Wednesday, March 19, 2008

But It's My First Day...

So, in 1996 I decided to give up on my brilliant acting career. I was running out of money from unemployment, so I needed to get a real job fast. So I made the mistake of going to a temp agency. This was the second time I looked for work through a temp agency. The first time I was sent to work at a horrible warehouse called Norvanco. The work was hard and the pay was low. The only good thing I got out of it was the ability to drive a forklift. I switched to a different temp agency hoping that a better opportunity would come along.

I was wrong.

Still, this little story isn't about the job itself more about what happened the first full day I worked at A Raleigh bicycle plant in Kent, WA. I was sent there late one afternoon where I did some rudimentary training work. They asked me to come in the next day at 6AM.


I didn't have a car, so I had to do the bike/bus combo to get to work. This meant I had to wake up at 4 in the morning. This was the beginning of my not sleeping in the same room as my girlfriend.

So, I would ride my bike to the bus stop 3 miles away. (If my shift started at 7, I would have been able to catch my bus outside my street.) I would then take the first bus to yet another bus stop at the top of Kent Valley. I had to wait ten minutes for the next bus that would take me to the street where the factory was at. It would let me off at 3 minutes before 6AM.

The problem was that Kent WA, is notorious for having a bunch of grey and beige warehouses that all look the same. Their street names were all numbered street with 3 digits. My memory where I worked the day before was a little faulty. So that first day I got off at the wrong street. The problem was that I didn't realize it until I walked about 200 yards east. I saw the street I needed to be north about two blocks. The problem was that I would have to walk back west two hundred yards go north two blocks and again walk two hundred yards east to the bike factory.

I was running late and was looking to see if there was an alternative. I could maybe cut through the woods and tall grass that separated me directly north in front of me. I figure it was worth the possible trespassing violation.

All was fine and dandy at first. It was just short cut grass at first. I headed towards the trees and approached the tall grass that had been beyond the trees. I brushed the first of the tall grass aside, took one step ...


I had plunged chest deep in cold October wetlands water. I quickly got out of the murky liquid and proceeded to go with the other choice.

I walked into the bike factory, punched in late and went straight to the work station I worked the day before. I was moved to another station by my supervisor, keeping a safe distance to hide the fact that I was soaked to the bone.

Periodically, I would go to the bathroom to squeeze out the excess water from my socks. I finally got dry by the time my girlfriend picked me up.

That was the first day of what would turn out to be the worst job I have had so far. The beginning of an 8 month nightmare.

The lesson learned?

Always bring a dry pair of socks, and put it in your hat.

No comments: