap labels on some finished products. The boss sent me to go “help” another coworker. The press she was on left no opportunity to offer help. The part itself was just a two inch wide button. So, I was being paid to stand and watch again.
he broke this one and that one and the other one
The supervisor clearly lied on his application and has no business being there. Well, at least that’s what I hear. And, from what I’ve seen, that is obviously the case. He couldn’t seem to figure out how to set up just about any of the presses. In fact, press after press after press went down, and he started sending people home for lack of work.
By the end of the shift, there were only two presses running. The first was the press I’d been “helping” on earlier. The operator had been sent home, and the shift’s QC was running her press in her stead. I was sent to the only other remaining press.
last operator standing
Supervisor introduces me to the press operator. Their conversation follows.
Supervisor: You wanna train her?
Operator: I can do that.
S: You wanna go home?
O: Sure, but how can I train her and go home?
S: Train her and you can go home.
And that, my friends, is how I ended up being the only operator left on our shift running a job solo for the last few hours of the day on my second day of work. The part itself was easy. A grid looking piece with clips and tabs to attach to whatever it’s destined for. Check it for defects then pack it according to specs. Record production in the computer. Pretty strait forward and easy.
I wasn’t nearly as sore after my shower, though my feet ached. I cooked loose meat sandwiches and Mrs. T’s pierogis for dinner.
Once again had the daughter oil my back with dojo salve before work. Thursday ran relatively smoothly for my press. It was a dual cupholder. Check for defects on both liner and cupholder. Put them together being careful not to scratch or scuff the delicate liner. There were no defects and everything was running pretty smoothly. I was trusted enough with these parts that my trainer and I relieved each other for breaks, and I was left soloing another part.
still, the supervisor is an idiot…
The press had been running great all night. My trainer was off on break, and I was running solo again. The supervisor wanders over, opens up the press, bypassing the robot, and yanks some parts out. He starts digging at the delicate liners with his thumbs.
He tosses them on the conveyer belt to continue their trek to me. Sure enough, I can see all the scratches from where he’d been gouging at the part. I set them aside to show to my trainer, who declared them scrap because we couldn’t pass them.
the idiocy continues
After gouging out the parts, he wandered off to go fire up the grill. He grilled up some hot dogs for the potluck I declined to go anywhere near because I take this pandemic very seriously. He came up to me later, while I was standing by the time clock waiting for those last minutes to tick by and allow me to clock out and leave.
Supervisor: I know it looks like I was lazy today, but after the day I had yesterday, I deserved it. Now, I’m done for the day. Oh shit. No I’m not. That’s okay. It’s just paperwork. It’ll take me two minutes. Then I’ll spend the rest of the fifteen outside smoking, and, then, I’ll clock out. I get one and a quarter hours overtime every week that way.
And off he went to go milk the company out of more money. There won’t be any overtime this week. Not for him or anybody else on the shift.
Once again my feet ached, and I was happy to be off of them, My back was a bit sore but not like it had been that first night. My husband declared it a “fend for yourself” night, and we ate leftovers for dinner.
It’s Friday. My first paycheck was set to be for four whole days. Until the supervisor had to go and muck things up for everybody. He decides he wants a four day weekend. Next thing we know, since there’s no supervisor, there’s no work Friday.
And just like that, he has affected everyone’s livelihood on not just one but two days in my first week. Wednesday when he sent everyone home because he doesn’t know how to actually run the presses or fix things when they go wrong (a point he appears to have lied about on his resume according to those gossiping) and then again Friday so he can take a long(er) holiday weekend.
four day weekend
Began my very long weekend with a trip to the chiropractor. Oh boy was I glad to see him. I’d woken up feeling like my kinks had kinks. I think it was the first time I fully relaxed on the table and just let his magic hands fix what hurt most.
that’s not where I left these
Doc is great at finding all the spots that hurt you without you saying a word. He talks to the twists and tweaks of your spine as he chases them out of there. He may be nearly eighty, but he’s a lady’s man through and through.
He helps me off the table and continues to hold my hand as I talk away. He looks me in the eyes as I’m talking to him and makes me feel as though he is hanging on my every word. There’s a sincerity in his voice as the conversation carries on. Dollars to doughnuts the girls were lining up for a chance with him before his wife snatched him up.
I’m not sure how he does it, but once again he seemed to have found every spot I was twisted and hurting. He took only minutes to put it all back where he’d left them last Friday. I walked out of there with a spring back in my step, the ache of standing on my feet those three shifts only a ghost of a memory.
not much planned
We’re still social distancing and avoiding any and all social gatherings. It’s just not worth the risk. We already expose ourselves just going to work or shopping and even during our trips to the chiropractor. We’ll do our shopping as we do every weekend.
My biggest plans include my husband grilling up steaks while I make my delicious garlic bubble bread and take some photographs so I can share the recipe with all of you.
Besides that, it’s just video games, movies, and a little preemptive packing. What are your plans for the holiday weekend?