Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Shit show II return of the boxolator

I've said it before, that I don't like to cuss on here.  But you gotta call it how it is.  It's also been described as a 'monkey trying to fuck a football' by Robbie, the aforementioned Hawaiin redneck.  Our former factory manager described an offload scene as a 'fuck show' and we generally agree that it's a cluster fuck.  Hopefully the disclaimer about language satisfies any frustrations with my crudeness.  Sometimes you gotta call it how it is.

When it comes to offload, the only silver lining (apart from the the fact that we only get paid when the fish are safely in the warehouse) is that one shift of sixteen hours usually covers it.   What I mean is that if one starts the offload, they can count on it being finished-or nearly finished-by the time they come back.  This monkey eff started with the dreaded boxolator getting broken for two plus hours.  We put one of the freezer guys at the top to deal with the rock hard, frozen solid, and nearly fifty pound bags of fish that are catapaulted up the chute.  I suspect that he couldn't handle it and let a few bags come back down the other side and wedge themselves in pretty snug.  The boxolator broke.  Then, later in the day it happened again.  For an hour plus.  Shit show commence.

Strangely, we got ahead of schedule when my shift started this morning.  Understand, this is probably because the schedule was dictated by our paltry day one performance.  Nevertheless, we were ahead.  The fun happened when we were a mere hundred tons or so away from completing the task.  The all-stars on our shift decided it was half time or something.  Just stopped working.  Again, I've described their collective pace as inert.  And that about covers it.  So I got off the boxolator and started unloading the hold myself.  Then the factory tech and the foreman came to help because we were going so slow.  Embarrassing.  They had no pride in getting the job done.  It's actually laughable to mention the concept of pride in getting the job done.  It never entered their consciousness.

Another note about offloads.  There should be a disabled list.  We should carry a couple spares around just incase the inevitable happens.  The inevitable being casualties.  There were three today that I know of.  And the usual attrition of people quitting ensued.  It was like a friggin merry go round or game of musical crew around here.  One of the guys broke and lacerated his finger to the tune of 23 stitches.  Another gentleman who we'll call Ray-because that's his name-suffered a similar injury with less catastrophic results.  Damian apparently got appendicitis or something and everyone is just wore out.  Back in the baseball days, there were a couple roster spots for the guys who were hurt.  They'd go down for a bit and when they were ship shape, so to speak, they would come back.  Gotta have a few spares.  It's not a question of if someone will get hurt or quit.  Only when.

And my old pal the boxolator was in his usual form today.  Deadly.  They have been saying they are gonna put an emergency stop on that thing forever.  Fucking thing may as well be on the dark side of the moon.  There is literally no way a person could even see the button, let alone press it.  You'd be better off keeping a pry bar in a holster to hopefully jam the thing before it used your body for the same purposes.  What I'm saying is this:  There is no way to stop the machine other than to disable it with something hard enough to break it.  A limb may or may not meet this threshhold. 

This doesn't even begin to do justice to how screwy offload is.  The funny thing about it is that no one in charge seems to all that interested in making it run more smoothly.  Sure, they complain when it gets effed up.  And placing blame is not unheard of either.  But an authoritative presence is spotty at best.  Except Mario.  He was in the freezer for a good portion.  The ese from the SD.  And the factory manager would come and reign things in from time to time.  He even helped move some bags today.  I liked the spirit.  Otto, one of our foremen also jumped in.  Like the spirit.  I guess I'm just frustrated that people weren't carrying their weight.

Friggin disaster.  All around.  But we got it done.  And there is way more that I'm missing and my fifteen minute limit on the computer are inhibiting full disclosure.  Sorry bout that.  Truly, words don't do justice to the picture of chaos that is the Katie Ann.  Still, I'm loving it all the same.  Thanks Rich.  Seriously.  And that's a wrap.

No comments: