“Well, they can’t run the grinder if the silo isn’t full. And if the grinder ain’t runnin’, then the Co-Ex and the A.K. are down which means guys lose shifts. They ain’t too happy about that, if you know what I mean. There’s a trailer comin’ in tomorrow for the silo, it’s about *#!*&* time.”
Approximately 50% of my week is spent in a plastics plant. It’s blue collar world. In fact, the buildings themselves are blue which I think is appropriate. No windows except for this one lucky lady who works upstairs and does scheduling. I went into her office one day and exclaimed, “It’s sunny today?”
There were no decorations besides a ratty penguin poster hung during the late 90s in a break area. The penguins were looking down at a baby penguin. The caption said “Teamwork builds a stronger future!”
I saw the penguin poster in a trash can today. It’s possible that one of the guys was on decoration overload and ripped it down in a moment of interior design madness. There’s something starkly handsome about a bare wall, non?
I’ve spent half of my working hours in this plant for the last two months. I’m just beginning to understand how the place really works because no one explained anything to me. This is an actual overhead picture of the grounds with my explanation of what’s important to know:
It may seem as though I’m taking this lightly, and I am, in order to stay sane.
I do respect what they do and the systems that are in place to get their product out the door. It’s linear — if everyone does their job and the machines do their job, the trucks are on the road for delivery. It’s extremely logical. I’d guess 85% of the workers there are men, and boy is it man world. They can’t tell you where the nearest nail salon is, but they could tell you how many thousands of pounds of plastic pellets a silo can hold. Someone actually told me that today…as if I would remember? It’s the kind of place where I don’t mind being perceived as a bit girly.
In contrast to my taking their facilities lightly, most of them take their jobs extremely seriously. It’s militant. And the military rarely thinks that the military or its mission is funny.
Now it’s a Friday night and I’m free from the smell of melting plastic pellets until Monday. I’m thinking about getting a new penguin poster for the break room, but maybe a penguin in a Marine outfit? Then I’d be in…