Saturday, May 06, 2006

My Strangest Job?

Years and years and years ago, when I was still in college, I had the weirdest summer job working on an assembly line in a meat processing plant. Picture the "I Love Lucy" episode where Lucy and Ethel worked in a candy factory and the conveyer belt kept speeding up with hilarious results. Well, my job description at the plant was to pick up 3 or 4 knockwurst at a time from the conveyer belt with one hand, hold a plastic bag open with the other hand, stuff the knockwurst into the bag and place the filled bag back onto the conveyer belt. From there, it traveled to the end of the line where it was vacuum-sealed and placed in a box. Believe me, if they didn't pay an outstanding hourly wage, I would have never tried this job!

My first (and only) day there, it was 96 degrees outside and I walked into a 40-degree packing room at the plant. I had many layers of clothing on and I was still freezing! Of course my hands and fingers weren't nimble due to the cold. Then the products started to roll down the line. I sure was having trouble grabbing 4 knockwurst with one hand and OOPS, one got away! It traveled down the belt past 4 other employees and just before it fell onto the floor, my supervisor grabbed it, waved it in the air and asked in a very authoritative tone, "Who lost this?" I thought I was going to die from holding in my laughter. I sheepishly owned up to my incompetence at my new task and thankfully, coffee break arrived a few minutes later. Everyone bolted out of the plant (we had a 12 minute break) to a waiting canteen truck to grab a coffee. A very nice lady came over to me and asked if I was new there. "Yes, I'm new", I said. Then she asked, "What department do you work in?” Honestly, I had no clue! A fellow worker who overheard our exchange came to my aid and said "She's in Knockwurst" (ah, at last I learned my department’s name! *LOL*) The woman put out her hand to greet me with a handshake and said, "Hi, I'm Cathy and I work in 'Ham and Bacon'. It's a much better department because we get out of work 1/2 hour earlier than 'Knockwurst'. I thought I was going to PMP!

P.S. I found a more suitable job the next day and it took me a long time before I could eat a hot dog again.


At Saturday, May 06, 2006 11:07:00 AM, Blogger PJ said...

What a great story, I don't think I would have lasted long doing that job, I am way too

At Saturday, May 06, 2006 12:09:00 PM, Blogger Barb said...

oh my gosh that is so funny, Cin. The things we try for a pay check. I tried to be a telemarketer, many years ago, for three days. It was three days too long. I would have died laughing out loud when asked who lost this. What a fun life experience you had!

Happy Saturday Cin.

At Saturday, May 06, 2006 12:17:00 PM, Blogger PJ said...

oh, Barb you did better than me at telemarketing. I went home for lunch the first day and never went

At Saturday, May 06, 2006 11:18:00 PM, Blogger Melli said...

WOW! You lasted the whole day? I woulda been SO outta there! I woulda run and told 'em to keep my show-up pay! LOL! But I do have some stories to tell about when I was a sheetmetal worker! ooooo boy.... another day! This is hysterical Cin! Great story!!!

At Sunday, May 07, 2006 8:33:00 AM, Blogger Chi said...

What a funny story...I don't think I could have stayed there either. *s*

At Tuesday, May 09, 2006 9:24:00 AM, Blogger Wystful1 said...

I don't 'evah' recall a strange job for me, myself, but this is just so funny.

Especially the picture I have of you 'chasing' after your meat. roflmao (I'd kept running....right out the door)

At Wednesday, May 10, 2006 1:02:00 AM, Blogger Mike Barer said...

Hey, Lee pulled through again.

At Thursday, May 11, 2006 4:33:00 PM, Blogger PowersTwinB said...

I don't think I could eat knockwurst ever again! lol..very good blog entry Cin! Thanks for visiting my TT today!! And, YES, I do know how lucky I have been to see the great things I've seen in 55 years!....most of them, my twin sister took me to!

At Tuesday, October 16, 2007 11:27:00 AM, Blogger Mary said...

Remarkable story! I've done some fairly strange jobs myself, but have never worked in a meat packing plant. However, a friend of mine did and he gave me a tour several times. Amazing that I still eat any kind of pork.

Thanks for sharing.



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