Thursday, July 12, 2012


Total abortion in the hold.  I was all glad to be back in action and out of the factory.  Nevermind the three hours sleep or the disorganized mayhem that became of the maiden fish processing for B season.  Never mind all that.  I was gonna go home and get going again.  And I was pretty happy about it.

So myself and two other guys went down there to stack product.  A bag came down.  And got stuck in the chute.  I climbed up there to get it loose and noticed it wasn't very slick.  So I went up top to tell the guys to hold off on putting bags in for a second.  One of the guys looked dead in my eye and dropped it down the chute.  I told him.  He said to tell the other guys.  I said I was trying to tell him so he wouldn't do what he did.  No biggie.  I climbed up the conveyor and un clogged it.  They poured some water down the chute to make it slick. 

The bags started coming down and out of the chute.  Here we go.  We're off, right?  Wrong.  Literally a third of the bags got hung up on the belt before it even dropped to five feet.  I had to jump, climb, poke with a pry bar and prod to get it together.  And it did not stop. It's something that can be fixed, but looks like it should never have been.  It was like a suicide mission for the bag, with practically no chance of making it across a few belts and around a corner or two.  There was a gap between two of the belts that was big enough for bags to fall through.  No lie.  One of them fell through and hit me in the face.  Nice.

Before getting into the real peach of a circumstance, I gotta mention that my two freezer pals were not having much fun.  And they kinda folded on me.  Not a toatal fold, but I can see the look of defeat on their faces before they know it's there.  It was there.  Nice guys and good workers.  But whatever anger I was feeling, they probably registered as discouragement.  I was mad that it was so aweful because of so many things that should have been addressed.  They probably felt like there was noway they were gonna get through a whole season of this.

And once I noticed the kicker, I felt the same way.  They were sending the bags down with no straps.  This might not mean anything to you, but picture if you will, taking luggage without a handle.  Because that's what it is.  It is quite literally more than twice as hard to stack bags with no strap than with.  I know this because it is harder to grab one bag with no strap than two with a strap.  If the strap on your backpack breaks, you obviously carry it around like a kitten.  But you don't choose the one with nos traps if you have a choice.  We have a strapper.  The first bag that came down had a strap on it.  I offered to work alone down there to help pick up the slack and this is the deal?  Come on.  Can't do it.  It's hard enough when you have straps unloading freezers of fish.  To make it twice as hard seems silly. 

It would be like asking someone to gut a fish with a butter knife.  Ya, it can be done, but it's not the best way.  It's not gonna make the company money to give people poor equipment.  I'm not even suggesting we stop production if the strapper goes down.  That's not what happened though.  I know this because I went up and asked.  They said they canned it.  Why?  I can't think of a reason.  And if anyone thinks offload is gonna be anything short of a disaster with people trying to pry these bags out from between other bags rather than grabbing a strap, you've got another thing coming. 

I was upset.  Like show me the red button and I'll push it upset.  I haven't talked to anyone about it in earnest because I'll probably say something dumb.  But I am not happy about what happened to my home.  At all.

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