By Steve Sharpton, Parsons Training, Tucson, Arizona
November 29, 2015
I’m going to admit to you, it was not a very interesting week for me. While the world was all figuring out what to do with the extended weekend or whether to not brave the crowds for Black Friday, my life was pretty much consumed by work. Heck, I didn’t want to even write a blog for this weekend, primarily due to the lack of time I will have to complete the work and also form the fact all I will be doing is work. Where is the fun in that! I’ve already mentioned work a few times in this first paragraph. I’m having a hard time just thinking and typing because my hands are so tired from all the work I did these last few days. I have barely seen my poor babies because I haven’t even been home due to, you guessed it….work! Either way, I have to admit to you, as I write this blog, I am one tired and sore man. But here is the caveat….I am not broken. There were plenty of moments this past week that told me I should just quit and give up and do something else, but there were other parts that told me I needed money, but also told me that this would be a cinch. After three consecutive 13-hour work days, nothing has come easy because my life seems to revolve around the idea of being unlucky and constantly in the wrong place at the wrong time. I guess I could call myself John McClain from the Die Hard movies, but my misadventures at work this past weekend were nothing compared to what he had to do. I mean, I wasn’t beating an international group of terrorists/thieves (I would have grabbed my shoes!) or taking on a para-military group of deserters trying to steal a shit ton of money. I sure as heck didn’t outsmart a group of terrorists trying to raid the Federal Reserve or even raid the entire wealth of America (okay, No. 4 was kind of a stretch, but the audacity of that chapter was pretty awesome….plus Mary-Elizabeth Winstead was very easy on the eyes!). So maybe I shouldn’t call myself John McClain until I jump off a harrier jet and survive a massive explosion without having my body turn into much while having just enough strength and wit to finally beat the bad guy. Whew!
I have to tell you, I was already in bad shape coming into this week. First of all, I wasn’t feeling too great, but second of all I had a major injury. Due to the amount of walking I had done at the previous week of work, I had developed a pretty nasty blood blister on the bottom of my foot. Essentially it is right under the sesamoid bone on my left foot between the plantar fascia , and I truthfully don’t even know or why it formed. It’s not like I don’t walk and run a lot anyway. The only thing I could figure was the fact my body responded negatively to the hard concrete floors that comprise the flooring at work. So yeah, I have shut down the running until it either goes away or I can burst the blister. It pretty much hurts like a horse stepping on my face unless I have some form of shoe or sandal on my foot. I even bought some extra inserts to help with the pain. You can imagine how I felt on my days off when I couldn’t even go running, for fear I would aggravate this blister problem even further. So here I was, about to embark on five extremely long work days with a bad foot. But that is part of the mental fortitude I have gained during my life. You learn to deal with the pain, and even when you could have easily called it they, you push on just to show you can.
Now truthfully, I really don’t care all that much about my job. In fact, I kinda hate it. But due to the fact no one wants to hire me to do anything else, I have to suck it up and just move along. You would think life would be a lot easier as a supervisor, but my second week on the job has been nothing more than hell on Earth and some weird chapter of Murphy’s Law. I will admit, I was expecting the worst, but these last few days have been worse than anything I could imagine. Anyway, when you work at a major retailer warehouse, you kind of figure you are going to get the hell beaten out of you, that you will hauling some of the dumbest assortments of merchandise you can imagine (like the box I saw that had a massive food processor and a MacBook Air or the guy that ordered condoms, Fallout 4 and the newest BlackOps game…..not to be an ass but I doubt he would be using the condoms with those games taking all his time! hehe). There was a point where I was managing a large group of people who’s only job was to put shipping stickers and information on Keurig machines. That was it. We shipped thousands of those buggers in the span of a couple days. Someone said the warehouse moved 15,000 units in two days. I will believe it when I see the actual numbers. But here was the hitch…..it was not like I was working all that hard. Since I work the weekend shifts of Saturday, Sunday and Monday, I pretty much deferred the heavy lifting and management to the people that did the Tuesday through Friday supervising. But that wasn’t until I noticed something with the upstairs conveyor belts. You can imagine my terror when the belts were not moving and boxes were starting to bunch up. The head supervisors first told me push boxes down the line, but that didn’t work. We took stuff off the line to put on the floor in hopes of resetting the belts, but that didn’t work either. Long story short, we had to move hundreds upon hundreds of boxes from the four non-working conveyors to the working one. Let me just say this, I did this nonsense for nearly four hours until we finally got an adequate number of people where I could actually be a supervisor as opposed to the only guy that could keep up with the brutality. Moving so much product over such a short period of time pretty much burned out a lot of people, so much so that we had to rotate a lot of people in and out. They just weren’t ready for the rigors. Too many of them were getting ready to have a family dinner that night or whatever. As for me, it was no problem, but I was tired as hell the next day! I got so tired from the work that I just conked out at home, skipping Thanksgiving dinner and surely ticking off some of my family. I never knew this was going to happen, and what really pissed me off was all the people that worked Thanksgiving were rather surprised how “slow” it was the next day. Well yeah, I would remark, you weren’t on the conveyors keeping the freaking building from shutting down!
