Sunday, September 29, 2013

from fem to forkin'...

for the past week
i've been editing and narrating
a forklift training powerpoint
for a local aluminum smelter,
the very same factory i personally
received forklift equipment training
 from 25 years ago...


in the early spring 
of my freshman year at murray state,
my mom informed me i would be working
as a summer student, laborer at alcan aluminum.
alcan was a local aluminum smelter 
where she, my step-dad, 3 uncles, and
numerous cousins worked.
although she and my step-dad
worked in accounting,
you can believe me
when i say i was well-versed
in the woes of working in the factory.

i think she thought working 8-16 hours a day
in the 100+ degree heat
would teach me a valuable lesson...
that i needed to stay in school and get my degree!

the thing is,
i went from this:

to this:

like a fish takes to water...!


ironically, terry givens (tl),
whom i now work for,
trained me on the forklift.
tl had worked for alcan
prior to starting the givens group
(then known as "the tool shed").
alcan had brought him on as a contractor
to train new-hires
and shoot and produce safety training videos.

i ran stackers,
i banded metal,
i charged the furnaces,
i fork-trucked billet, slab, and t-bar.

and, you know what?
i was good at it!

when i went back to school in the fall,
i declared my major,
occupational safety and health engineering.
i knew i wanted to work
in a factory setting.
there was nothing like it.
the people were real,
the work was hard yet rewarding,
perhaps, i could be 
one of the ones to keep
the employees safe!

it was the following fall,
after finishing 
my safety engineering internship,
that i started working for tl.
we put together videos,
painted signs and banners,
i drew and labelled alcan's
emergency plan maps
for each department.


my job assignment
this week
has been a very nostalgic one.
there are so many more regulations now
than there were back in the day.

in 1988,
there were no seat-belts,
our trucks were propane,
i don't recall having
to perform a pre-use inspection
on any of the heavy equipment
i operated,
there may or may not have been 
horse-play on the midnight shifts.
(and, btw...
i may or may not 
have won a forklift race
or three;)

love and God's blessings,

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