Dear diary...It was back in the early 90s, I can't remember which years, when working for a local Christmas hamper company as that special day drew near.
Waking each early morning hardly any sounds to be heard at 6am, just a ghostly silence lingering in cold chill of kitchen lights. While bed was still snug and cosy from my body warmth and pillow still held those fuzzy dreams, but in the twinkling of an eye all memory departed.
Furthermore, breakfast and coffee I'd consume with workday on my mind, but also wishing I could remember those dreams! In addition, after washing up and taking sandwiches from fridge that were made the night before, I'd shower, clean my teeth and dress before finally rushing out front door.
November's inky sky blanketed those early risers, that each day were encountered at bus shelter, some were going my way while others traveled into town. There would be silence as none seemed that too happy going to work, their tired faces held gloomy frowns, because back then there were no mobiles for chatting to family and friends.
Second bus I'd catch was right by a park where squirrels scurried and crows pecked around. Dawn's sky would soon be up dressed in rich golden attire; couldn't be sure if it might rain when scarlet was the vibrant colour, well you know what they say about red sky in morning! That's why I'd always make sure I carried an umbrella come rain or shine.
Soon Into view warehouse lights appeared, some said it was more like being in prison, but I found it all quite challenging. Behind those walls we were all a mixed bag of characters, there were those young girls who got chatted up by forklift drivers and kids just out of school that thought nothing of messing around and being cheeky. I wasn't perfect, but would work with no clock watching,boxes at the ready as long as I have some gum for chewing.
When clock displayed 8 am conveyor belts were running, there wasn't any time for chatting when there was work to be done, although some girls and guys didn't take the job seriously and also didn't last long. We were expected to be on the line in our overalls and hats, also if we were lucky, busy at our own chosen tasks.
Some would stand at one end making up boxes with a special tape gun, they'd have to go like the clappers to keep up. Others stood like robots packing which I never found fun, if a supervisor was around and you were caught chatting you'd get a telling off...but still we'd carry on after they'd gone. There were two supervisors that were okay and would have a laugh with us, in fact we did manage to get away with blue murder, but I always took what I was doing seriously.
My particular favourite job of all was line feeding, there would be piles of boxes full of produce and it was the line feeders job to cut open box after box of cans, pies, cakes, biscuits – sweets, turkeys and many cuts of frozen meat, making sure the packers always had supplies at hand.
Throughout the day I'd work opening hundreds of boxes each day, feeding...may be in total of six lines depending on how many staff they could find. When tape was struck with knife across the lid, quick as a flash I'd split the flaps open and sing to myself, hearing music blaring from the radio. I felt proud of my daily achievements, never felt hemmed in, didn't miss daylight or even birds song.
Monday to Thursday pleasantly exhausted, 5pm soon came around. We'd rush to get our coats and bags at ending of another working day. I'd be ready for darkness and on my way, with no sun glinting through branches of trees, just evening shadows reflecting off street lamps playing ghostly tricks.
I remember we walked to the bus stop in groups back then, you never knew who was around, or if someone might be concealed in bushes crouched waiting to pounce, though it never happened, but winter can be a dark and lonely time waiting at a roadside bus shelter tired and weary, nevertheless it was okay if you were with companions. When bus finally came along we could breathe a sigh of relief and get on.
Once more it was good to be back home safe indoors with nothing else left to do but just relax over and evening meal and chat, watch some television then to bed to dream of ambitious targets ready to deliver those boxes again another day.
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