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  #1  
Old 04-21-2010, 01:07 PM
Markxxx Markxxx is offline
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How Do People Stand Working Assembly Lines?

OK yesterday my temp agency in its wisdom of brilliance, decides to send me to a factory. I never worked in a factory before. Anyway my job consists of standing in front of a conveyer belt. Four bottles of ipubrofen go past me. I put a styrofoam piece ON the bottle. Then it goes to a machine that "taps" this styrofoam piece into the bottle. Another person loosley puts on a cap, then it goes to another machine that tightens the cap.

OK putting styrofoam on a bottle for 4 1/2 hours a half an hour break then 3 more hours.

It's not difficult as much as mind numbing. The factory is so loud you can't hear yourself think, and heaven forbid if you look away for one second the bottle goes by without a styrofoam stopper in it.

My question is how do people do this, day in and day out?

This is standing up constantly, minimum wage, overnights and a 5 week assignment, which I took 'cause it's the only thing that guaranteed me any stability. OK don't get me wrong, I'm grateful for any work, but I don't see how I'm gonna do this 40 hours a week for the next five weeks

So if you ever worked on an assembly line, how do you stand it?

Last edited by Markxxx; 04-21-2010 at 01:08 PM..
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  #2  
Old 04-21-2010, 01:17 PM
TruCelt TruCelt is offline
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Foam is your friend. You need Crocs and ear plugs.

As for the rest, are you allowed to wear earphones? If so, check out the available e-books at your local library, or download audio books/NPR shows etc. on line.

If not, try replaying movies in your head, or books that you have read. The key is to develop an intellectual response, rather than a numbing response. Search for intellectual puzzles on line before you go in each morning and ponder them.

Learning a language is also good. Even if you can't listen to CDs, you can read up in the morning and practice during the day.

You can also read up on isometric exercise. This will help to forestall physical numbness and cramping.

Good luck!

ETA: and you may want to consider Depends, you know, just in case. . . I know I'd never make it! LOL!

Last edited by TruCelt; 04-21-2010 at 01:19 PM..
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  #3  
Old 04-21-2010, 01:21 PM
EvilTOJ EvilTOJ is offline
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When I worked in a cabinet factory, music made the mindnumbing boredom just fly right by. See if it's safe for you to wear headphones of some kind.
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  #4  
Old 04-21-2010, 01:23 PM
nixie nixie is offline
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I feel your pain! I worked on an assembly line the summer between my freshman and sophmore years of college. Nothing, but nothing, convinced me more to continue my education!
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Old 04-21-2010, 01:27 PM
tdn tdn is offline
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You get used to it. You let your mind wander to all sorts of strange topics, like sick and cruel things you want to do your boss. And yes, it will eventually numb your brain.

At least on the assembly line job I had I got to sit, and there was no conveyor belt.

One of the tasks I had for a few days was to glue a metal thing inside of a ceramic thing. I could probably do 60-100 in an hour. A coworker, who was fast becoming a friend, had the same task. We decided to sit together and talk while we worked. Not only did the time pass enjoyably, but we paced each other, so our productivity went up. We also had nearly identical productivity numbers.

Our supervisor thought that that was "suspicious" and forbade us to sit together ever again.

God, I hated that job.
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Old 04-21-2010, 01:29 PM
Markxxx Markxxx is offline
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No you can't wear any headphones. Like I said it's not hard, it's just so mindnumbing. The noise isn't so loud it's damaging to the ears, it's just loud enough to surround you.

I guess you get used to it, I guess I should get a pair of insoles for the feet. Standing up for 8 hours, is do-able for me, but I'll have to get used to it.

And some of those people have been doing this and similar jobs for TEN years? I was like, wow I have enough problems with my hand an a computer mouse, I can't imagine after ten years of putting a stopper in a bottle what your hand is like
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  #7  
Old 04-21-2010, 01:29 PM
Kelby Kelby is offline
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Originally Posted by nixie View Post
I feel your pain! I worked on an assembly line the summer between my freshman and sophmore years of college. Nothing, but nothing, convinced me more to continue my education!
Right on.

