May 4, 2010

Matt at Work: Throwing Cookies

Day 185

I landed one of my favorite jobs just months before I left on my LDS mission to New York City. My mom's friend Betty Knapp said that MotorCargo needed "lumpers" to assist Pepperidge Farms load trucks of their products so I went and applied and was hired right on the spot.

My job was to work with a forklift driver from Pepperidge Farms and load trucks by hand. I was not paid by the hour, I was paid by the box and actually worked for two different companies. MotorCargo was my main employer but on Tuesday nights I worked for a trucking company called Action.

This was a great job and I had a lot of fun and I liked most of the people I worked with. It was a physically demanding job since I was "throwing" boxes. I would load pallets full and then stack them into a truck trailer. I would do one or two (sometimes more) trailers a night. What I liked about the job was that when I was finished with my trailer assignments, I was done for the night. So if I worked with a good worker, I could be down in just six hours or so. But if I worked with a slacker I could be there all night. Usually I worked with some hard workers and I was able to leave my shift early. The job was not as easy as it sounds though. We had to be dead on with our counts and how we loaded our trucks but I enjoyed the physical aspect of it. Before my mission I worked the afternoon shift from 2:00pm to whenever I was finished. It paid pretty well and at least I was in pretty decent shape when I left for my mission.

After my two year mission I returned home and the next day I got a call from my old boss at MotorCargo. He wanted to know if I could come in tomorrow and work. I was very happy that I had a job already but I was not ready to work right away. I told him that I would be happy to come in the next week which I did. I worked the morning shift (5:00am to whenever) and I loved it. I didn't care for going in so early but I loved working the morning shift. They had better and easier loads and the people were awesome. Each lady that I worked with in the morning was hard working. I especially liked working with a lady nicknamed by all the others as "Princess" because she got all the easy loads. I was usually done by noon most of the days and I worked everyday but Friday. It was nice to have the extra day off and still was paid like I was working five days a week.

I remember working with a lady that I really liked but was a little off. One morning I found that she was really off. She was a little buzzed which made for a fun and dangerous time at work since she was the forklift driver. I remember one time I was in the truck trailer unloading a pallet and she came in with another pallet of product. She asked how far she had to set it down and when I looked back she gunned the forklift and pushed the pallet I was working on right into me. I jumped up on the pallet (in order to save my feet from being crushed) and she kept going and squished me right into the row of boxes I had just unloaded. It was stuck and I could barely speak. They sent her home early after that. But still, I had a lot of fun working with the morning crew.

But I wanted to go to school so I offered to work the afternoon shift so I could take some morning classes at Utah State. This worked out pretty well for me. I worked everynight except for Friday nights. There were larger orders/trailers too so I made a lot more money. One of the best workers that Pepperidge had was a man named Rob. His goal was to get me out of work as quickly as possible so I could make the most money in the least amount of time. I loved to work with him since he was such a hard worker but he was a real slave driver! I would be sweating and out of breath by the time I was done working with him. We figured out one night that I was making about $46 dollars per hour one night. I threw so many boxes and did three trailers in about 2 and a half hours.

On another occasion working with Rob I got a huge ugly metal sliver in the palm of my hand and it hurt like the devil. Rob saw me whince in pain when I got it and he quickly hopped off this forklift and took a look at my hand. He saw it and said that we needed to get it out right away before it gets infected and before it got any deeper. He looked at me and asked "Do you trust me?" and I said "Yes" not knowing what he was going to do next. He grabbed my hand and stretched my palm back uncomfortably so the sliver would be sticking out the most and then he bit it out! Yes, he used his teeth to take out my sliver! And it worked, he pulled it out and spit it into my palm. Then he told me to hurry up and get my gloves back on because we were behind schedule!
I decided to quit this job when I tried out and joined the cast of "Chess" at the local theatre company. I wanted to do Chess more and I had enough money to keep me afloat for awhile. I eventually got a job where my dad worked since it worked with my rehearsal schedule for Chess.

I loved this job and am grateful that my mom's friend got me such a great job. One of the perks was that I got a huge discount at the Pepperidge Farms giftshop. I used to buy a ton of cookies and go around to my friend's home and girls I liked and supply them with plates of cookies. The girl at the giftshop liked me too and she used to hold stuff just for me. Funny thing is that I still got birthday cards for two years after I quit my job at MotorCargo. Our rep really liked me and wanted me to take charge of the whole operation.

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