Job Experience — Part IV

Technically, I did have a few jobs at college before this one, however, they weren’t interesting (of course that hasn’t stopped me before). It would be hard to classify them as actually “paying” jobs anyway. The college I went to was much funnier. I was at a very strict southern school that forbid me to even wear pants to class. I won’t list all of the other rules — I only have so much space on this blog.

So to my exciting 4th job. After my Freshman year of College I went back to my small home town in California to make some money. I ended up with a job on an assembly line putting together parts of detonators. Yes, this peace-loving mama was working with explosives.

 Now, before this job my idea of working an assembly line was the episode #39 of  I Love Lucy where Lucy and Ethel are on a chocolate (they were actually at the See’s candy factory — best chocolate in the world) assembly line shoving chocolates in their mouths to keep up with the speed of the belt. My experience was a bit different.

I started at the very beginning of the assembly line counting pellets to put in a little plastic container. Eight hours a day I picked up a container and counted one pellet, then two pellets, then three pellets. That was my job.

After about a week, I got promoted to the end of the line at the quality control position. I had to then assure that each container had three pellets, some explosive power and the lid sealed on.  It was a bit more challenging as I had not only the three pellets to count, but I also had to check to make sure the powder was in and it was sealed properly.

Towards the end of the summer, most of the original team had quit. I toughed it out and even got moved off the assembly line to a special room where I had to paint this tiny little tip about the size of the top of a pin with explosive paint. This job required us to be in a very cold room. If at any time the temperature reached too high a level we had to leave the room for our safety–I’m not exaggerating!

Lessons learned from making explosives:

  • Monday mornings no one shows up for work at an assembly line because they are still drunk from the weekend
  • When you need money badly enough you can put up with quite a bit
  • It is important to clean explosive powder spills quickly

  Perks of the job:

  • When there was an explosion we got the afternoon off

Would I do this job again?

Oh, wow, tough one–hmm, what was worse giving birth to a 10+ lb baby in a foreign country or going to that job day after day after day?


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Dan
    Aug 09, 2007 @ 14:53:22

    “When there was an explosion we got the afternoon off”

    Hmmm … this would actually work just about anywhere wouldn’t it? The wheels in my head are turning.

  2. Diesel
    Aug 10, 2007 @ 21:51:02

    Wow, that sounds like a mind-numbingly boring and yet frighteningly exciting job.

  3. Luisa
    Aug 11, 2007 @ 04:41:07

    Yes, it’s amazing what we’ll do when we are desperate for cash. Maybe at some point I’ll post about having been a cleaning lady at a funeral home as a teenager…and you wonder why I write scary stories now? Pure catharsis.

  4. Candace Salima
    Aug 12, 2007 @ 05:58:29

    Love it! Never knew there was so much that went into creating explosives.

  5. rjlight
    Aug 14, 2007 @ 11:05:10

    Dan — hmm, I guess you’re right
    Diesel — right on
    Luisa — hmm, that explains it — but I used to go roller skating at a funeral home.
    Candace Salima — thanks!

  6. Lernen
    Aug 17, 2007 @ 08:00:10

    “Monday mornings no one shows up for work at an assembly line because they are still drunk from the weekend” yeah thats right – in my comapny people are realy drunk on mondays , not exactly drunk but, not normal 🙂 .
    Cool Site.

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