I worked in a meat packing plant in college. One time I moved to an assembly line job involving a power saw because it paid more. After a trip to the emergency room, I decided to do move to a job there that was a little more stimulating if for less pay.

There's a reason why mentally challenged people are often suited for these jobs, e.g., sheltered workshops. They don't require the same level and novelty of mental stimulation that most of the rest of us do.

Last edited by Kelby; 04-21-2010 at 01:33 PM..
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  #8  
Old 04-21-2010, 01:37 PM
Balthisar Balthisar is offline
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Originally Posted by nixie View Post
I feel your pain! I worked on an assembly line the summer between my freshman and sophmore years of college. Nothing, but nothing, convinced me more to continue my education!
Ah, but many auto workers make six figures doing this type of work. Certainly it takes considerable overtime pay to get there, but if they're in a plant that's in high demand, they rake it in. I used to supervise a guy with a real, legitimate law degree. I know that we have an overabundance of lawyers in the United States, but we're still talking a postgraduate degree!
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  #9  
Old 04-21-2010, 01:39 PM
Rocketeer Rocketeer is offline
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Historically, high wages compensate for the mind-numbing boredom.

Henry Ford didn't pay that outrageously-high (for the time) $5 a day because he was a philanthropist; he paid it because that's the only way he could get workers for his assembly line.

...and that carried through to the very recent past, at least in Detroit.
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  #10  
Old 04-21-2010, 01:42 PM
Push You Down Push You Down is offline
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Jumbo Mayonaise jar (just the jar, no mayonaise on sight) line at a plastics factory. Worst job ever.

At one point I worked the clear plastic water bottle line. The bottles pop out of the mold still hot so we had to wear thick gloves. They came out two at a time and you had to grab each bottle and tear off the melty tabs. Sometimes the bottles would pop out and bounce the melt tabs would stick to the other bottle ruining both. You'd just toss the worthless bottles into a bin and at the end of the night they were ground down to powder. I remember one of the regular workers coming up to me and chastising me for having too many ruined bottles because I didn't catch them fast enough.

That's how people stand these jobs. They need them enough to CARE about a few ruined plastic bottles.
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  #11  
Old 04-21-2010, 01:45 PM
Kelby Kelby is offline
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Originally Posted by Rocketeer View Post
Historically, high wages compensate for the mind-numbing boredom.

Henry Ford didn't pay that outrageously-high (for the time) $5 a day because he was a philanthropist; he paid it because that's the only way he could get workers for his assembly line.

...and that carried through to the very recent past, at least in Detroit.
I'm thinking that most assembly-line-type jobs don't pay as well as the auto industry used to.

But you're right, some of us did the jobs we did at the time because the money was good and the training requirements were light.
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  #12  
Old 04-21-2010, 02:12 PM
PatriotGrrrl PatriotGrrrl is offline
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4 1/2 hours without even a 10 minute break? That seems unusual, but perhaps the states I've worked in happen to have different labor laws.
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  #13  
Old 04-21-2010, 02:34 PM
GargoyleWB GargoyleWB is offline
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Proud Ex-Nyquil-Bottle-Adjuster-Prior-To-Entering-The-Labeling-Machine worker here. 20 years ago and I can still hear the distinctive whiiiirrrrrr-phzzzzzzz-snick of that infernal machine.

For the record, doing the Laverne and Shirley inflated glove to alleviate the boredom results in the shutdown of the entire line for half a shift so that maintenance can disassemble the conveyor and retrieve all of the latex glove shreds
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  #14  
Old 04-21-2010, 03:02 PM
Shodan Shodan is online now
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The scary thing about this kind of thing is that you do get used to it. I worked with people who did. Being brain-dead for eight and a half hours a day is not a good skill to cultivate.

You know those lights that hang over portraits to illuminate them? I made the shades that go over the bulb.

