I’m supposed to still be a new hire myself, but…

It’s been a minute since I made it over here. I apologize for that. Life’s been a little bit hectic. Last time I was here, I told you about my new little friend. That was the most excitement I’ve seen all month!

But, still, things have been [what’s the word I’m looking for?] weird [maybe?] and left me asking “Is this real life?” I’ll spare you the long of it, and simply tell you about last Tuesday. This one’s more Adventures of Tiffany than Misadventures of Tiffany.

Not your typical Tuesday

Last Tuesday marked my 30th day at my [not so new anymore] job. That’s work days. One-third of the 90 days that gets you paid vacation days and off probation and all that fun jazz.

So, I arrived at work on that my 30th day. I checked the clipboard for the manning sheet. The manning sheet tells the operators where to report. I was listed in the margin beside a press. Ordinarily, that means you’re training somebody.

Are you sure?

That can’t be right. Like I said, I’d only been there 30 days. Sure, they’d had me help a veteran employee learn a position I was familiar with, but that wasn’t really training. He’s been working there for years. He just hadn’t learned that part before.

This was a new guy. Like, it was his first day ever with the company new guy. Supervisor [yup the same one here and here] stops me on my way to the press. He confirms what I’d read on the manning sheet. On that my 30th day, I was being put in charge of training the new guy on his first day.

please don’t let me forget anything

It was not quite four when I arrived at the press. I told the woman there (a rehire who worked for the company years ago) that she could go, and I took responsibility for the press. New guy was already there.

I introduced myself. He did likewise. He told me he had experience with plastics. That was a bit of a relief. I showed him how to set up the mold for the part and how to check the part once it was completed. I taught him how to pack it and record it and grind the runners. I reminded him not to put any of the parts in the grinder [because we add a metal component].

I stood by watching him, checking his parts and making sure he grasped the job. The most exciting [maybe not the best word] thing that happened during those first hours was that every time I stepped out of his way, the fan blades grabbed me by the ponytail; ripping hair from my head in the process.

two hours in

He’s got the part. He didn’t need me ten minutes after he’d begun. But still, I stood there watching him. Then, I sent him on his first break. It’s a quick ten minute break. He came back around ten minutes [I know I know, I really should time people when I cover them for breaks, but I rarely do].

Supervisor said that if I felt he had it I could take my break, and then he’d set me up on two automatic presses. These two presses were on either side of the one I’d been training new guy on. It would allow me to check and box parts while keeping an eye on him.

Breaking myself

So, I trained the new guy on a part I’d run once before and covered for a lunch break once. Then, I trained myself on a part I’d actually never laid eyes on before. The second of the two presses I was manning was running a part similar enough to my usual press that no training was necessary.

It felt like I was hardly working except when I got back from break. Lunch is twenty minutes long. Two automatic presses left to fill the shoots unmanned for twenty minutes get awfully full. I was actually busy for about half an hour or so.

Then, it was back to wandering between three presses. Two to check and pack parts and one to keep an eye on my trainee. I took my final break shortly before ten.

I can’t see a thing

I’d just come back from that final break and was working towards emptying my shoot when the lights started flickering and then the power went out. Machines don’t work when the power is out. It actually was pitch dark in the shop. Luckily, we live in an age where everyone keeps a flashlight in their pocket.

The power came back on. Presses were powered back up. We started working again. Lights kept flickering on and off. Presses were down again. Power came on again. It flickered some more, and then it went out again.

And it stayed out. We were sent home thirty minutes early that night. The night of my thirtieth day of work at my [not so new] job where I’ve graduated to trainer [even of myself] and continue to expand my knowledge base of parts while training the new guy and hoping I’ve shown him everything I wish somebody had shown me.

at home later that night

Power was out at home, too. It turns out there was a fire along the power lines between here and work. My husband had cooked pork chops earlier that night. Pork chops, stuffing, and green beans, actually. And I was really looking forward to the dinner he’d cooked, even if I did have to reheat it.

But, you can’t open your refrigerator during a power outage. You want to contain everything in the box, including the cold air. After all, we didn’t know for how long the power would be out. Besides, there was no microwave to reheat in, and even though we have a gas stove it has an electric start.

I was glad that my son owns a battery powered camping lantern. I used it to illuminate the bathroom while I showered. Then, we used it to light up the living room.

We waited a few hours to reheat the dinner left for us in the fridge. Ultimately we gave up the waiting game. I settled for a peanut butter sandwich (no jelly because I couldn’t open the fridge) and a handful of touch of lime tortilla chips. My sandwich was about half gone when the power came on.

I finished eating and called it a night.

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