“I’m only going to show you this once,” said Ted.
Salvador and I stood at attention amid the warehouse’s chaos. Around us, workers unloaded trucks… dragged rows of clothes along rails… and giant bags zipped overhead. I barely took any of the action in, as I focused on the task ahead.
Ted grabbed a couple floor mats from a giant cart, folded them in a certain way, slid them around a tabletop just so, setting off a scanner. Like checking out a supermarket item. Then he tossed them into their respectful places on a rack.
“Alright, who wants to go next?” he challenged
For the next five minutes each, we were to fold mats just like he did.
Salvador instantly raised his hand and strode forward.
“No problem,” I thought. “I’ll probably get more points for accuracy, than for going first.”
I had a chance to watch his mistakes. He only made a couple.
Then I did some folding, scanning, and plopping into the cart. All good.
“What you just did, is the most physically challenging part of the job,” Ted said.
Huh. It didn’t seem too rough.
I wondered if looks were deceiving… especially considering how long the job’s shifts were…
Ted lead us both back to a meeting room, sat us down, and said he’d like to make both of us a job offer. We accepted.
In the parking lot, Salvador and I shook hands, congratulating each other, and parted ways. I was excited to work with the guy. But the day wasn’t over. I drove to a local clinic for a physical and drug test. Then, after drinking a celebratory coffee, and while driving home… I got a call from the recruiter who first asked me to cut my hair!
She congratulated me, and let me know her hopes that I’d eventually be promoted to a driver for the company, and make the big bucks. Later on, I checked my voicemail and discovered a call from a lawn-mowing company I applied to. Heh, I’d have to call them back and deliver the bad news.
The ground beneath my feet felt plenty more secure, and the gnawing fear in my gut had evaporated…
… because I was completely ignorant of what I’d just signed up for
But I’d discover in time…
A few days later, I went to a bar with a few co-workers, the owner and his girlfriend included, for a final hurrah before we went our separate ways.
Who knows if I’ll ever run into him again, but the last time I ever saw the owner was at 3AM, at Shotgun Willies, watching him make it rain for the strippers there.
I had a few more days to relax, before the physical assault on my body and mind began…