Pick the flat piece of metal off the stack on my right. Stick it into the slot. Lock it into place. Pull the lever to bend it into shape. Unlock it and put it on the tray to my left.
Pick the flat piece of metal off the stack on my right. Stick it into the slot. Lock it into place. Pull the lever to bend it into shape. Unlock it and put it on the tray to my left.
Pick the flat piece of metal off the stack on my right. Stick it into the slot. Lock it into place. Pull the lever to bend it into shape. Unlock it and put it on the tray to my left.
Pick the flat piece of metal off the stack on my right. Stick it into the slot. Lock it into place. Pull the lever to bend it into shape. Unlock it and put it on the tray to my left.
Pick the flat piece of metal off the stack on my right. Stick it into the slot. Lock it into place. Pull the lever to bend it into shape. Unlock it and put it on the tray to my left.
Pick the flat piece of metal off the stack on my right. Stick it into the slot. Lock it into place. Pull the lever to bend it into shape. Unlock it and put it on the tray to my left.

I didn't speak Spanish, so I couldn't talk to my co-workers.

Every time I pulled that fucking lever I said to myself "I'm going to school so I don't have to do this the rest of my life".

Regards,
Shodan
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  #15  
Old 04-21-2010, 03:18 PM
needscoffee needscoffee is offline
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I too once had a job like this. I was able to hide an earphone in one ear, snake the cord down my shirt and pants, and hide a transistor radio in my sock. My hair covered my ear. If you wear hearing protectors that look like earmuffs, you can do the same thing with an mp3 player. And you need hearing protectors.
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  #16  
Old 04-21-2010, 03:25 PM
tdn tdn is offline
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Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
The scary thing about this kind of thing is that you do get used to it. I worked with people who did. Being brain-dead for eight and a half hours a day is not a good skill to cultivate.
Not to want to sound elitist or anything -- OK, back then I was pretty elitist, I admit -- some of my coworkers were fellow college students, and some worked the AL as a career. The lifers lacked a certain intellectual keenness. It was a little like working on the set of Deliverance.
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  #17  
Old 04-21-2010, 03:29 PM
Tethered Kite Tethered Kite is offline
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And there is a reason that they forbid listening to music. I saw a woman lose her hand for the pleasure of the secret distraction of music while she picked up cut pieces of plastic.

So weigh that option carefully.

For two years I worked night shift in a plastics factory with a college degree so that we didn't have to pay for a baby-sitter. Sometimes tears would involutarily run down my face from the burden of mindlessness.

I was fortunate enough to have been educated in a time when memorization was still considered a valuable learning tool and so I had a vast store of poetry and Bible verses to amuse myself during the long nights.

I also ran through my song lyric reperatoire and played word games in my head. I suppose the mental amusements in themselves could be distracting. But I doubt they were any more so than falling into the daze of "automatic pilot."

The most difficult part was working with women who had been there for years supporting a family with no help and hoping some day to be able to go to school. Broke my heart knowing that they were, at least for their children's formative years, trapped.

Last edited by Tethered Kite; 04-21-2010 at 03:30 PM..
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  #18  
Old 04-21-2010, 04:39 PM
Rafe Hollister Rafe Hollister is offline
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I was home from college over Christmas break and decided to go to a temp agency and make a few hundred bucks during the 3 weeks instead of just sitting around. I got placed in a CD factory assembling the cases for 2-CD sets of a special edition of Beatles music. For 12 (!) hours a day I did this and all the co-workers at our table were nasty. There was a 60-ish year old man and his retarded son who were working there just long enough to get some money to buy insurance for his truck and pay his fine for the traffic ticket for being caught without insurance. Then they were gonna quit and go back to their life of being incompetent slugs.

After that I was very thankful to get back to my painfully difficult course work, but never regretted taking that job for that time.

Last edited by Rafe Hollister; 04-21-2010 at 04:40 PM..
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  #19  
Old 04-21-2010, 05:01 PM
Khadaji Khadaji is offline
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I knew a guy who loved chess and he claimed to be going over chess games in his mind all day.

