Friday, May 19, 2017 was a personal and professional milestone: 20 tons of cheese* were tallied; and my hands were the ones to pack it all.
(*For those unfamiliar with that measurement: 1 U.S. ton = 2,000 lbs., which means the 20 tons I packed are equivalent to 4,000 pounds.*)
“Oh, but is this -so- unusual?”
1) The normal amount that anyone packs at that plant is only a -few- tons. Workers normally rotate stations, such that no one is hand-packing cheese for more than 3 hours per shift. (Palletizing, brine-gatekeeping, and guiding the cheese into film are the other workstations in the packaging department.)
2) My fellow temps had other obligations for the week, such that our 10-person crew from Monday had winnowed down to me and fellow temp Daniel Murphy by Friday.
3) D.M. unloaded the cheese for automatic labeling; and I packed it, while various regular employees took turns palletizing during their spare time. (Because we worked the fresh line, we did not need anyone to oversee the brine-soaking room; hence, we achieved our cheese-packing with only 3 people instead of a 4-person crew.)
I say this not so much to brag — albeit, that -is- a minor motivation, to dispel notions about my “work ethic” — but to underscore that when you’re an under-employed college graduate, you’re more likely-than-not to overcome larger obstacles that others will -never- face. If the white-collar world doesn’t want you after you had -spent years- preparing for it, then the blue-collar world sure won’t make it any easier on you, as if by betting your future on a college education, you agree to pay a much greater price for failure to get hired into a professional job.
It boils-down to this melodramatic prose: You say you’re king of the college grads?
Ergo, ecce cassius-laborus! (“Therefore, behold the cheese packer!”)
“You’re parodying the Pontius Pilate statement about Jesus, ‘Ecco homo’ / ‘Behold, the man’ — why?”
Because a bookworm-turned-laborer / under-employed college grad will -tend to feel- crucified for a while; and then he acclimates to the work that his less-formally-educated counterparts have endured since their first summer out of high school.
Also, because that biblical reference is well-known among intellectuals and commoners alike, thereby making it an ideal bridge between the vulgar labor of a packaging department and the more abstruse machinations of upper management. #FuturePromotion to #CorporateRanks, #BasedUpon #CommonInterests!
As of yet, I’ve still not an offer for full-time work, despite having worked a 60-hour week of increasingly-long shifts.
[08-11-2017 Update, necessitating the strike-through of the immediately preceding passage:]
Promoting this feat seems to have helped me persuade management into offering me a full-time work schedule! #Hurrah, #It’sAboutTime
The next step will be to negotiate a transition from being “an agency guy” (temporary employee of the staffing agency) into becoming a “real employee” (on the payroll of the client company, -not- paid by the agency). This is, of course, part-and-parcel of the college-wage PENALTY (as opposed to the “college-wage premium” of modern myth).