Thursday, March 22, 2007
This one's going to be another interactive post; I want to hear back from all of you. I mean it, now!
I wanna hear about the most tedious, boring, or mundane job you've ever had.
I have two, that nearly did me in, coma-ly speaking. Back in 1982, I was a bindery clerk in a large printing company. It was physical, busy work, and mildly stimulating, most of the time.
Mildly, I said. At least you had to stay alert enough to avoid losing limbs in huge machinery. Or your head; there were very strict safety regulations about the length of your hair. If it touched your collar, you had to wear a hairnet, lest your hair get caught in some rollers, and your head be ripped off. I once tired of the hairnet, broke down and got a very short haircut.
It still touched my collar. I mean it *ting* juuuuust tagged up to my collar, if I wore a collar. I was ordered by the safety nazi's to put my hairnet back on, or get written up. I was so pissed off that I bought some big black hairnets, and wore the knot right in the middle of my forehead, Ruth Buzzy style.
The OSHA officials yawned and said "go ahead, you stupid little girl, we couldn't care less." I persisted until the men on the nightshift asked me to stop because they couldn't stand to look at me anymore.
Excuse me. I got off on a tangent. I meant to say, that the work there generally stimulating enough that the shifts went by quickly.
Though there was ONE mind-numbing job: Catching.
"Catching" entailed standing at the end of a long press, and "catching" the paper that came off the end. Then you'd put it in a box, then 1/2 hour or so and then catch some more.
An older woman that I worked with used to just go to sleep when she was catching. The idea of it was mortifying to me; even at 19 I had a strong work ethic, and sleeping on the job!!! horrors! I remember quaking in my boots one night as the supervisor approached my snoozing co-worker. Imagine my surprise when he nudged her and said "Wake up Gussie! Wanna work overtime?" So instead of sleeping until 11:00 p.m., she slept til 1 a.m.
My second boring job was also in a printing company, a textbook company. There, we were given skids and skids and skids of freshly printed pages, and we were to look at every single page, front and back, to check that the printing was good, that there were no blank pages, etc. This job was called "Flipping." Yes. I was a "flipper," not to be confused with a "flapper," which would have been infinitely more stimulating.
Sitting in a chair, and flipping pages, day in and day out, mountains of pages waiting behind us, presses still running and creating more pages for flipping security.
The kicker is that we were not supposed to talk to one another while we were flipping. The upper echelon apparently thought that we were all so daft that we couldn't talk and do mind-numbing work at the same time.
The problem you see...was, well me. You see how much crap I have in my head here! My head is, and always has been, a multi-tasking head; it simply must do more than one thing at a time! Even as I write right now, my head is off somewhere practicing its spanish. It can't be bothered to sit and watch me blog.
I swear I'd try to behave myself while I was flipping, but after a couple hours, I'd lean over to a fellow flipper and whisper "did you bring your lunch?"
Immediately, sirens and alarms would go off in the front office, and I'd get called up front, and the head honcho would tell me to shut my pie-hole.
It's a wonder I didn't combust.
My friend Di had a job, as a kid, at a company that made balsa-wood curtain rings. Her job, as the rings went down the assembly line, was to poke her finger into the middle of each one, popping out the center circle that was scored into the wood. (hence, forming a ring)
OK, she wins, that was definitely worse than my two worst-est boring-est jobs.
Ding, ding ding!!! Your turn!!! What's the the worst, most boring, or most mundane thing you ever got paid for?