Wow, I did not mean to be gone from WordPress for so long. And the reason I’m gone is the reason I’m back again. No, you haven’t fallen down the rabbit hole, this is reality. It’s much more bizarre. Follow me and I’ll show you the way..
Despite my initial instincts, I took a job in a town 35 to 40 minutes away about six or seven months ago. Why the drive? I was unemployed at the time and the pay was phenomenal compared to what you can get in Ye Olde Timey Towne. At the time, gas prices were staying steady at $3.20 to $3.30 a gallon. I did the math and I would be making enough money to pay all my bills despite the drive. Until things got funky. It always happens, right? It’s only a matter of time before things start to suck.
The job I took was a factory job because I don’t have a degree with two years experience in anything. I dislike factory jobs because the company will bleed it’s employees dry of their very soul by dangling a carrot made out of cash in front of them. Work harder! Work faster! Work more often! After awhile, it begins to grate on you. Most people I have met in factories either do drugs or alcohol to maintain their sanity, or just have that kind of personality where they get fulfillment out of working grueling hours in a God-forsaken environment. I am neither of these things.
The environment wouldn’t be so poorly if the employees actually treated each other with something that schools nor parents seem to be teaching these days: respect. People will create problems in order to look smarter or make you look more dumb. They will nit pick everything you do and exaggerate and manipulate the circumstances in order to have the chance to badmouth someone. And badmouth they do. Gossip seems to be the currency around this prison. I don’t gossip (I work hard not to, anyway) and I do my best to build up my teammates, not tear them down. Because of this, I am usually singled out by the majority who do these things.
At this particular factory, I was fortunate enough to be put on an assembly line with some wonderful people. A few of them had attitudes, but about 90% of them were there to work, treat each other with respect, and get the job done. It was awesome. The not so awesome part was the fact that the parts weighed 15 pounds unassembled and 20 to 25 pounds when fully assembled. It killed my wrists. I was paying a chiropractor about $150 a week just to help my wrists out (more on this at a later time). I asked to be moved to another line with lighter parts. There was a meeting and a promise to discuss it later. It didn’t happen so I had my doctor write a note. They got upset and moved me to another assembly line, on third shift. Let me just point out that the assembly line I was on had a 3-2-2 schedule. Work 3 days, get two days off. Work two days, get three days off… etc, etc. This meant that I was only driving to and from work about three times a week. Four times if I was doing overtime, which was rarely needed as the shifts were 12 hours each. Someone was always there.
Then the gas prices went up. They are currently $4.25 a gallon. I began losing money working a job that was third shift (no canny do for me), five days a week versus three, and was with a group of people that had truly awful attitudes towards one another. I had it all worked out, though. I was going to get my 90 days in at the new assembly line (to get my 90 day raise) and then move to machining where I would get a base pay raise along with another 90 day raise for moving to something else. It was a no brainer.. until a dark and stormy night.
It wasn’t really stormy outside, but the thunder was clapping inside let me tell ya. I was accustomed to be yelled at and cussed out by my fellow coworkers by now. Even my Lead was getting in on the act. “It’s fine,” I would tell myself, “I won’t be here but another four weeks.” And then the shit hit the proverbial fan. I was extremely sleep deprived from the swing of first to third shift. I would go 24 to 32 hours without sleep at least once or twice a week. I was stressed out about not being able to pay bills. I was missing seeing my husband. I was beginning to hate life.
It was just a normal shift. One of my coworkers started yelling at me and telling me I couldn’t do my job right. “Why,” you may be wondering, ” did you not just stand up to them?” Here’s why: It’s a good old boys club and my lead believed everything a select few said with total disregard as to the rest. He would do the same things they were doing. I tried taking it up the chain, but guess what? They were doing it too. Extremely unpleasant, hostile, and aggressive work environment from the top down. Well shame on me for letting it get under my skin because the next thing I know, I’m saying every cuss word in the book, screaming at the top of my lungs, and using both hands to fly the bird to my aggressive coworker. Mind you, they behave like this all the time. But not me, no no. I am not allowed to. I actually got into trouble for it. Say what? I can totally understand getting into trouble for behaving this way under other circumstances. It was not appropriate behavior. But it was the extreme I had to go to in order to stand up for myself.. Hell, I’m not defending myself. I just still can’t believe I gave them the bird, with both hands!
At any rate, I had enough. I called my husband on my lunch break, sobbing. He told me to come home and find a job in town. This job was not worth the drive, the sleep deprivation, and the horrible attitude others were displaying. I argued with him because I knew we needed the money. I couldn’t just walk out.. I’ve never done that before. It was the hardest thing I have done in my life. But I did it. I cried all the way home and told my husband on numerous occasions that I would just drive into a tree.. He could collect the life insurance because it would look like an accident. I had to fight myself not to turn that steering wheel each time I passed a tree.
Now, I’m relieved. It’s only been 5 days and I’m totally happy to be away from that horrible place. We have no money, we’re trying not to tell certain relatives so they don’t freak out, and we’re not sure what the future holds. But now I have a future. If I had stayed at that place, I would have literally killed myself.