So, on the off chance that anyone ever reads this journal in chronological order, last week's entry was about the nefarious abduction of my good friend Mr. #56. But, in actuality, he went missing sometime in late October or early November.
Mr. #56 is a "stacker". He's a palett jack. He has three wheels, an electric motor, and a hydraulic lift thing that goes way up into the air. Sometimes he rolls over my foot, which is not enjoyable because Seņor #56 is very heavy.
Mr.56 looks a little bit like the picture in this journal entry, except he's the model from about 5 years ago or something and he looks like he's been through about 10 years of warfare. There is a significant amount of battle damage on him. He has a big #56 painted on his cross bar.
All of the stackers at work are very different. It's sort of like a video game where you have a team of people and they all have different attributes. You know, you can chose to use the fast one or the agile one or the really strong one. Well, that's what the palett jacks are like. There's one that goes back and forth very fast. There's one where the Hydraulic lift goes up and down really fast (that my boss has claimed, and always wants to use), there's an all purpose one, there's one that recharges fast and holds it's charge for a long time so that it can do a lot of trucks without recharging. That last one is Mr. 56. And he also has buttons on his handle so that I can multitask. The other stackers involve more stopping and reaching over and grabbing the lever and stuff. #56 is the stacker I was trained on, it was the stacker I was used to, it was the stacker that I could do my job most efficiently on.
And then one day he was gone.
And one by one all of the good stackers all got sent to the garage for repairs. There was a week or two where everybody was pretty mean and grumpy because there were no good stackers to use. One by one all of the other stackers came back except for #56. They mostly didn't seem to work any better than they did before they went in for repairs. More weeks went by and I just tried to get used to doing my job without him. I had learned to cope. Figured I'd never see him again.
On Friday, December two, 2005, I went into work and all of a sudden, there was mr. #56. I actually hugged a piece of machinery right there on the warehouse floor. I like my job. I especially like my job when I have the equipment to do it in a timely manner and make a decent buck. The time I spent learning to cope with his absense had actually made me a better loader. Some of the coping techniques I had learned still applied.
When they took #56 away it took me about 3 hours to load a truck at my best. When they brought him back I had cut my time down to 2.5 hours. That's a big time pay differential. And I was just getting strong enough that I could start tossing two tires at a time. That made a huge difference. Usually I would use my Saturdays to load trucks super slow and study everything I was doing and use the knowledge to improve during the week. Today, I instead decided to just haul ass and I loaded 3 trucks. Loaded 3 faster than it used to take me to load 2 just a month prior.