The storm, and then the calm before the storm
Wednesday was a surprisingly easy day at my main job. I was in what is usually the most difficult of the four work sites on my rotation, but it went just fine. Quite the pleasant surprise. I’ve noticed that when workdays are surprising, it’s seldom in the pleasant direction, ha ha.
I worked 6 to 10 at the Major Home Improvement Retailer on Wednesday evening, and true to form it was a less-than-pleasant surprise. With a major snowstorm in the forecast there was quite a run on storm supplies. The last couple of snowblowers sold right before my shift began, snow shovels were selling at a steady pace, and pallets of ice melt were gone almost as soon as they were put on the sales floor. Around 8:30, the manager on duty asked me to use my newly acquired forklift certification to bring down a pallet of rock salt from the overhead storage. Sure, I said, eager to demonstrate my newfound skills.
My eagerness did not last. As a bit of background, the aisles at the MHIR are not all of the same width. The main aisles around the perimeter of the store and through the center, as well as those in the outside garden area, are much wider than those in the interior. All of my prior forklift operations had been in wide aisles. The rock salt pallet which was my mission to retrieve was, needless to say, in an interior aisle. Even worse, the aisle in question had patio door displays, in other words expensive fragile items. I was able to maneuver into the aisle but soon got more or less wedged in place. It didn’t help that an employee who worked in that department kept admonishing me not to damage any of her merchandise. Believe me, I was trying very hard not to. I finally told the spotter who was accompanying me, the paint department head and an experienced machine operator, that he had better take over. It was perhaps a small bit of consolation that even he had some trouble retrieving the pallet. For the time being, I’ll be sticking to the wide aisles.
Thursday was a fairly easy day at my main job, no trouble getting out right on time. I made a supermarket stop on my way back, and not surprisingly the store was packed with panic shoppers. Nothing like a snowy forecast to bring out the survivalist in everyone. I’m sure the MHIR was having a rush on winter supplies, but I wasn’t there to see it.
Friday was the calm before the storm, with the forecasts getting more and more dire. I wasn’t too thrilled about being scheduled at the MHIR on Saturday, right when the storm was projected to hit, though one good thing is that my route to and from the store is mainly flat. After doing some errands during the day we went to California Pizza Kitchen for an early dinner. Yes, it’s a chain, and therefore I should be looking down my nose at it, but I really like their ‘za. So there.