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.

13 Responses to “True Story Bro”

  1. lol.. the last part that is… Men and health… pfft…

    There is more that I can say, but bed is calling, so better that I sleep off the thoughts than screw with your mind.

    • Get some sleep Gnomey!

      The story is still unfolding though, I should get him to read your site about “men and health” and realize telling a doctor about his anxiety symptoms and possibly getting medication that could help is NOT BEING a wuss, sigh, you guys.

  2. Ok, I always knew I wasn’t cut out for manual labour, I just didn’t realise it was because the tests were too hard!

  3. “Would your supervisor describe you as more productive than your co-workers?”
    What a strange question. If I had to answer that I would probably also end up overanalyzing, what should I say? “uh, it depends on my co-workers’ productivity?”.

    Good luck with the job hunt, and hug your husband from all of us!

    • I know, they were all like that, one asked if you thought positive thoughts did your work improve compared to your co-workers. Really, think happy thoughts, lol!

      And I always over analyze stuff like this because I’m sure there’s some hidden meaning.

      Thank you Ironyca and I’ll give him a hug from you!

  4. I have so much to say about this, I’m sputtering.

    I was once asked in a job interview to describe my thoughts on this question: “You’re in a white room. How do you feel?”

    That was back before pop-psychology tests on Facebook. These people had no credentials or qualifications to say whether I was psychologically fit to do the job, which if I recall, had something to do with setting up trade-show exhibits, which I did know how to do, and had done so in other countries with language barriers.

    But, Tome – really – been there (too many times) and I can honestly and frankly say – I understand.

    The question, by the way, supposedly has to do with how you feel about death. I might as well told them my astrological sign. “I”m a Picses, and prone to alcoholism and romantic notions.”

    • I don’t think this should be my reaction but I can’t stop laughing at the white room. I guess part of it is that when I’m upset I try to see the humor in everything. I really don’t know what’s wrong with me but sometimes I feel that everyone’s naked and I’m the only one that sees it. Everyone else sees the Emperor in his beautiful new clothes.

      Job interviews for me are usually an entire hour of WTF??? Unfortunately I sometimes voice this reaction. I have never been hired if you had to get through HR first, I’m only ever hired if I’m interviewed by the people I’d be working with.

      And now, just for you Matty!

      • HAHA!
        And I realized later I spelled Pisces wrong. Another trait of Pisces: impulsive spelling.

        HR is evil incarnate.

  5. Firstly I also didn’t realise manual labour required you to have a brain. I thought that was the whole point of manual labour. So you didn’t have to use your brain. If you had a brain you’d be doing something else, right? Or am I wrong…

    And do you know, when I first saw that pipes thing I did think, that looks like my drawing. And lo and behold, I wasn’t the only one 😛

    Well, I’m hoping that it works out for hubby dearest. At least you saved his knee. Maybe you should find some more things to save his brain. I hear archaeology and fishing in WOW are good for that. /grin I know you’ve always wanted a crawling Claw, Ancient. Hmm, actually I might be mistaken, Arch and fishing might be more like manual labour. You don’t have to use your brain much with those things.

    • I know! He wanted a job where he didn’t have to think and here’s all these hard hula doll questions and diagrams that looked like Navi drew them! WTF!

      I hope so too, if he’s going to give it another try I’m going to insist he mentions the stress to his doctor. Maybe he would believe her about the health problems involved in constant stress.

      For me archeology and fishing work really well … and um a glass of wine too!

  6. …and that Emperor/clothes thing? I feel that way all the time.

    All the time.

  7. […] post has been inspired by Tome of the Ancient, The Anxious Gamer, and all those other people that have opened up, shared, and changed my […]

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