The following and all of the other episodes to come are snapshots of what goes on in my head, now and in the past. There are times none of this will make sense. There will be times when I might get lucky and the blog I post will be well constructed and will flow like a mountain stream to an awaiting lake below. Other times it will seem like the ramblings of a madman and you’ll ask yourself, “What the……?”
You should probably get use to the latter.
EPISODE SEVENTY THREE: Life…? ASSEMBLE!!!!!
I use to work on an assembly line.
This was at a place I worked for almost eleven years but I worked in shipping most of that time. I finally decided I had to get out of that whole game and found myself on the Breaker line. I won’t go into too much detail about how it worked but it was these rolling breakers that went into much bigger electrical units. The breakers themselves were about two and a half feet cubed. And they were filled with electrical and mechanical parts and devices.
This line I worked on was broken down to separate stations where different things would be placed or plugged or connected. And on down the line to the next station.
I’m sure you get the gist on how it works.
The station I usually was on was station two. Nothing electrical but lots of mechanical parts were placed on the breaker on my station. And a lot of those things were assemblies of smaller parts that had to be assembled before hand. During down times, I would make up these assemblies so I had a lot ready for the next few or for the next hundred.
I liked having a LOT made up before hand. I could do my part of the breaker in a fraction of time it normally would. My ‘work day’ would be over in just a few hours versus a day. And I would do WAY past my quota and tick off everybody else on the line because it made them look bad.
I actually enjoyed it. I liked being so far ahead of everybody else and take the rest of the day to prefab all of my assemblies. I could sit and listen to the radio and ponder.
I had my station set up pretty well. The hardware I use the most was closer to me. All the tools I needed were put in a certain order and easy to reach.
Working that job taught me an important lesson, one that I didn’t learn anywhere else and I still use to this day:
Think about what you’re going to do and how you’re going to do it. Ask your yourself if that is the best way, experiment, and change the process if you need to. Make whatever you do streamlined. Arrange your work area in the most efficient way possible.
And it taught me how to multitask with ease.
And prepare your surroundings.
I took that knowledge and use it in everyday life. I use it when I clean or cook or do my hobbies. I use it when I write. I use that knowledge for EVERYTHING.
I think working on that breaker line was in harmony with my meticulous nature and my need to plan.
I spent about three years on that line. I did get moved to an area where I worked with one other guy (or sometimes by myself) working on these special breakers where they only need one or two per job. Easy work. I still sat up my work station the same way but it was a lot slower. I got tired of it after a while and decided to go back to shipping.
If you know me, I try to be humble and I don’t talk highly (or think highly) of myself but I think I was one of the best breaker linemen that they have ever seen.
I still think about putting those breakers together. I think if I was to find myself back there, after a few minutes, I think I could still put one together as if no time had past. As if it was the next day after putting them together the day before.
And it taught me so much.
It may have hindered me from time to time. As I said earlier in this post and like I’ve said before in another post, I’m a planner. I have to think of every path to everything. I have to plan every route. Working that breaker line helped fine tune it.
As I’ve said before, it’s a blessing and a curse. I can plan too much. I can prepare too much. I can become too rigid and I don’t allow enough sway.
Sometimes there is less slack in the ‘line’ because I didn’t think it was needed.
But, of course, it was.
I’m still learning. My work station in my head is still pretty well maintained but I give myself more time. I try not to rush.
Well, I try not to rush.
I always have this fear that if I don’t finish quickly, there will be more right behind that and I’ll never get caught up.
Another breaker coming for me to do. And another. And….another.
Learning to not let it stress me out is difficult. I fight with it everyday. I think I’ll fight with it for the rest of my life, to worry about when the next thing is coming.
Will I be ready?
Will I have my work area prepared to handle it?
Will they ever stop coming so I can stop?
Patience. Patience and preparedness.
That’s what it takes.
I’m glad I don’t work at that place anymore. I couldn’t see myself being there for the rest of my life. I made some friends, a few I still know today. But I’d been there long enough. Maybe too long.
I don’t regret working there, though. I learned some important lessons about life. That job taught me some hard lessons on who I was and who I wanted to be.
And I learned to be the badass of the breaker line.
June 23, 2017
I’ve decided to keep a blog about how I’m dealing with depression. I’m going to consider this a form of therapy. It might not help anybody else but it might help me.