Saturday was not one of my better days at the Major Home Improvement Retailer. I worked almost an 8-hour shift, 11 to 7 with my usual half-hour lunch, but it seemed at least twice as long. In its infinite wisdom the MHIR had scheduled several people to work in the garden department even though this is the very slowest time of year in the department. I mean, it’s good that people were getting hours, but with four or even five people on duty in garden at each point during my shift there just wasn’t much to do. With only slight exaggeration I can say that I spent most of my shift just walking around the aisles looking for customers to help. While the store was quite busy, it’s nothing that two people in garden couldn’t have handled. At least I got ample exercise, though my feet were sore enough by shift’s end that I decided against making a gym trip.
Sunday was much better. Although I worked a shift of similar length, 12 to 8 in this case, it was far less tedious. In part this is because there were never more than three people in the department, more often just two, and in part – bigger part, to be sure – it’s because I had a lengthy training session on the forklift. This time it got pretty advanced, as the trainer had me retrieve pallets of joint compound from the overhead storage and put new ones in their place. Retrieving pallets is harder than putting ones into the overhead, as I had to get the forks aligned just right well overhead where it’s hard to see.
I really thought I had more sessions to go, but the trainer told me that I had passed and he signed a certification form for me. So after a long quest, I am now an officially licensed forklift operator, though I will still have more practice sessions. Once I get more adept I’ll go for licensure on two other machines, the sit-down forklift (the one I trained on is called the reach, you stand up when operating it and it’s much more maneuverable in store aisles than the regular version) and the aerial lift platform.