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Old 12-14-2007, 10:28 AM
4 posts, read 53,081 times
Reputation: 13


I did factory work and it was OK. The work was repetitive and boring (putting metal saws in metal trays) but the people were extremely friendly, was like a family atmosphere strange to say. The down sides were I felt I was not using any of my skills and my mother gave me constant **** about how could I bear it etc etc, mostly she couldnt stand me having what she percieved as a low status job.
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Old 12-14-2007, 10:36 AM
1,363 posts, read 5,169,792 times
Reputation: 845
My parents work factory work. I think my dad does it for the OT and entertainment of co-workers, and my step-mother does it because the schedule is convenient for raising her kids. They didn't go to college, and like somebody else said, they work to be able to pay their bills and go on vacation. The stories my dad tells about his job, he has a blast at work-good co-workers and he works shift work so when he's on anything but days the big bosses aren't there. They work hard though, they're getting older, and I hate seeing how tired my dad is after working a 12 sometimes 18 hour shift. It's not so bad on my step-mother because of the work she does in the factory, but I just feel bad for my dad. But, they have a nice house, nice cars, enjoy the times they can get away, so I guess it's ok for them. I just hate seeing them have to work so hard and can't wait for them to be able to retire. However, there's something to be said about just going to work, doing your job, and going home. I really think even if my dad had college degrees out the wazoo, he would still do a job like this just because it wouldn't disrupt his life outside of work. Kind of along the lines of Steve Bushemi's reason for being an oil driller while being a genius in Armegeddon-"The pay is good, the scenery is nice, and they let me blow **** up."
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Old 12-14-2007, 10:38 PM
Location: Jonquil City (aka Smyrna) Georgia- by Atlanta
16,249 posts, read 19,251,558 times
Reputation: 3587
My father worked for Boeing for 28 years and hated it. The day he could retire, he walked out and started his own business.
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Old 12-15-2007, 05:13 PM
Location: In the woods next to the ocean
4,541 posts, read 11,835,834 times
Reputation: 8904
When I was in High School, I had a job in a non-union factory called "Baker Box". I was a "Press Monkey". I sat on the floor in back of a huge hydraulic press that was stamping out metal corners for wooden milk bottle crates and caught the pieces as they came out and stacked them into trays.

The noise was thunderous. There were no OSHA safety rules back then and nobody though of ear plugs, besides the regular press operators were already deaf anyway. After the first minute I couldn't hear anything anymore. After about ten minutes my eyes would start to water and I would loose orientation and become "punch press drunk".

I would work for an hour and get a five minute break. I couldn't leave my spot under the press during the break because I was too disoriented to walk and was temporarily deaf. When the press operator came back from his smoke break we would start up again for another hour.

Luckily, we only needed so many corners stamped out so I only had to be Press Monkey a couple of times a month. The rest of the time I would get to be a "Dipper".

This involved plunging wooden boxes into a vat of lacquer and handing them to another kid who would hang them on a clothesline affair to drain and dry. There were ventilation fans in the dipping room, but they didn't work. The fumes soon overtook us and we worked stoned out of our minds.

We would clean up at a 55 gal drum of solvent with a hand pump on it and since we were high from the fumes, we had great sport splashing the solvent all over us. Then we would go to the bathroom for a smoke break.

Of course the worst happened and one of the guys caught fire. He survived, but got a different job. That didn't change a thing and we continued to dip boxes, breath toxic fumes, and cover ourselves in toxic and flammable solvent.

Then there was the sawdust pit. This was a large bin in the basement that had chutes from the saws on the floors above that brought sawdust down. I had to go in and shovel the sawdust into burlap sacks while the saws were running and sawdust was pouring down on me. It was so thick that I could hardly see or breathe and the sawdust would stick all over my sweaty body and my skin would constantly itch and burn.

I never heard of a respirator or face mask, but I had seen sand storms in the movies so I would wet my handkerchief and tie it over my face so I could breathe.

