Saturday, May 06, 2006

The Chip Stain's Grease Will Come Out in the Bath

I finished my last night of moving furniture. The job involved some heavy lifting and putting up with a rough group of people, but mostly it was just a lot of driving around on a lift or tug. It wasn't unbearable and I would have to see it was probably more entertaining than most jobs.

There was a freaky little guy from Texas who never shuts up and always drives into poles. A couple of days ago I went up to a coordinator to ask for a laser scanner (you can't work without one). A few seconds later, Texas, comes rolling up and asks for a scanner, too. I asked, "They didn't assign you a gun either?"

He said, "Gee, Emmett, do you think that's why I just came and asked for one. Think, Emmett. Think!"

The coordinator starting laughing and asked him, "Did YOU just tell EMMETT to think?" That is probably as close to a compliment as I will get from them. I also took it as a good sign that they had me training new people even after I gave them my two weeks notice.

Later in the breakroom, I asked Texas, "So are you loading trucks and pulling the 800's?" Meaning: Are you pulling furniture off the shelves where they keep the big stuff like the tables that crushed that dude to death a year ago.

Texas said, "What have I been doing for the last 3 days, Emmett? Where have you been?"

I said, "Do you think I'm your secret admirer or something? I don't follow you around to see what your doing? I know you've been loading but have you been pulling the 800's for the last 3 days?"

Texas: "No, just tonight."

Me: "Alright then."

Then we all went downstairs to check our stats for the night. Texas said, "Look! Someone is only moving 6 (pieces of furniture) an hour! David R.. Who is David R.?"

Everyone stared at him but no one seemed to want to say it: "David R.. You're brother-in-law. The husband of your wife's sister. The guy you moved to Utah to live by. The guy who told you get a job here." I was really, really, really starting to worry that I would never meet a normal person from Texas.

I was tempted to tell Shrek that I would be making an additional $3 per hour at my new job, which by his math is an extra $18,000 per year. I tried to take a cart full of furniture but my gun told me that Shrek already had the load entered into his gun. Shrek said, "Didn't you see me smiling at you when you pulled up to the cart?"

I said, "Yes. I just figured you were wetting your pants or something."

There are a couple of compulsive liars there. One guy who talks about how he slept with his school teacher all through highschool and bought her a car only to be dumped when he reached legal age. Another guy goes on and on about how cool his car is, how he collects and races cars, how he has a second job testing rocket fuel and how he will sell me a 2005 Toyota Tacoma with 80K miles on it (that he won in a shopping mall sweepstakes) for $500. I said, "I will bring you the money, you bring the truck." He said it will take him awhile to rotate the truck out of the warehouse where he stores his cars. If he sells me a truck matching that description at that price it will buy him a lot of credibility.

Chad is cool. He is the bass player for the band I auditioned for. That whole thing is still up in the air but Chad said maybe we should form our own band on the side. I see how things pan out in the next couple of weeks and then I will take matters into my own hands. But Chad is very animated. Everytime I pass him in the warehouse he does something like chirp like a dolphin or push out his chest, show a lot of teeth and act like he's chewing gum (I think he's trying to look like a valley girl or something). The other night, the bosses were tearing into us, "We have a lot of work to do. It can be a long night or a short night. It's up to you." And Chad put on an idiot face, straightened his arms and faced his palms forward and said in a goofy voice, "Well then I think we should make it a long night." It probably doesn't read very funny but I laughed pretty hard when he did it.

Toward the end of the night my gun stopped working so I went to find that techy coordinator. We were driving towards eachother and he was holding his middle finger high in the air before him for quite some time. When I flagged him down he just said, "I wasn't flipping you off, that was for the guy on the forklift over there."

I said, "No. My password stopped working." He said, "Oh, let's go take care of it."

At the end of the night, when he came around and told us all to go home, he added, "And thanks for working here, Emmett. Dick!" And he drove away. The other boss said I was welcome to come back anytime I want.

At the new job, I get all the free chips I want or I can buy anything the company makes for half off or better. The company owns about 80% of what you see in the chip aisle at the store, including nuts and beef jerky. They gave me four t-shirts and a thick hoody. And they gave me $75 for work shoes that I bought yesterday.

I mentioned how Ethan takes pride in wherever I work. Apparently he told that trashy neighbor of ours. She talked to my wife about it today. She said her husband has applied there six times and can't get on. Better than that, when I got to work yesterday the boss said I didn't have to break down boxes of chips. I got to be the guy who goes up high in the racks and sends all the chips down the conveyor belt. The boss said, "They told me you had good potential so I'm here to test you out."

All the jobs are hard because you CAN do them fast, which means you SHOULD do everything as fast as you can if you expect to be made permanent. Like running 20 feet instead of walking it every chance you get. My boss seems cool and I was happy to find out he was from Texas because I was close to posting a blog about how only freaky people come out of that state.

It seems to be a higher quality group of people, but they still swear and talk about sex a lot. There is a girl named Paula from Cambodia that I worked with for half the night. She looks like she's in her twenties but she has three teenaged kids. Even she joked to the boss that she would "shake her booty" and give him a lapdance on his birthday (it was HER birthday yesterday).

At the end of the night she told me to go ask one of the guys loading a truck if he needed help (which I didn't know how to do). I did. He answered, "Yes, but I don't think you're professionally trained to help me." And then he just walked off. Soon, Paula saw me straightening out some carts and asked me why I wasn't helping him. She took two minutes to show me how to load a truck correctly. I purposely loaded the truck as fast as I could just to show the other guy that he was a jackass for dismissing me. I beat him (not that he knew it was a race).

Everyone who works there seems pretty cool and disturbingly happy. You have to wonder if the secret ingredient in all of their food is Prozac. I asked one girl, "Do you ever get used to the greasy potato smell? Or can you smell it for years?"

She said, "It's not that bad."

I said, "I know. But do you get home and your husband tells you you smell like greasy potatos?"

She said, "I don't have a husband."

I said, "Do you get home and your cat tells you you smell like a greasy potato?"

She said, "I don't have a cat. It's just me and the ghosts."

I said, "Do you get home and the ghosts tell you you smell like a greasy potato?"

She didn't answer, because other people started teasing her about being a lonely old crone.

Anyway, it seems like a good job. I'll probably remember more later but I have to go now.

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