I knew another who was a writer and he said he did most of his "writing" while standing there.

I couldn't do it.
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  #20  
Old 04-21-2010, 05:19 PM
Queen Tonya Queen Tonya is online now
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Good shoes, although you lucked out with a standing job instead of a hustle-your-ass-all-day job so that's something. Minimum wage sucks, but what you're describing is the easiest assembly line work I can imagine.

Look for the advantages, there's always some pros to balance out the cons, learn to concentrate on them. Things that start like "hey, no one is demanding that I solve complex problems" can turn into a real appreciation for a job that's essentially a mental vacation you get paid for.

Can't hear yourself think? Then your coworkers probably can't hear you much either. What a great time to practice your Elvis impression or work on your kareoke skills or do repetitive drills on the foreign language you studied in high school and don't want to forget. If they can't hear you, they won't care, and in what other job can you do silly stuff like that out loud all day?
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Old 04-21-2010, 05:24 PM
mack mack is offline
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I used to assemble CD and Cassette cases. Put the tray in the case, pull the corner up to lock it in, put it on the belt. We would rotate who ran the shrink-wrap machine so that was sort of a break.

Originally it was two to a table. Much chin-wagging ensued. Educated folk doing knock-about or summer work suburban metalheads and drifters who think roadkill is a viable source of meat. Kind of interesting, actually. Of course an efficiency expert came in and the company put a stop to that.

I didn't last very long on the 2.0 version but I did hook up with a very nice woman who had knowledge....

I graduated to driving a truck for supplies, shipping, then I got fired. But that's ok because I was going back to school anyway and got a much netter job. Loved the driving part.

Having the radio going did help get through the day. Plus I'd look forward to whatever book I was reading at the time.
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  #22  
Old 04-21-2010, 05:24 PM
Markxxx Markxxx is offline
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Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
Every time I pulled that fucking lever I said to myself "I'm going to school so I don't have to do this the rest of my life".

Regards,
Shodan
I went to college and have a degree...So much for that huh

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Old 04-21-2010, 05:30 PM
Palo Verde Palo Verde is offline
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I spent two weeks working at a potato chip and snack cracker factory in North Carolina. I was doing data entry (this was 1990) but I'd go to lunch with the chip line workers. One woman's job was to watch a stream of potato chips go by and pick out the green ones. I tried it for 5 minutes and the chips just became a blur and I got a headache from trying to concentrate on a constantly moving stream. I asked her how she did it 8 hours a day, 5 days a week She said that her job before this one was working at a chicken slaughter house, she was responsible for slicing the dead chickens open and pulling out their innards. Compared to that job, the potato chip one was a breeze.

It's all about expectations and comparisons.
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Old 04-21-2010, 05:38 PM
Markxxx Markxxx is offline
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Originally Posted by PatriotGrrrl View Post
4 1/2 hours without even a 10 minute break? That seems unusual, but perhaps the states I've worked in happen to have different labor laws.
Yeah Illlinois had no law regarding breaks, so you're at their mercy

The only thing that is close is:
Quote:
meal period of 20 minutes for every 7 1/2 hour shift beginning no later than 5 hours after the start of the shift
This law doesn't apply to unions, hotel attendents (who for some reason get by law two 15 minute breaks plus a 30 minute lunch) and some other exceptions like salaried employees, certain security guards and those monitoring infirmed people
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Old 04-21-2010, 05:43 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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I guess I'm lucky... While I did once have a job that involved standing all day and operating machinery, it was anything but boring, since the machinery in question was amusement park rides.

Although once I got some seniority at it (which in this case mostly means "come back for a second summer"), I tried to get assigned to the train as often as possible, since you got to sit down for that one.
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Old 04-21-2010, 05:57 PM
msmith537 msmith537 is offline
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One summer I made a million $ working in one of those factory jobs. Seriously. My job was litterally making the "$" buttons in a Pitney Bowes postage meter factory. It was about as mind-numbing as you can get. You couldn't hear anything because of all the injection molding machines and it smelled like burning plastic.

