The Key to My Happiness at Work

Do you remember Milton from Office Space? The guy is crazy about his stapler. He’s the character you love and the one you make fun of at the same time. Today, I felt a bit like Milton. I had my first day as a temp at Oregon Wine Services & Storage and I discovered that the key to a successful day at this job is the tape gun.

What? You ask. A tape gun is the thing that determines whether or not you have a good day at work. Yes, it is.

You see, I am a packager. I get to build boxes, package bottles of wine, tape up the filled boxes, stick labels on the boxes, and send them down to the shipping people at the warehouse. Two out of five steps I do for each box require me to tape boxes. Thus, taping is an important part of my job.

There were two times during the first three hours of my work at the warehouse when I was approached by my “mentors” to show me better ways to tape the boxes. One of the guys said it nicely, “I do it like this. It’s easier.” The other guy just started shaking his head at me, took the box, and started taping up a storm. I didn’t realize there was a wrong way to tape boxes. But then I thought about the packages I order from whenever I have any money. Those boxes are taped perfectly. There is never a crease. My boxes had huge creases at the beginning of the day. If I am completely honest, for the first bit of the day, I was a bit confused. They had this nice, Mexican man “train” me. The tough part of this was that he wasn’t exactly the best teacher and he didn’t really teach me as much as do things and then expect me to know how he did them when he was finished. His “instructions” (or lack thereof) sort of reminded me of doing farm chores with my dad. He’s never been that great about training me to do them right the first time. He always just growled at me when I screwed things up. But despite the questionable training, I survived.

At the end of the day, my main “mentor” asked me, “will you be back tomorrow?”

“Of course,” I answered. “I need the money.”

And then he told me that a bunch of people from our temp agency have shown up for one day and then they never came back. They claim the work is too hard. This baffled me a little bit. I spent a week and a half bottling wine for Penner-Ash. That was tough work. Working out of a semi, capping and boxing bottles was not exactly the perfect job, but at the end of the week, it was nice to have a paycheck. Compared to bottling wine, working in a warehouse is a cush job. I don’t see how people give up. Don’t they need the money too?

I’m thinking that wherever I end up in the next year, I’m going to do some research to get me one of those good tape guns. It’ll come in handy. When I get the good job, I’ll have to move, thus I’ll have to pack a bunch of boxes. I’ll suddenly have money so that I can send care packages to my friends and family so that they remember how much I love them. So you see, a tape gun is important. The good thing about my current temp job is that it does so much for me. It gives me money and gives me the opportunity to do free research about the tape gun. (One with a purple handle is essential to my true happiness!)


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