In all honesty, I probably earned a little respect from some of those involved, for the next day the people that were getting their butts kicked with me on the second floor were in awe of me. Clearly, they had never seen someone at my job do what I did. One guy, who looked like he was in great shape, asked me how the hell I managed to do it, claiming how tired he was from just a couple hours of work. I told him all the reasons, and he seemed in rather surprised even though we had a rather interesting conversation about our workout regimens. He easily out lifted me, but it just goes to show the energy and the cardio differences were of completely different spectrums. I guess I can chalk this one up to the “running and plant eating” team. The next couple days for me were not not much different for I was supervising an area of the warehouse that just never ceased to stop. I found myself backing people up and doing actual work, even though the whole point of my role is not having to do either. But this where one’s personal fitness must constantly be tested. I had to do so much extra work these past few days, it made me angry from the fact I seemed to be the only supervisor that had to bust a lot of hump to keep my area running. It was quite obvious the jealousy was running rampant in my head, for I witnessed so many having the time to stand around and talk. But I guess that is the life one must accept, one that I keep falling into no matter what. I seem to always have to pick up the slack for other people, whether it is willing or not. I hate having to be the one that can do that sort of thing merely because I’m strong and fit enough to do it. But there is always the other side of the coin….if I had never gone on the current journey I am on, there is no way in hell I would have been able to handle any of that work. While I went home a little sore and in desperate need of carbohydrates, I still would wake up the next day ready to go, no matter how long it took me to get my second wind that particular day. And here is another logic point…perhaps there is no one that could do what I do.
My first three days of working during what my company calls “peak” time were nothing short of back breaking. I never seen so many food processors and crappy head phones in my life. But then again, this is the meaning of Christmas I guess. Considering all of the stuff I kept seeing passing through my area, I wondered how much of it the people purchasing it really needed this stuff. I wondered if they rally needed two copies of a movie or a video game. I wondered if they really thought all of the vitamins they bought would really be that beneficial for them. I didn’t really have time to think about all of that stuff, especially since my station was averaging 20-25 thousand orders a day! But I do know what my money has been well spent on….my health. There is no doubt in my mind I would have tapped out after two days if I was still 400 pounds air so. Heck, I probably would have passed out a couple times, which apparently has happened already at work (though the person was hung over, which is the main reason why they fell asleep on the toilet…trust me, that is not even the dumbest story over the past weekend!) My back would have been reduced to powder and I might be popping ibuprofen like candy, which I see plenty of people doing so.
Anyway, I’m sorry this was such a boring blog to read about. But hey, I have logged 40 hours of work in the span of three days, and there is not much else to write about other than the fact I am doing well at a thankless job. But the silver lining to the message is the fact I should have no issue with surviving. All that really matters now is how much longer I want to keep doing this.
About Parsons Training
Parsons Training is a Tucson leader in fitness and personal wellness training. Every personal trainer with this company designs and implements effective fitness programs for their clients; these programs serve as the foundation for good health, fitness, and wellness. Additional information about Parsons Training is available at http://www.parsonspersonaltraining.com
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About Our Blog
Steve, a Parsons Training Client, went from 400 pounds to Running half-marathons, from lifting pizzas to lifting hundreds of pounds through training with us.