Posted by: tlnemethy | October 5, 2017

Lower Sash

The first week I spent on the line, I focused on two main jobs. Each was a separate process, spaced on opposite ends of the line. The first of which was lower sash.

Lower sash was the bane of my existence. It is commonly referred to as the most difficult process on door line. Deemed a “wet process” because lubrication is needed to slip the rubber seals into their metal bracket home, it’s sloppy and faster paced than any other I’d been on. Because the moisture causes a serious rash and chafing, two sets of gloves are worn and the usual safety gear of Kevlar arm sleeves are left off. The inner most glove is latex and traps in more sweat than anything else, the outermost is a thin “cut proof” fabric that, unless extremely tight fitted, will bunch up around the fingertips and really piss you off.

The conveyor pairs the left and right front doors, leaves a small space then starts again with the same pattern. You grab the specific metal sash in one hand, two bolts and the air gun in the other. Slip the brace into the door, slide it into a metal bracket and line up the holes to shoot the bolt. Peel down the seal from the top of the frame, run it through the metal brace by pinching your thumb and middle finger together down the length of it and take one final smooth to make sure it’s all securely flush. This is the worst part, the part that for weeks made it hurt to brush my teeth or push the seatbelt release button. Really anything that offered any slight amount of pressure to my fingertips.

For some reason, the left door had two seals that needed to be set and the right door only had one. So there was a tiny break in the rush.

I struggled the most with the motion sickness of the conveyor moving one way and me spinning back and forth to grab brackets and dip my fingers in the warm crockpot of soapy water. I can’t even estimate the number of times I grabbed a right-side bracket for the left side door or just stared at them trying to decide. My mind has never blanked so frequently.

Depending on who I trained with, I would use the soapy water or just dryly manhandle the seal into the bracket. I do believe it was definitely easier wet (lol), but dipping my hands every few cars added an extra step into my already finite time. Plus, sometimes the crockpot would be plugged in and on the extra hot setting (to boil away the scum that formed inside. Think snot.) so it would be a shock in dipping your hands.

I’m thankful to say that the motion sickness eventually went away, though the under-glove sweat fest remains without fail.





Posted by: tlnemethy | September 24, 2017

Most unenthusiastically

For the past week, I’ve been noticing an ungodly amount of rats running around the grounds of my apartment. And by ungodly I mean a ton. Granted, I don’t want to see any rats so even one would’ve been one too many. Every time I walked Grimm I would see one in the same spot, between two AC units, basically frolicking. Then, on the weekend I constantly saw one running past my opened screen door which worried me a little considering how much time I spend with it that way so Grimm can go on the porch.

The last straw was finding a rat stuck in one of those sticky traps, put out by one of my neighbors. It was squeaking and thrashing, just pitiful. Not a humane way to go at all. I called my complex to report it, and the epidemic plaguing us all. I got a voicemail pretty quickly and knew they were gonna do something. They already had feelers out for mice and skunk related issues, but had apparently not heard of the rats.

The first day they put out six live traps surrounding my porch and three at my next door neighbors. I began to think that everyone would assume I was some sort of dirty hoarder bringing the rats in, based purely on the outside response. Also, with my usual luck, now that I’d reported a rat problem the rats would most likely disappear and no one would believe they’d ever been there.

The next morning we’d caught one so I was off the hook.IMG_20170922_081410531

I happened to be outside when they were checking traps and I pointed them to the real ground zero of rats a hundred feet away. That specific corner was also a mecca for skunks around the 4am mark. I figured it wouldn’t be too long before a skunk got in one of the traps and made a big mess for all involved. And I was right.

“Oh boy, we got a skunk,” he said. The phrasing itself suggests happiness, excitement even. It didn’t sound that way though. In fact, it was said most unenthusiastically. Of course, I paused my TV after hearing it and I quickly leashed up Grimm to make my snooping less obvious. We sauntered out and at the far end of the complex I saw two office workers loitering on the outskirts, partially obscured by a tree. They were backed a comfortable distance from a young guy with one of those old lady grabber sticks for reaching stuff in high cabinets. I imagine they didn’t want to get sprayed. Understandable.



Posted by: tlnemethy | September 10, 2017

What’s with the white uniforms?

I don’t get it, honestly. We make cars. People who make cars are covered in grease and paint and soap and grit. I don’t even work where people get really dirty, but I still come home every day with dirty knees and sleeves coated in gray like I’d spent all day drawing with graphite and then erased it all with my arm. My shirt cuffs have perfect little circles all over them from the end of the bolt spinning on the cloth when I’m bolting a metal bracket in place.

There are metal shavings inside my breast pocket. Luckily I don’t reach in there, but every once in a while one will work its way through my shirt and poke me, irritating me to no end. Its like the world’s worst underwire split into tiny little bits. Boob skewers.

I wear a pocket protector. That’s a fashion faux pas right there. But why? Why do I care about ink staining my uniform when I’m literally covered in grease?! Two of my “brand new” uniforms were already ink-stained when I tried them on. Ink on the leg. How does that even happen? I still haven’t solved that one.

I wear a green hat, orange earplugs, white uniform, and gray steel toes. My shin guards are child sized and dig into my calves. I wear Kevlar sleeves so I don’t somehow slice my arms on anything and my big bulky padded gloves protect everything but the precise millimeter under my knuckle that I hit every 11 seconds.

We are still a sea of white uniforms though, well maybe a sea of greasy white uniforms.




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