Funny Incident at My Summer Job

October 22, 2020

I worked at the Green Giant factory. And I got it… well actually, my mother talked to the bigwigs in the office and suggested that I might be a really good position of quality control technician for the whole factory. There’s only one person in that job during a 12-hour shift. This was during harvest time. And I was lucky enough to get the job. I worked, like I said, 12-hour shifts, for $1.35 an hour, which was 10 cents more than most people in the factory, and it was to help pay my college tuition.

So in that position, I worked out of a small remodeled bunkhouse that was euphemistically called, “The Shack.” So the shack had a table with trays on both sides of a long drain, and it was my job to go in on the hour roughly, and pull cans off the lines and then take them to my little lab in the shack. And weigh them and take the vacuum, and then open them and then check for any defects.

So, it was late one evening…well actually it was early in the morning, and I was doing my vacuum piece of it. Walking along, among the cans, taking the vacuum and then, this little rubber piece comes off of the gauge and bounces down the drain. And I’m this hyper-responsible 16-year-old in charge of the whole factory’s well being, and I think, “Oh what am I going to do?” Okay, be calm.

Let’s see if I can find Louie, the mechanic. Louie will know what to do. Anyway I go to the canteen, and I hold the gauge up and point to it and I…I say, “Has anyone seen Louie the mechanic? I’ve lost my rubber and I can’t do a thing without it.” So I hear a few snickers. And I’m thinking, don’t these people know how important this gauge is?
So then I say…then I say again, “If you see Louie, tell him to come to the shack and that I need him right away.” And there’s more snickers and laughter.

Anyway, I leave them and go back to the shack, and soon Louie appears with a smile, like a curious smile, like he knows something that I don’t know. He offers another gauge to me. It was only when I went on break and to visit Mary Ann, the nurse on duty, and she explained through smiles and laughing, she explained to me that “rubber” was a euphemism for a prophylactic used in sexual activity. I did not know that. I was growing up on a farm, and I should have known these things.

So I inadvertently entertained a lot of people. The word got out over the whole factory so that when the bigwigs, I call them, came, they had a spoon in their shirt. They came and tasted the product, that’s one thing I didn’t have to do, but they came, and they were smiling. The word was all over, what I had said. So anyway, at the time, I didn’t see it as funny, because I was concerned that, you know, the factory was gonna…there was going to be a lot of product unusable if I didn’t find a vacuum right away. Back then, this was a summer job. I gave people a lot to laugh at, which I’m happy for.

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