One step forward two steps back - The pecking order.

I don't care what anyone says.... the economy is still really messed up, unemployment is still high, and employers are very much taking advantage of it.


I'm a fork lift driver.  I have temporary employment at an industrial establishment.  At the begining of July I was laid off due to lack of work.  Aparently much of their production isn't passing quality inspections, and they are getting very far behind.   I was supposed to go back on the 21st... but that was post poned until Aug 1st.   They called me 9am Tuesday morning to go in for 1, 8 hour shift (right away mind you).  This sucks, because they told me I was laid off until the 1st, so my bf took a week off of work (the first time in 5 years) so we could go camping for 3 days.  We were on our way out the door, literally, when I was called into work.  They told me it was only the one shift, so I agreed to it, and planned to go camping after that shift.   I get there and it turns out they want me to work the rest of the week, 12 hour shifts, chipping paint off of a paint booth floor.  I'm a temp so I really had no choice but to comply... bye bye camping :\

So we get to start doing the job.  The paint booth in question is at least 100 ft long... no exaggeration.... they are used to paint product that can be as long as 70ft.  We were given broken pneumatic miniature jack hammers to do the job. They barely worked... weighed about 50 pounds, and because they didn't work, we used them to manually ram at the paint on the floor.... our other option a sledge hammer.... it worked, but every now and then you would hit the concrete floor beneath the paint, and cause much pain to your hands and wrists. I did this for 8 hours the first day, 12 the next, and the third I stayed home sick because I was almost too weak to light my own cigarettes after ruining my entire upper body during the two prior shifts. 

And then it was Friday...  found out another temp had called it quits, but he was smart and did so for good. Also, the first bay was finished  SOOOO  off to the second. This bay was worse... Instead of doing both of them 3 years ago, they did one, and left one to gather a total of 5 years of paint on it's floor.  Luckily this one was a whole 10 feet shorter. lol.  So we get going on that, and were soon after interrupted by a maintenance guy saying that he HAS TO TURN THE PAINT BAKING OVEN ON FOR A LITTLE WHILE!!!!!!!! so yeah... not only is it hot out, I have a respirator on, and am working my ass to a dripping sweat, there's now an over thrown into the mix.  Almost an hour later our dog fucker supervisor finally decided that, that isn't too safe came around and "gave us a break"... we went to put paper down on the floor of the freshly chipped and powerwashed bay... as a preventative measure for next time... great idea! So we did that and I managed to talk my way back on my, at this point, muchly missed forklift to do some maintenance which lasted a beautiful and amazing hour of relief. They turn the ovens off, and I was called back to paint chipping duties.

Last break comes along... at this time it's 3pm and I've worked 8.5 hours today. We were pooched, and already a little unmotivated when I heard another temp talk about only making min wage, which is now 10.25... because were on as general laborers... and not my usual forklift position that pays 12 an hour (im a temp on probation). So yeah... demoted, and took a pay cut to work long ass hours working 10 times harder.


One step forward, two steps back.  I called my employer and asked them what I was making... because I feel entitled to know that. They get off at 5pm so I had to leave a message. The person on call hasn't called me back.   There was a hint that tomorrow I'm back on my normal job, but from the sounds of things, they are continuing shut down/ rework lay-off period into next week and possibly even the week after that.  I have a good feeling I'm back to chipping paint tomorrow.

Funny how a week of planned in advance relaxation on the river can turn into a week in a sweltering paint booth, with a single phone call that had been conducted an hour later, would have never reached me until... say now.


Anyone else have lovely stories about their entry level jobs?

Uploaded 08/01/2010
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