Monday, June 21, 2004


Never Volunteer

Princess Wolfie and I were part of a conversation that included the phrase “never volunteer”. Here’s a lame story that illustrates the point for me. I worked for a certain industrial type company several years ago. There were about twelve of us in this orientation. Only one woman, who of course got the lab tech cushy air-conditioned indoors job. Don’t get me started. Remind me later. My best friend was also there. Well at a certain point, someone came in and said they had a two-man assignment they needed to fill and they wanted some volunteers. All we really knew so far was that we were going to be part of a maintenance type crew. This two-man assignment would be a different sort of job, more in the factory type area of the facility. I suppose I should add that this was a summer job at the sort of place that needs large areas of land as a key component of operations. You get the idea. Our maintenance type work would be mostly outdoors. Hundred degree weather. No shade except under the truck. But you at least would be doing different things. The two-man assignment would indoors in the factory area, but the same thing all summer.

Well my best friend and I looked at each other, thinking maybe we should volunteer. At least that way we would be guaranteed to be able to work together all summer. There was no way of knowing which different jobs we might get on the larger maintenance crew. We hesitated. I’ve often thought about why we hesitated. Ask me later. The point is, we took so long that two other guys volunteered first. Do I really have to tell you the rest? Our job was great. A lot of fun. Those two poor bastards who volunteered had the crappiest of crap jobs. Sure, they were out of the sun, but the indoor areas were just as hot but also humid. There were lots of conveyor belts that carried this sludge from place to place within the plant. These guys had the job of taking a wheel barrow and shovels and going under all the belts scooping up any of the slop that spilled over the sides of the belts. Then they would dump it back into the system. Absolutely miserable. So we got lucky. That’s why you gotta keep the faith. And never volunteer.

Doesn’t quite square with my advocacy of civic-mindedness. Hmmm. Remind me later.
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