True Story Bro
Ah, manual labor. This detail from a Charles Sprague Pearce painting makes it seem almost idyllic. Honest sweat, working as a sweaty team with your sweaty comrades in … um … hoes? Yes, I think that’s it. Anyway, I just knew I wouldn’t be able to keep quiet about this. But it’s not an angry rant so I guess it’s okay.
I realized that on Friday this week, end of business hours I’m going to have a lot of company from now on so if I had something to say, I’d better spit it out. I’m going to have a lot of highly stressed, woe; I’m a fail provider company … what is that all about anyway? Is it genetic, can’t you guys help it? I’m sitting here writing away instead of drumming up some paying work so how is it that it’s not my fault? I’m just as fail a provider, really, so stop that.
My husband has been exhibiting signs of extreme stress and anxiety for the past few months, it’s one of the reasons I thought he should quit. His job was going to kill him. The problem now is it’s almost as if he has PTSD, he has a lot of the symptoms. He absolutely does not want to do what he’s always done ever again. So he’s bought into the whole honest work, manual labor cool aide thingy. He wants to just not have to think, no impossible deadlines, enjoy nature, etc. He’s got a whole “tote that barge, lift that bale” scenario going.
I’m down with the whole no stress, no deadlines thing but I’m starting to think this manual labor gig might not be all it’s cracked up to be. But you have to do what you have to do. If he has to work through this thing, I’m there. So I was tasked with furiously searching for jobs that required some serious outdoorsy labor. I found some that said “must be able to lift 50 lb. overhead.” Okay that sounds reasonable, but I found another that required lifting 125 lbs. overhead and he tells me to print it. This from someone who injured his knee months ago, I’m pretty sure something is torn in there but he couldn’t take off work to go to the doctor. He really looks like Chester limping out of the alley there.
And he wants to limp in there and interview for a job that requires him to lift 125 lbs. over his head and wave it around and do who knows what with it. I don’t think he’s in his right mind right now, but I’m playing along because I certainly can sympathize with the whole “not in your right mind” thing because I’m sort of squirrelly pretty much most of the time and he puts up with me.
So this 125 lb. job can be applied to online through a government job site. Oh, great, I’ll just apply for him. I start the process, I’m not 100% on board with this idea but I want to be helpful you know. I think I’m making good progress and then, bam, I hit a road block. Take an assessment? What the hell is that? What kind of assessment, psychological? Are manual laborers prone to psychosis or something? This doesn’t seem to bode well for the manual labor career track. Well, I just want to get this thing done so I can tell him about the great progress I’ve made for him on his manual labor job hunt when he gets home, so onward. I’m taking his assessment.
Yeah, you human resource types, I’m taking his exam for him. Come on, seriously, you didn’t think that would happen? So anyway, I get all these questions like:
A truck going to New Jersey in November at 8:37 AM needs pallets of hula girl dolls loaded that have a docket number 8745, but not a pallet number of 123 through 576, except between 10 AM and 12 AM when pallet numbers 345 through 476 are excluded. However if the pallet has a docket number of …
Whoops, I’m beginning to think I’ve screwed the pooch, stepped in the dog business here. I’m afraid I may be hurting more than helping him. But, no matter, I continued on, maybe I hadn’t done as badly as I thought. Next up a series of pictures like this. At this point I admit I got a little paranoid. These pipes bear a striking resemblance to this. Is Navi having a prank on me or what.
If valve F and valve X and valve B are closed, which pipes will the water flow through. I’m beginning to think manual labor is not without stress. Are you kidding me, how the hell would I know, crap, stop closing the valves.
In for a penny, in for a pound, I forge on. Oh cool, these look less stressful. A whole series of them.
Would your supervisor describe you as more productive than your co-workers?
Much more than most other people
More than most other people
About as much as other people
Not quite as much as most other people
Okay, wait a minute. Why do I have to compare myself to my co-workers? I don’t like this. Can’t he just ask me about me, why do I have to rat out my co-workers. So since I found this series of questions disturbing I checked the “About as much as other people” for all of them. Maybe it’s some clever psychological ploy to see if you’re willing to throw your fellow workers under the bus.
Yeah, I think I might have blown this 125 lb. job for my husband. I feel kind of bad but I didn’t really want him to take it anyway. That knee would surely give out under the weight and then there’d go his dreams of manual labor, down the drain. There’s always the 50 lb. job, yeah, so all is not lost.
So I’d better tie this thing up with a WoW slant somehow. Since … you know, that’s what I say this blog’s about and all. Um. Okay, I’ve got something. Students, pay attention. Do not spend ALL your free time playing WoW. Study too; if you want to pursue a thrilling career in manual labor you need to study, I’m not kidding, the entrance exam is a bitch. True story bro.
Update: After posting this yesterday I got a phone call from my husband. His boss’s boss spoke to him and assured him they were going to put in place a method for dealing with the impossible deadlines, wouldn’t he reconsider. I don’t know that he believes anything will change, but I think he felt it would be impolite not to give it another try. Yeah, he’s like that, very old school.
I’m not a good nag at all, but I don’t really think it’s possible to work there without being under the influence of some kind of mood altering substance, at least if you have a personality type that worries excessively over deadlines. Putting on my nag hat. And yes, I was relieved. Turns out it no longer matters that I screwed up the assessment for the 125 lb. job.