I made 75 cents an hour.
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Old 12-15-2007, 08:07 PM
Location: South of Houston
419 posts, read 1,643,779 times
Reputation: 443
I worked several factory jobs back in the early 70's because those factories were hiring and I needed a job. The time I spent at those jobs were tough, but they were also character building. They were the stepping stone to where I am now.

There is nothing wrong in working this type of job. If I remember my history, many of our grandfarthers and grandmothers sweated doing their daily job and not complaining. Why did they do this..? Because they had to make a living to put food on the table.

Factory jobs in the US are not sweat shops. Even in the times I worked in them there were mid morning (15 min), lunch (30 min) and afternoon (15 min) breaks. Now fast forward to 2007, I'm sure the laws have not changed ... they maybe even better.
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Old 12-15-2007, 09:06 PM
6,351 posts, read 18,077,535 times
Reputation: 9860
The only real production work I've ever done was stuffing newspaper inserts briefly as a part-time gig shortly before I retired from the USAF. Boring, repetitive work but enjoyed the people I worked with. Although it wasn't a factory setting, I worked under jet fighter aircraft when the engines were running in afterburner (full power). The sound is waaay beyond loud. You can hardly think and you get this "full" feeling. I can understand what it's like to work in a loud/hot/dangerous factory environment after that.
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Old 12-16-2007, 03:39 PM
1,735 posts, read 3,960,774 times
Reputation: 1435
Everyone is different. I went to a plant in Belleville, Canada and was talking to a guy in the shipping department. He was a forklift driver and I asked him how long he had worked for the company, he said he had been there 36 years. I asked how many jobs he had done in that time and he looked at me funny and said he had been driving forklifts for all 36 years. He was as happy as he could be driving a forklift. Wouldn’t work for me, but it did for him.
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Old 12-19-2007, 12:57 PM
Location: earth
463 posts, read 416,268 times
Reputation: 62
I came from a white collar back round. Suburban bay area, million dollar house, parents own two homes. etc. I cant stand white collar people for so many different reasons. I work in a plant and it is rewarding. The things we do, make the world go around. You can punch numbers in computer, suck a corporate d***, and work in a cubical like a robot. I pick my own hours and leave work at the plant. I never have to take it home with me.
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Old 12-19-2007, 07:15 PM
Location: Land of Thought and Flow
8,322 posts, read 12,506,088 times
Reputation: 4845
My mother is a blue collar worker at the Pepsi Bottling Plant. She loves her job because she loves working with machinery. She works hard at her job - even outperforming many of the men in terms of lifting and operating said machinery.

In the end, it makes her so proud to see the product she made sitting on the shelf and having people buy it.
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Old 12-19-2007, 09:03 PM
Location: Tucson
42,837 posts, read 73,693,356 times
Reputation: 22814
Originally Posted by Rcm58 View Post
Some of my customers work for various factories around the region and have told me the horrors of the daily grind.

One has a job at Exide Battery, said her job is standing in the same place all day putting terminals in a little plastic bag then into a box. She is locked inside and can't scratch her nose, eat, rub her eye nothing without first showering, she is constantly monitored for lead levels and when the levels get beyond a certain point she can't come back to work till they drop.

One that worked for Eastman Chemical had the job of climbing the smoke stacks and monitoring the pollution levels, developed cancer was out of work, lived too long and after a year his insurance benifits were dropped and he died an agonizing death at home without pain meds. He was 44

One worked for Superior Wheels, he stood in one place picked up cast GM wheels off an assembly line belt and hung them on an over head hook 12 hours a day and was not allowed to leave his spot till the next shift person walked up and took over, some times they were late.

I just wonder how a person people work these kinds of jobs day in and day out and have any sort of life.
There are factory jobs in this day and age...?! I'm surprised. Why'd they stay... they're probably happy to have the jobs in question. As Greenie said, the stomachs can be very demanding... dependent on you stomachs even more so.
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