Job Days

One of the most salient things in my life at the moment is my place of employment: Durham’s LC Industries. Part of the National Industries for the Blind, it is one of the oldest workshops in that system. We get contracts to provide goods such as clothing, bedding, and the like to the US military.

I specifically work in a section called master lock, where we participate in every part of the loch assembly process. These are the small kinds that are closed with a shackle and reopened with either a key or combination. I get the chain started, pulling the various pieces together which sometimes include a small metal chain as well as the already mentioned stuff, and placing them on a tray. The person to my immediate left them inserts the ball bearings with some sort of long, cylindrical tube. Finally, he applies some grease. I’m not certain what happens to the locks after that, though in theory I will someday know how to do every job in that section.

I write about this so that you know a little about the kind of routine I deal with. Admittedly not the most exciting thing in the world, but then when I point this out to others, they usually note a similar feeling about their own employment. It’s just one of those things one learns to do, I suppose.

I remember before my entrance into the working world, I often wondered how people managed to function with these demands. My answer seems lately to be to have my life run on a predictable program that usually doesn’t vary much.

4:15 am: feel that odd vibration on my backside. I put the cell in that pocket on a pair of shorts.

oh goodness, what’s that? I think to myself. I don’t know, but just before I roll over and drift back into a state of bliss, it occurs to me that the alarm is going off.


4:45 am: All necessary morning dressing has been completed. Still in a fog, I grab my iPhone, launch the TuneIn radio app, and check the latest edition of CNN radio news day. As I do, I madly shovel down a bowl of cereal, a pop tart, leftover pizza? Whatever I can still find in that fridge.

5:15 am: time to hit the door, as the bus departs in twenty minutes. Out the door, into the street’s shoulder due to this neighborhood’s notorious lack of sidewalks, and on my way. It’s about a half mile walk, just enough to get the blood flowing to my brain. I also just recently mastered crossing that somewhat busy street by myself, which is very fortunate.

5:40 am: listen to the passengers mostly snore at that hour. I also use twitter and the local newspapers to get me caught up on what’s going on in the area.

6:00 am :arrive at Durham Station, the city’s transportation center. It’s no Grand Central Station, but there are a few people and buses moving around. I make my way to the next bus, which takes me on to the plant.

6:30 am : after clocking in, I make my way quickly to the soda machine as my nervous system is flooded with hormones in anticipation of caffeine. I can barely get the change in the slot quickly enough. I then open iBooks on my entertainment device and settle in till that evil 7:00 bell rings. And from that point, the routine is as initially described.

All things considered, I’m surprised how well I have managed to hold up. This is the first time I have held a position that requires me to work all five business days, so that took some getting used to.

Anyone with difficulty hearing understands the phenomenon where people say things right in front of you that they might not otherwise, figuring that you aren’t picking them up. This can be a good or bad thing, but lately its been quite pleasant as I heard my coworkers offering unexpected praise of my efforts. That definitely does help my morale.

So that’s today’s piece. I may set a goal, though I’m not entirely committing to it, to write a post in here every day as I did in my LiveJurnal during a significant portion of my employment in Charlotte. It helps keep the creative juices flowing. We shall see how long I go on with it.

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