Every once and awhile they would cycle people into the back room to scrape the bits of plastic off the parts. It was still tedious, but at least there was usually someone else there to bullshit with and it was quiet enough to talk.


Really I feel very badly for people who are stuck in those jobs.
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Old 04-21-2010, 06:04 PM
Perciful Perciful is offline
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I used to get overtime in another department on Sundays. It was watching a machine for 12 hours. My regular job was interesting but this was so boring. I used to bring in a crytogram and a pencil and work on them when no one was around. I also mentally did a 'cha ching' every hour and added up another 40 dollars. It worked to mentally remember how much money they were paying me to stand there. By 7 I was pretty happy with almost 5 bills in my pocket.
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Old 04-21-2010, 06:23 PM
Mijin Mijin is offline
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I worked similar jobs through college and it's not all bad.

At least you can start work knowing you'll be able to solve all the problems that will come your way today, and when you go home you know there is no work ongoing for tomorrow i.e. little to no stress

I'm sure if assembly line work paid the same as lawyer, say, some people might prefer the former to the latter.
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Old 04-21-2010, 06:57 PM
CutterJohn CutterJohn is offline
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My experiences working production lines..

The 'So loud I can't think' stage passes fairly quickly. After a few days/weeks you just tune it out completely.

As for the boredom.. Being new to the job, you are paying attention to everything, and are thus painfully aware of every passing second. After a few days/weeks on the job, it becomes so automatic, you shift your body to autopilot, while one of three things occurs..

1. You simply blank. Brain shuts off. Time passes, not completely unnoticed, but at least in the background clutter of your mind, and you pretty much devolve into a stimulus/response automaton.
2. You daydream. Think about old movies, songs, books you've read, design a video game in your head, come up with plots for books, old girlfriends, anything and everything really.
3. You stay painfully aware of the time passing, and are bored out of your mind.

3 sucks, but 1 and 2 are frequent and long enough to make it not a big deal.


End of the day, you may be physically tired, but there won't be any mental exhaustion, which is a plus if you have creative hobbies.
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Old 04-21-2010, 07:27 PM
Chimera Chimera is offline
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Did the old Plastics Factory and Stampings bit in high school and shortly thereafter. The boredom was intolerable and mind killing. Swore I would never do that shit again. Grab 10 plastic pots as they roll out of the press. Throw any bad ones to the side. Put in box in stacks of 10. Repeat all day. The worst was 3 days of hell sitting on a fucking bar stool (no place to rest hands or back) watching butter tubs come off a line and picking out the occasional bad one.

I almost think that should be Prisoner work, but they'd probably call it 'Cruel and Unusual Punishment'.

Did four years of Security work and some of that was as bad. For example, doing armed security in the cell phone store. On my feet almost the whole day, no real breaks but a brief lunch. Fuck all to do but wander in circles all day. Was so bad that I'd try to work my way through the day in five minute increments, concentrating on the short term because if I thought about having six hours left of my day, I'd have to make a Call of Cthulhu-esque Sanity Check. Guarding the convention center overnight, alone. Hell, I brought a bunch of books and that wasn't helping me much. I about freaked out when I thought I hit the half-way point and could take my lunch, only to realize I'd actually only been there about 2.5 hours.

And OH HELL YES, you can end up mentally exhausted from the sheer mind numbing boredom and desperate effort to fend off the crazy.
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Old 04-21-2010, 07:51 PM
MsChilePepper MsChilePepper is offline
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Definitely wear supportive shoes, and possibly a support belt that will help you keep your lower back from going screwy. Also, if you're standing in just one spot, get yourself three or four yoga mats, stack them up, then fold them in half. Stand on those and you'll save yourself a helluva lot of fatigue in your legs and back. That's what I do, and it helps immensely.

