How the heck do I say all this in Spanish? I thought to myself… before giving up and deciding to leave my fate to Google Translate.
Eh, I figured a language translation faux pas wouldn’t be an issue in a written letter. Especially if it also contained a $20 bill as a gift.
My horrible experiences in the Cancel section and order-pulling enlightened me to how fortunate I was before – with hardworking, friendly co-workers. I felt compelled to show them how much I appreciated them, in a way they wouldn’t forget.
Even though it seemed so corny, a surprise gift felt right
And even though I knew it was a little weird, I decided to make it a gift of cash. I figured a few folks might be turned off by it. But I bet the positive impact would more than make up for that. Plus, it meshed perfectly with practicing financial abundance, and being comfortable with money – giving and receiving.
So I wrote a letter, thanking each person for the good times we shared loading trucks. While writing it, I remembered half my co-workers spoke a different language. Which is why I eventually copied and pasted the letter (only a couple sentences) into Google Translate, and selected Spanish.
Then I printed roughly ten copies out, and taped a $20 bill to each one. A big expense for me, sure. But the excitement of giving this gift, was more than enough return on investment.
My plan was to leave the letters with Bob, and ask him to give them out. I wouldn’t be there, so I’d just have to imagine my former co-workers’ reactions.
But first, I had a new job to begin
On Saturday morning, I drove to a more isolated part of Aurora, Colorado. Mostly industrial buildings. Including the massive warehouse where trucks with 53’ trailers swarmed around.
It was about the size of a football field inside, and eerily quiet. Including me, there were only five workers, total.
A truck backed up to the main dock. The supervisor told me I’d be “throwing” that day. I quickly learned that meant I’d unload the truck from the inside. I also learned why it was called throwing.
First, an 18-wheeler backed its behemoth trailer into the bay. We’d unlatch the back to see the whole thing stuffed to the ceiling with a couple thousand cardboard boxes. Usually with shoes or clothing. My job – as the thrower – was to grab the boxes and drop them onto the conveyor belt. Always with their barcodes facing me, so someone standing at the other end of the belt could scan them.
Then, the belt paraded the boxes to the far end of the warehouse before veering to the right
Then the belt continued down the football field-long warehouse. The other four workers waited every 10 yards or so, looking for boxes with certain numbers. They grabbed and tossed them into piles…
… until the thrower unloaded the entire 53’ trailer.
… and my new job.
So I ambled up to the end of the trailer, and began grabbing box… after box… after box. Slamming them all onto the conveyor belt as fast as I could.
Just like with my last truck-loading gig, there weren’t any traditional breaks other than lunch. And I sure as heck wasn’t supposed to take a break before the trailer was empty.
Not even to catch my breath or grab some water
Instead, I moved constantly, throwing boxes onto the conveyor belt so they churned out with only a few feet between them at the most.
As I worked farther and farther into the trailer, I pressed a button on the conveyor belt to extend it. That way, all I had to do was reach up, grab a box, and toss it onto the belt.
The deeper I went, the darker it became, like slowly exploring a cave.
Soon, I reached the treasure – the trailer’s wall at the opposite end. Once I threw the final boxes, I held down a different button on the conveyor belt to retract it.
Then I stumbled back out, wiping away my sweat as I panted for air
Even then, my job wasn’t done. After a quick swig of water, I joined the other workers in organizing the boxes. Like spiders swarming freshly captured bugs, we skidded around and around 6-foot stacks of boxes with wrapping tape.
Early in the afternoon, we finished and scattered our separate ways.
“Huh, that wasn’t so bad,” I thought. “Sure, unloading the truck was exhausting, but I could do this. Heck, this is pretty darn easy!”
I had no idea for the hell I was in for, the next day…