jobs i would never want: overnight truck unloader at huckabees
after a extended drought of almost 3 months my clients have finally begun to find competitive employment. since "empowering clients by helping them find competitive employment" would be part of my personal mission statement* this development has been most welcome. however, since 5 of my clients have secured positions within the past three weeks, and i am obliged to provide free job coaching for every job offered, my life has been a little crazy lately.
since i cannot divulge information about my clients due to nitpicky little issues such as the American Disabilities Act i cannot tell you anything specific about either my clients or the crazy, alternative universe** i inhabit over at rectangle. however, i think i can legally tell you a little about my off-site job coaching experiences. thus, this series, "jobs i would never want."
now that i've lost all my readers, i guess i can continue.
on thursday night, after gathering with our newly christened s & s small group, i made my way to huckabees*** where i was scheduled to job coach my client on a 10 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. truck unloader shift. when we arrived the manager quickly escorted us to the back of the store where about 25 members from a wide assortment of individuals from united nations affiliated countries was preparing to unload two trucks. before we really knew what to do with ourselves the manager was clipping the seal on the semis and immediately standing aside as an overwhelming assortment of bikes, dvds, cosmetics and a truly ridiculous amount of kitty litter came cascading out of the truck.**** over the next hour we "carefully" loaded all of the product onto specific pallets and then wheeled the pallets out into specific sections of the store.
then, just as we prepared to open the boxes and stock the inventory the manager called "first break" over the intercom, we wearily wound our way to the break room and, i shit you not, feasted on a delectable assortment of haitian food.***** at that point, i noticed that the white bread manager was walking table to table and speaking to everyone in their own native tongue. when he pressed enough flesh to make it over to my table, i asked him how many languages he spoke and he quickly replied: "spanish, portuguese and i'm learning bosnian." at that moment, and throughout the night, i was impressed by his both his ability to contextualize every instruction and interaction with his workers and the overwhelming generosity he showed towards myself and my client.
of course, there were things i hated about the evening such as the horrible, sappy, coldplay inspired bitch pop that played over the speakers all night and the utterly mind numbing process of sorting and stocking trivial shit like confetti colored ribbon, spiderman 3 branded speedo goggles and "so hot," "you're hot" and "stay hot" colors of maybelliene lipstick. but after i left for the evening, barely survived the sleep deprived hour drive home and reflected on my experience the next afternoon i found it nothing short of remarkable.
i was amazed by the amount of man hours it takes to receive, stock and display the incredible assortment of trivial shit that we buy on a weekly basis. further, i was enriched by the overwhelming diversity and generosity of huckabees' multi-cultural staff****** and impressive management. finally, this experience helped confirm my suspicion that there are a number of people within every corporate behemoth who really want to do something good, beautiful and true with their work day. thus, by encouraging my client to apply, accompanying that person through the interview and assisting through the job coaching process i'm not simply serving my client's interests, but also empowering a well intentioned corporate worker or two to do something beautiful.
so, in the future i would like to balance my bitching about corporate behemoths by actively seeking to assist those within the corporate structure who long to live out a life that is more beautiful, good and true. moreover, i would like to thank my client and huckabees for providing a night to remember.
* if i was lame enough to have one.
** when i say alternative universe i mean it. we feature handicapped look-a-likes of most major celebrities, a steamy relationship scene and offer abba themed summer dance parties to boot.
*** ok, so i didn't really put in hours at huckabees, but you get the idea.
**** the next time you wonder why your new dvd player doesn't work or your caked out maybelleine compact is cracked remember this post.
***** minus the chicken heads.
****** though there were a few passing moments, late in the evening, when i felt like i was living out the script for dirty pretty things II.