Saturday, April 14, 2007

So How Was YOUR Friday the 13th?

Mine was interesting...

I went to work and was moved from the sort aisle to the "pick off position", the idea being that they hoped that I could keep the belt running. Now the internal arrangements of a UPS building are proprietary, but to understand what this entails one need only know that there is a belt with parcels on it moving past this position...the parcels in question each need to go into one of 5 chutes top go to the correct trailer. If the pick off person misses a parcel it goes down the belt to the WRONG TRUCK....this is bad....if the belt goes off then the whole system of what we will call "box tubes" backs up.....this is worse.
Now this seems like a simple enough job except that the quantity of parcels is rather higher than the particular industrial engineering marvel was designed to take. So high that at times they are stacked multiple deep and completely across the belt...which I can just barely reach across...and I'm just over 6 feet tall. Now the belt has been being shut off periodically and this is causing problems...I'm upset because the late down times have eaten into my I'm the one guy motivated to get the building down on time...hence the management decision to put me in this spot....not that I mind, I need to burn some calories and this is the place to do that.

Well the day progressed and I'm furiously holding forth against this box Balrog determined that none shall least into the wrong truck...and then the sweat streaming down my face sufficiently lubricate my glasses that they fell into the river o' boxes...."crunch" the left lens of my glasses fell out and fell 9 feet to the floor. I shut the belt off as I went looking for no avail.

A few minutes later, as I sorted with one eye closed to avoid double vision a helpful employee handed me the rather scratched lens....boy lucky me! About an hour after that the belts all got shut off for some operational biggie, given that the stream of boxes had jammed in a nearby chute I hopped on the belt to break said jam.

Now one of the outstanding safety features of this elevated belt is that only the pick off sorter can cut this belt on. It makes for backups if the guy is not especially motivated but is absolutely necessary as the belt is out of view of the control panel and from time to time the sorter must get on the belt to break jams or deal with an open box or whatnot....sooo I hop on the belt begin breaking the jam and boom the belt starts up....'seems that somehow the recent construction has bypassed the safety and cutting on the primary belt cuts EVERYTHING on....

Well, that was a good thing to find out, now it's been corrected, It was likely corrected before noon yesterday (UPS is pretty good about this sort of thing)...this was of little consolation as I was carried along by this cardboard tsunami and scampered back into the sort position face down on the metal grate...and heard the sickening "tink" of my lens hitting the floor below an ricocheting into parts unknown.

I then made various pithy remarks mostly synonymous with "oh darn!".

Anyway, after switching with one of the loaders for about 5 minutes to go look for my vain...I went back to work and sorted with one eye closed until the last trailer was unloaded...Then I asked for and got permission to leave before cleanup was finished and hightailed it to school...where I found I couldn't write in Japanese worth a damn with double vision. After class I reminded the Japanese teacher that the Japan America clubs' sushi party was Saturday and she pointed out that I was bleeding from the elbow (I hadn't noticed)

Anyway I went to McArthur Mall and refrained from doing harm to the exfoliation fanatic mentioned below, got an eye exam and new glasses and generally stunk up the high class mall as I utterly looked like ass.
I then went out and bought a few items for the next days sushi party as the club officers for various reasons (some legitimate) had pretty much bailed and left me in charge of getting supplies....

I went to my parents house to check on the cats, who had declared shenanigans on their litterbox, the contents of which were over a wide area of the family room. I then got a much needed shower, went back to school...or tried to, as I was stuck in traffic forever. I spent the rest of the evening studying and working on a writing project.

The clincher of the day however was receiving via Email....knowledge I absolutely did not need and did not want....but is now burned into my retinas.

Today I arrived at the appointed place for the Sushi party with my pile of things, met the Japanese teacher, and after we compared notes we realized that not only had the officers not shown up....and left me holding the bag on buying supplies....the very large list of what the Japanese teacher was to bring had not been passed to her.

Note that this list included


There was much frantic extemporizing, and a drive to Tokyo Market, but thanks to 3 Japanese class students desperate for extra credit, the unbelievable culinary skill of the head of the ODU Japanese department, the fact that I did not botch my first attempt at curry......(and a mercifully small turnout) the night was a qualified success, some money was added to the club coffers and I succeeded in not making a complete ass of myself.

3 weeks to the end of the semester...

1 comment:

ザイツェヴ said...

Riveting account.