Archive for September 2012
Well, I made it through my first week at the sewing factory. As I type this my fingers feel like cooked spaghetti. I did without coffee, worked through gasp-inducing back spasms, endured both the curious stares and complete indifference with which I was greeted.
But I made it.
My head was down; I endured; I coped. That was it. I missed my home and I felt physically crappy. Caffeine withdrawal didn’t help those first couple of days. I wasn’t aware I wouldn’t be able to take my coffee to my machine, and I didn’t have time to make and drink my usual two cups. By Wednesday, I got the bright idea to take Excedrin, which contains delicious caffeine along with the painkillers for my muscles, and drink Mountain Dew at my first break. It helped.
Monday was okay. Tuesday was a monster, because after work there were parent/teacher conferences and band practice. Wednesday was probably the best day, but that’s when the back pain started to get intrusive, and it just got worse until by yesterday afternoon I wasn’t sure I was going to make it. I couldn’t even put my arms out to hold the denim without the muscles on either side of my spine seizing up. So I just gasped and said OMG and sat conspicuously still until I could continue. This happened between each pair of overalls.
But I made it!
Oh, and the fragrance. It’s a factory, so one would assume the fragrance would be better. I was surprised to realize it was worse than in the library. Each stall of the bathroom had a can of spray disinfectant that apparently everyone used on the seat before they sat down. Nightmare. My machine happens to sit right near the bathroom, the break area, and a couple of repair machines that everyone uses to fix their rejects. Plenty of people nearby with their smelly detergent, lingering air freshener, perfume and shampoo. Then Friday the weird old janitor dude mopped behind me and sprayed the tables in the break area. I thought I was going to die.
But I did not die!
Yes, I was miserable for an average of 92.7% of every day last week. But the good thing is that the first week is OVER! I know what each day will bring and how to prepare, and at the end of next week there will be a paycheck waiting for me for the work I did this week. Positive thoughts, Sherri, positive thoughts!
Nine years it’s been since I worked for someone else, except for a little editing and some volunteer work. I feel vulnerable, resigned, relieved, excited, dreadful (dreadful?). The job is at a factory that makes overalls. Here’s a video of the type of machine I’ll be running.
I did this job for several years at another factory before it closed. I swore I’d never sew in a factory again. Early on I even turned down a good job because I wanted to make a new path for myself. Somehow, I lost my way, and went in a big ol’ circle. It kind of sucks.
The job is dirty, and my hands will ache all the time, but working again is going to rock. After I stopped being depressed about the two-steps-back thing, I realized it will be much easier to rejoin the workforce in a job I’m comfortable doing, rather than adding to my stress by doing something completely new. This isn’t the beginning I’d hoped for, but it’ll do. For now.