When she was a teenager, my Mom worked for half a day in the turkey processing plant where my Grandma worked for years. Her job was to reach up into the body cavities of freshly-killed turkeys and yank out their innards, then twirl each one's esophagus around her finger and pull that out, too, as the turkeys ran overhead, attached to a wire.

She said her fingernails immediately started hurting, and the other women said, "Oh, it's not so bad once all your nails fall off!" The blood dripping all over everywhere was disgusting, even to a farm girl like my Mom. She bailed at lunch time and never went back, and I can't say I blame her.

I think the only thing you can do is to make jobs like that into a game. How fast you can get it done, how perfectly, how can you beat your previous day's record?
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Old 04-21-2010, 08:27 PM
Shagnasty Shagnasty is offline
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I am head of IT for a pharmaceutical manufacturing facility (body parts, not drugs). It spooked me out when I started working there shortly before Christmas. Not only is it a factory, it is a heavily secure one. There are cameras everywhere and restricted areas and procedures manuals as thick as the entire set of the Encyclopedia Britannica combined. The production floor is dimly lit the same shade of mid-twilight 24 hours a day. I was extremely nervous about even coming into work for the first few weeks because what they make is actually very critical to real people awaiting surgery in hospitals all over the world sometimes same day and systems issues are not something to laugh about even later.

I have a big office that I can retreat to but I like to walk around on the production floor a lot. It is like an episode of Dirty Jobs. You can't see it at first glance but many of the people there have been there for a very long time and they have a culture built around it. Despite all the regulations, they can listen to whatever music they want whether it is heavy metal or gangsta rap as long as the people in their general vicinity don't pummel them for it but that is for them to work out among themselves in each group. They can't just surf the web on their shop floor computers but the later shifts at least can stream things like Pandora or even video broadcasts as long as they keep the production lines moving. It is technically against policy but I won't ever say anything. They also have a confidential computer room to use on breaks to do whatever they want like check Facebook or personal e-mail and those are not monitored.

It does seem a little like prison even for me but people are adaptable creatures and can find positives as well as negatives in anything. Sometimes I think I am their bitch because I have to make sure they are happy and their job goes as smoothly as possible so that they don't have to worry about much except to call me and their managers and let us handle any problems that come up. That tradeoff for a pretty well-paying job with some security and little real responsibility is one that many people are glad to take.
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  #33  
Old 04-22-2010, 01:03 AM
Declan Declan is offline
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Originally Posted by Markxxx View Post
So if you ever worked on an assembly line, how do you stand it?
Basically you zone out and perform like a flesh and blood robot. Usually when we have an intake of new temps , we take in more than we need, in the expectation that some will have left us within two hours , some wont be back the next day and others are people that we probably suggest should look into other career options.

Regardless of the apparent simplicity of the job, its not suitable for everyone. Some people can't handle the speed on the vampire lines, others have personal issues with co-workers and we do get the odd bitter person thats sorta forced to take the job.

If your not gonna make it , your gonna know in the first week.

Declan
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  #34  
Old 04-22-2010, 01:48 AM
Ranchoth Ranchoth is offline
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I design battleships in my mind.

Plus, I get a 15 minute break every two hours, with the half hour for lunch every four.
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  #35  
Old 04-22-2010, 02:33 AM
EvilTOJ EvilTOJ is offline
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The only thing that kept me alive during the mind numbing job of activating phones for Voicestream was flirting with half the staff in between calls. I have yet another mind numbing job now, I sit here all night watching computer screens.

Man I really know how to pick em.
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  #36  
Old 04-22-2010, 02:56 AM
chappachula chappachula is offline
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Originally Posted by Palo Verde;
It's all about expectations and comparisons.
this is the whole issue.

I met people in factory jobs who had no concept that you should expect satisfaction from your work. They knew only one thing---work is always something terribly unpleasant .

They spoke fondly of the "good" jobs they had had in the past, because the pay was above minimum wage and they didn't have sore muscles at the end of the day. They didn't even bother explaining what they did at those jobs--just that it was physically easy and paid more than minimum.---"yeah that was a great job. And the boss was easy....sometimes at break, he let you take an extra minute so you didn't have to run back to your station after the bell rang,--you got 31 minutes for lunch".

