Thursday, April 9 – Sunday, April 12

Mulch on the brain

Thursday was my last two-job day for five days. Actually it was more like a job and a half day, as I finished up very early at my regular job, and was out by 12:30. Normally I can’t leave before 1:30 even if I’m done with the day’s tasks and have to find ways to keep myself occupied. Thursday was a rare exception.

With several hours before the start of my shift at the Major Home Improvement Retailer there was more than enough time to go to the gym. Of course I didn’t go. I wasted time doing other, mainly trivial stuff until there wasn’t enough time after all. This has to stop. As a sort of cosmic punishment for my laziness the MHIR shift was miserable. More plant racks had arrived during the day, and they all had to be wrapped in landscape fabric for weather protection. I spent most of the 8 to midnight shift outside in the cold rain, to the point that I barely could move my fingers. Served me right.

Friday was my very much appreciated day off. I didn’t do much of consequence for most of the day, which was fine by me, and at 6:30 went to hot yoga. While mostly it went well, there was one setback. About halfway through I ran out of gas and had to sit on my mat for two or three minutes before I could resume. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with taking a break, indeed several other people in the session did so, usually for longer than me, but the fact that it was the first such incident in at least a few months rankles me. Hopefully it was just a consequence of having worked so much.

As for Saturday and Sunday, the word “mulch” dominates all discourse. Not only was it the first really nice weekend of spring, but it was also the big mulch sale at the MHIR – two dollars a bag for Scotts Earthgro mulch, a dollar less than usual. As many people buy 20 or 30 or more bags the savings can be substantial. I worked 11:15 to 7:45 on Saturday,  8 to 5 Sunday,  and spent the vast majority of each shift in the outside garden area hoisting and lugging countless bags of the stuff. Mulch is tricky to handle because when you go to lift a bag you don’t know in advance how much it will weigh. Bags hold two cubic feet, and while they normally weigh about 25 pounds they can be as much as 40 pounds if the moisture content is higher than normal. This lack of predictably makes mulch handling difficult in a way that I can’t really describe in words but is very real. We went through 2,000 bags on Saturday and at least as much on Sunday. Given the low price mulch isn’t much of a revenue stream, but it gets people into the store where they often buy other things. While all the mulch handling made for a physically exhausting weekend each shift zipped by in no time flat.

On a rather worse note, it was much too busy for me to get my forklift certification test. The trainer asked for my schedule for the upcoming week and said he would make time for it. He said that it would be better on a weekday evening because I should be able to do the road (so to speak) test in one of the aisles. If the store is crowded the tests have to take place in the receiving area. That makes for a less realistic training environment.  Still, I just hope that “later” doesn’t somehow turn into “never.” Things have a funny way of turning out like that. Or maybe I’m just worrying too much.

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Published in: on April 14, 2015 at 2:54 am  Leave a Comment  

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