20 November 2009

Moving Right Along

Ok back to 1999.
In 99' I also worked in a couple group homes in a nearby town. The homes were owned by the same company and had 3-6 developmentally disabled adults in each place. I don't have too many specific memories from this part of work. I worked mostly nights and went to school during the day. In early 99', I also worked as a part time sports write for the Iowa Falls newspaper. The editor sent me out to small towns to take pictures of high school basketball teams. It was probably most unique job in how I was paid. For every inch of text that 'made' it into the paper, I was paid $4. As you can imagine, every game was a battle of epic proportions. I would submit long flowy write-ups of Iowa cornboys and receive about $15 for 4 hours of work. And my editor even had an editory name: Rex Trout. (He wouldn't have accepted that sentence because it began with 'And.')

Well it's winter time in Champaign-Urbana. I transferred here after Iowa Falls. My first job is working as a sorter for FedEx. And this job blows. My shift is M-Th 6pm-11:30pm. Why does it blow? 1. Getting patted down before and after work to make sure no one stole anything from the precious 1000s of boxes sorted in a shift. 2.The women I work with are rough. Rough in a way that mean I don't go into the Ladies' room because of the fights that take place in there. 3. The lack of heat. Management said that heating and cooling wasn't necessary because the 100,000sf building generated enough heat from running the quarter-mile long conveyor belts. I'm actually that worker who wears long underwear and a dirty hat and a pair of gloves with the fingertips cut off. My specific job is to run up a long slick slide and kick at boxes stuck in the chute for my division. I also have expertise in crawling on moving conveyor belts to dislodge boxes that are backing up the entire belt system. Wednesday is magazine day and it's the heaviest day of box traffic. When I'm not scrambling to unstick stuck boxes, I scan in every box's barcode. From memorizing zip codes I can tell you that zip codes beginning in 0 originate from the East Coast.

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