Thursday, May 5, 2011

Graveyard Shift

Some say it's hard to adjust, the long hours in a heartless metal box. Breakfast at 5pm, dinner at 6am, and a lunch squeezed into 10 minutes of shoveling food and 20 minutes of chain smoking. The sane ones don't last very long, packed into a cooler with 100 pissed off lunatics while the other sane people are sleeping. The few that last longer than 3 or 4 months get names, anyone else you don't bother. The turnover rate at this warehouse (which I will not name nor go into what we produce, etc etc due to legal ramifications) is higher than 10 to 1. It involves heavy lifting for 10 to 12 hours a night, mandatory extra days are common, and the management will not even acknowledge you until you make a mistake.

You could say it's a hostile work environment, but only if you're an asshole. If you piss off the wrong guy, they'll find fault in everything you do and make you do it again. They'll stop you from being able to get your work done, and kill your entire night. I was fortunate enough to learn this early: Stay off everyone's radar, and maybe you'll keep your job. However, through all the trials, tribulations, stress and frustration, I've learned a few things, and here they are.

Treat every single human being with respect.
Sure, the schmuck at the coffee shop made your order wrong. Don't give him a hard time about it, just tell him you want a new one. Don't give him the typical "You do this all day, why would you specifically mess up my order?" crap. The fact that you don't freak out about your order will probably make that college drop-out's day. I bet you next time he'll even hold the spit.

This goes both ways. I have horrible road rage which actually became worse with this job, but outside of a car or the warehouse I am calm as a Hindu cow. With the amount of bullshit and stupidity I deal with on a nightly basis, nothing can phase me. Not the old lady that buys 30 different types of scratch tickets, not the one guy in front of 10 cars that doesn't realize he can go right on red. Not even the massive Chevy Suburban ordering the entire menu at the drive-thru. Nothing.

Your boss does not care about you
I know, I know, you guys sat down and had this really great talk one time, you told him about your life goals, and you feel like you really connected with him. Do not even half convince yourself for a second that he wouldn't fire you. You do not have "ins", you are not privileged, you are a pawn on his chess board and nothing more. To assume you won't be fired tomorrow is to live in denial. Just try not to get noticed for as long as possible, the more they notice you, the more you go under review.


  1. I am totally with you. Good Post!

  2. Everyone is being so mean to eachother, especially the young. How good wouldn't it be if everyone start being nice for a change? I agree with you fully

  3. Sounds like rough work, at least it gives you experience with this kind of environment.