Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Last Night

Last night, my mom was tired, but didn't get to bed until 11. She had finally dozed off when the doorbell rang, loudly, at midnight. No one was there, and the lights which automatically switch on when someone approaches were off.  She went back to bed, thinking, "What could have caused this?" And she remembered that she had seen the sprinkler system in the backyard hit the doorbell.  John was sweetly asleep in the blissful quiet of a mostly deaf person without hearing aids, when, a while later, the doorbell launched boisterously into its entire repertoire of party tunes, from "Hail, Hail, The Gangs All Here," then "Rock Around the Block", and finishing with a wake-the-dead rendition of "Happy Birthday". John slept on, but Mums decided enough was enough, went out into the hall, climbed a ladder, and physically ripped the blasting box off the wall.  I'll bet John was a bit puzzled when he saw the path of wrath this morning.

For me, it was my last night at the tractor factory.  At the opening meeting, we were informed that we'd be working Sunday, and so I talked to the staffing coordinator and told him Saturday would be my last shift.  I knew my body was wearing out, and I'd said from the beginning I wouldn't work Sundays (not that that's helped me church attendance-wise--I have been so tired the last month that I've made it to services once, maybe twice).  Because of last week's occupational assessment regarding the stress to my hands and arms, my boss had switched me from my substation to one on the line, and that went ok for a while (and I had a good time learning a new area), but eight hours into the evening, my right wrist really started to burn.  My line leader brought me ice, and then my fingers started to burn and numb.  "Hmm, I thought, "I'm not going to last til Saturday."

I asked God to give me wisdom, and for grace in the eyes of the staffing representative, and when I told him about my condition, he amazingly volunteered to backdate my resignation request so I could call it quits that night without prejudicing my future hiring possibilities with the company.  So, I picked up my stuff, and my ice pack, clocked out, turned in my badge and departed just minutes before everyone else poured out into the parking lot, scattering used earplugs and oily gloves in their haste for home.

Today, my wrist has emphasized the wisdom of last night's decision. I hope it recovers fully, and that the recuperation doesn't take longer than the five weeks it took to damage it. The fingers on both hands feel a little swollen, so it's like typing in gloves, clumsy on the keyboard.

I had hoped to be able to work through the end of the month; I had planned to work through the end of November, when this particular production line was to shut down.  But when you start having physical issues, and know that the crazy schedule is to blame, and then are told that not only will the workload increase, the hours will, too, you know it's time to get out.  Still, I was encouraged when both my brothers texted me to assure me that I wasn't just chickening out when the "going got tough", that I had in fact given the job reasonable time, and it would be unreasonable given the pay and lack of benefits to continue.

I've picked up an application for a customer service position at the karate studio where both my brothers trained decades ago.  It's relocated and expanded, and there were bunches of small children dressed in gis coming out when I went over this afternoon, their parents--heads cocked to one side like curious birds--ushering them through traffic in the parking lot while listening to their offspring chatter excitedly.

Tomorrow Mums and I plan to drive down to Dublin to visit Grandmommy.  We'll be taking my car, and I've done some rudimentary dredging to make the passenger and back seats usable.  I dearly hope I do not--as a radio station reported a Swiss research company had found--look like the car I own (white, unwashed, dented, stuffed with random unnecessaries, and showing its age), but it's probably true...


Barbara said...

Will be praying you find another (easier) job quickly.

the seeker said...

I will also be praying that you find something more suited to your educational level. As someone who has endured years of physical damage in the interest of staying gainfully employed, I can honestly say that I feel your pain.