Last edited by chappachula; 04-22-2010 at 02:57 AM..
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  #37  
Old 04-22-2010, 03:02 AM
missred missred is offline
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Over the years, I've worked in production environments, usually starting out on the line before moving up. I agree, it can become mindnumbing.

The things that I would recommend are good shoes, ear protection (even low level noise like that can cause later problems) and, given the liklihood that you are wearing some sort of gloves, good moisturizer for your hands.

Some of the most boring jobs became somewhat of a bonus for me, as it gave me a mindless thing to do while I composed music I did some of my best songwriting when I was grading McNuggets for ten hour stretches. If you have a creative bent for anything, keep a pad of paper and pencil handy in your locker for breaktimes.

Last edited by missred; 04-22-2010 at 03:04 AM..
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  #38  
Old 04-22-2010, 04:08 AM
Elysian Elysian is offline
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I worked in a small speaker factory. They really make excellent speakers, you probably have some in your computer or television or car.

The best thing about that job was that you worked really closely with your coworkers and you changed positions down the line every couple of hours. You never really got bored of doing the same thing because shortly you would be doing something else, and the coworkers were huge gossips and had extremely varied personal lives. I know not everyone is like me, but I am perfectly content to talk about Susan's daughter who is shacked up with some no account loser for a couple of hours, then talk to the aspiring cartoonist, then talk to the party loving gay guy about his recent conquests. We also had music piped in and I would sing along and dance as much as I was able while still doing my job.

In your situation where you don't have music or conversation or different tasks to do, I would probably buy a voice recorder and "write". You can plan the next paragraph for an hour, and then record it. If you don't have friends at lunch, use your lunch hour to write down what you recorded, and outline the next section.
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Old 04-22-2010, 06:38 AM
Nava Nava is offline
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When I've had "You Are Not Paid To Think" jobs, I've always discovered I needed to sleep a lot less. Once I'd learned the work, I was doing it asleep on my feet with my eyes open, so no mental tiredness, and it wasn't physically very demanding (mostly I had to remember to change position and stretch whenever possible), so I didn't end up physically tired either.

I happen to prefer jobs where I'm expected to think a lot, but once I'd gotten the job down pat, these meant more leisure time than the thinking jobs, both from less hours at the job itself and from needing to sleep less.

Last edited by Nava; 04-22-2010 at 06:38 AM..
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Old 04-22-2010, 08:27 AM
Dinsdale Dinsdale is offline
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We used to get stoned before, during, and drank heavily at lunch.
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Old 04-22-2010, 09:49 AM
joebuck20 joebuck20 is online now
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Originally Posted by TruCelt View Post

If not, try replaying movies in your head, or books that you have read. The key is to develop an intellectual response, rather than a numbing response. Search for intellectual puzzles on line before you go in each morning and ponder them.
That's a good strategy. I worked several factory jobs while I was on break from high school and college. Eight hours of standing on my feet each day.
I would dissect movies in my head that I watched the night before, think about books I was reading or magazine articles I had looked it, ponder that day's news.
I would also play little games like thinking about what I would do if I had a million dollars or planning that dream vacation, or just figuring out how much I had made that day - "Well that's five hours, so that comes out to about $30 free and clear after taxes." (I know, may not sound like a lot, but this was straight out out of high school when I was living with my parents and had no expenses other than gas money for cruising on the weekends - back when gas was $1.25).
But as other people have said, it did provide me some good motivation to study hard when I went back to school.

Last edited by joebuck20; 04-22-2010 at 09:51 AM..
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Old 04-22-2010, 09:52 AM
TruCelt TruCelt is offline
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Re: Boredom Many moons ago I had a long commute, and a broken car radio that I couldn't afford to fix.

