Four Days on a Production Line

Last week, I had a phone call from a job agency I signed up with to see if I could squeeze in some work before heading off to university. The lovely woman on the other end said they had a vacancy for four days at a printing factory, for the Friday and following Monday-Wednesday. I was thinking great, that’s four full days’ work to occupy me before results day (which, incidentally, is today – after much confusion and many a phone call I have been accepted into my university!).

It was one of those times when something completely weird and out of the blue comes your way and you say yes. I was told the four days would be me putting together promotional packages for a football team and its merchandise. While this was true, my part was basically constructing those weird cardboard envelopes and shoving the boxes of merchandise inside.

I lost track of the amount of papercuts. After my first day, I was pretty sure I’d rubbed away my fingerprints from the amount of folding.

By Tuesday I’d figured out something that had been bugging me the whole time I’d been there – for some reason, loads of the people who worked there looked really familiar. Eventually it occurred to me: there was a woman who looked like my Year 6 teacher, a girl who looked like someone I went to secondary school with, a man who looked like Fiona’s father from Shrek but a few years younger, a guy who looked like a chubby Tom Daley, another woman who looked like a TA from my primary school, and a woman who looked like someone I went to primary school with if she aged really weirdly… and there actually was a guy who I went to secondary and primary school with, but I knew that already.

I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t actually quite funny; it was like working in a room of faulty doppelgangers that didn’t quite match up to the real thing. It was even weirder because I was working about 15 miles away from home, so the likelihood of seeing anyone familiar was pretty slim.

Overall, the experience was in some ways quite affirming – I’d said to my parents (to their disbelief) when I last worked in retail that I honestly didn’t think anything would bore me more than those shifts had done. I said something along the lines of “stacking shelves would be better”, and I have to admit, being on a production line with the same job each day was still better than working in retail, from my experience.

Saying this, I won’t exactly miss 8 hours of folding and papercuts a day, but at the least it was entertaining! And by the end of it I was able to construct, fill and close the boxes in under 12 seconds. #Boss. See you Sunday…

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