Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I Scrambled Like Eggs

If anyone sees me today and I am hunched over like Quasimodo, there is a reason for that, and it has nothing to do with my recent interest in the science behind keg stands (I am mostly trying to answer the "why would you do that?" question).  In fact, yesterday had every chance of being a normal day.

Does it make me a bad person that I don't think I could love Quasimodo based on how he looks? Who dresses like that?

I was sitting at my desk when the call came in.

"Lauren,"  the voice said,"We need you on the bottling line today."

My heart sank in my chest. Manual labor? Today?

I showed up at the bottling line.  The cacophony of bottles hitting the conveyor belt and the thud of the packaged beer boxes hitting the pallats sent my blood pressure skyrocketing.  It was not until later that I realized the blessing of the noise.

The head of the bottling line, Big John, approached me.  As he explained what I would be doing, I could not help but be distracted by his giant beard.

People tell me that I have a small obsession with beards because it is the first thing that I notice about people.  This is for two reasons: first, if you are a woman, whoa, you have a beard.  Second, beards are face hair, and I cannot help but wonder what purpose it serves.  Eyebrows obviously keep foreign materials out of the eyes.  Consequently, nose hair must keep foreign materials out of the mouth.  But beards?

Most people lack the vocabulary necessary to talk about beards. I hope this helps.

John told me that I would be pressing a button with my foot.  This button would signal to the conglomeration of 24 bottles that it was time for them to drop into the box.  I would then fold down the box flaps so that they could be glued properly by the machine that came after my part.  And I would do this for two hours and like it.

The first couple of boxes went well. I was keeping up pace with the bottling line.  I thought I might be an assembly line prodigy. But then, CATASTROPHE STRUCK.  Except in real life, it wasn't really a catastrophe.  I just let a box get through the system without folding the box flaps down properly.  So the machine glued bottles together instead.

The bottles on the conveyor belt jittered anxiously, stacking up pile upon pile, as I tried to correct my error.  Fortunately, there are people who work the bottling line every day that know how to fix things when n00bs work the line.  Lee quickly corrected my error and the world returned to normal for five minutes.

The next mistake that I made involved trying to wrestle a box off of the conveyor belt before it glued improperly again.  The way the box conveyor belt works, it is possible to have a box try to enter the gluing machine at an angle. WHICH IT CANNOT DO.  So instead, it just keeps bouncing against the sides of the machine.  Let me tell you, the conveyor belt is a strong beast.  It took all of my powers to pull that box back and correct its trajectory. Meanwhile, I had accidentally stepped on the button telling the other side of the machine to fill another box with bottles.  So that box was hurling at me from the back, while I wrestled this other box at the front. I cannot begin to even imagine how much of an idiot I looked like.

The next picture on the camera is of me drinking all of this Oak Barrel Stout
Then there was also the box that the six pack packaging was slightly off kilter.  So when I pressed the foot button, the bottles bounced all over the place. And I scrambled like eggs (I really want this phrase to catch on).

It was not all bad, however.  In fact, the noise was good, because it meant that I could sing as loud as I wanted and no one could hear me.  In two hours, it is possible to make it through most of Handel's Messiah.

1 comment:

  1. I totally stole that beard pic so I can add my own "OneTooMany" fuzz on there. Oh, and keep up the "good" work!