I filled the time by trying to fit song lyrics to other tunes. You'd be surprised at how many of these work. Ferinstance you can sing "America the Beautiful" to the tune of "Supercalifragilistic-expialidocious" (sp?) and "Amazing Grace" actually sounds very nice sung to "Puff the Magic Dragon" . . .
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Old 04-22-2010, 10:00 AM
tdn tdn is offline
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I worked at a job where I had two primary responsibilities:

1) Take things out of envelopes and put them into other envelopes.

2) Take staples out of things and put other staples into them.

That sounds mind-numbingly boring, but being that the job I had previously was so stressful that it was killing me, I rather welcomed the change. It was like spending every day in a zen meditation garden.
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Old 04-22-2010, 10:03 AM
Capt. Ridley's Shooting Party Capt. Ridley's Shooting Party is offline
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Heh, I had a job at a Heinz warehouse in the summer between third and fourth year at university. My job consisted of opening palettes of baked beans, taking out the boxes, and then stacking them in a different configuration on another palette. Nothing made me study harder when I got back to university.
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Old 04-22-2010, 11:31 AM
SunSandSuffering SunSandSuffering is offline
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Originally Posted by Palo Verde View Post
It's all about expectations and comparisons.
Why doesn't anyone ever tell you about this? I can do my job standing on my head but I hate every minute because I have the same attitude I always had to work. I feel it's just a lead-in to something else that never comes.
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  #46  
Old 04-22-2010, 12:19 PM
Lemur866 Lemur866 is offline
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One thing I found helpful at the salmon cannery (it was called a cannery even though we only did frozen fish) and the tofu factory was to work as hard and as fast and as perfectly as possible. The faster you work, the faster the time goes. If you're standing there dragging your ass the time drags too.

One nice thing about the tofu factory job was that I had some sweet breaks because I was one of the few people who had a drivers license. So every day I got to drive the whey tanker to the cattle ranch and pour the whey into the troughs and watch the cows slurp it up. Oh, and use the shovel to scoop out the drowned rats that had fallen overnight. That took an hour at least.
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Old 04-22-2010, 12:27 PM
Rafe Hollister Rafe Hollister is offline
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Originally Posted by lemur866 View Post
one nice thing about the tofu factory job was that i had some sweet breaks because i was one of the few people who had a drivers license. So every day i got to drive the whey tanker to the cattle ranch and pour the whey into the troughs and watch the cows slurp it up. Oh, and use the shovel to scoop out the drowned rats that had fallen overnight. That took an hour at least.
bwaaahahahahahah!!!

Last edited by Rafe Hollister; 04-22-2010 at 12:27 PM..
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Old 04-22-2010, 12:48 PM
Ponch8 Ponch8 is offline
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Originally Posted by MsChilePepper View Post
I think the only thing you can do is to make jobs like that into a game. How fast you can get it done, how perfectly, how can you beat your previous day's record?
Darn you, that's what I was going to say. I call it the Seymour Skinner game. "See how many envelopes you can lick in an hour, then try to break that record."
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Old 04-22-2010, 12:51 PM
Markxxx Markxxx is offline
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Today (well yesterday) was fun. I put an eyedropper in a bottle and pressed once and this moved to another lady who rotated it and then the machine tightened it shut all the way. Four and a half hours of this and I can't figure out why the machine can't just tighten it all the way from the start?

Then I was put at the end of another line, and it was a mess usually. It was for some kind of medicated shampoo. You would put the cap on and the machine would stamp it shut and half the time, even if you got the cap on right, the machine would hit the bottle so hard, it'd shake the bottle and cause it to fall over

There's no way in heck I'll be able to finsh five weeks of this. I do have new respect for factory workers.
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Old 04-22-2010, 01:11 PM
Lemur866 Lemur866 is offline
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Originally Posted by Rafe Hollister View Post
bwaaahahahahahah!!!
I meant the whole trip and back took an hour, not just the rat scooping. I see that's ambiguous. At least 50% of the time there were no drowned rats at all. Usually only one. I remember one time there were four, but that was the most.
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