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Short-Lived Gig

Updated on July 22, 2015

The Rigors of Manual Labor

At a new job as a prepared foods employee for a large corporation, I wash dishes from 1:30-10:00 p.m.. I use an uber-pressurized hose to powerfully spray each platter. If you don’t tilt the platter, you end up with water/or chicken catchetori infiltrating your glasses. Many times, I got the bird’s eye view. Suffice it to say, my phone also becomes water-logged. I make the mistake of hosing the kitchen down before sweeping. So the foodstuffs are swept under the galley. I am constantly re-hosing on my hands and knees to flood the foodstuffs underneath within reach of the dustpan, on the opposite side.

There are about twelve, 30 pound mats that I must pick up and plop down on top of each other to hose down, before bringing them back. I feel as if I have just competed for the Mr. Universe contest and have been disqualified for pulmonary and muscular deflation. Upon completion, I am relieved and accomplished, but breathless!

You are not qualified!

An initial interviewer for the company point-blank tells me, a law school graduate, that I am not qualified to be a dishwasher. Although at first I am aghast by her diminished hunch of my often, refreshingly industrious work ethic, her assessment is not without merit.

Despite working my hardest to get up to speed, I lag while excessively scrubbing the various platters, bins, cauldrons, pots, and rectangular, metal containers. Utilizing so much elbow grease that receives the wrist equivalent of tennis elbow, I leave no foodstuff left behind. Another, more experienced dishwasher, misses a few specks upon the aforementioned receptacles with lightning fast splashes of the hose before letting the industrial dishwasher impeccably sanitize the bulk of the spreckled remains. My vehement scrubbing with the steel shammy squanders valuable dish washing time during my nine-hour shift.

The dirty containers begin to stockpile and overflow in the soapy, sanitation sink as well as outside on multi-level, marketing platforms that practically command a fresh start. They impatiently await my personal touch. But at 10:00 p.m., half an hour past mandated departure from the company premises, they remain untouchables whom beg for special attention that no one looks forward to fulfilling. Especially the morning crew, of which I am also a proud member...

Meanwhile, the foamy dish soap has somehow overflowed out of the entrenched basins, has writhed its course to the gutter, but has upshot a sess pool of soapy froth in the drain area, spurting forth like a milky fountain. Is it possible to disengage the sanitizer while creating a cleaner, health conscious, and more presentable environment? More on chickens shortly...

After five days (almost 50 hours) of using my right wrist to scrub the daylights out of the various items while frequently tilting them at improbable angles while I power-hose with my left hand, my right wrist is toast. It is painful, numb, limp, and useless. As a southpaw in tennis, I may only slice my backhands back with my one-hander. Yet, I am confident that when it heals, my two-handed backhand will return with a vengeance. In the meantime, I graciously resign from the company.

A Broader Perspective

At first glance, we are not always whom others think we might be, by our so-called titles in life. I think many of us have diverse talents and aptitudes that are not necessarily reflected in the vocations that we have fallen into. Perhaps we have confidences and opportunities in certain areas that we do not, for whatever reason, follow through with in others. Everyone is a “somebody” who potentially wields the power to contribute to a better world.

Given the right circumstances and opportunities, why could not my fellow, friendly dish washer possibly become a neurosurgeon?! Who can say what complex profundities stream through his consciousness while he scrambles to clear his daily dish allotment? After all, he consistently repeats his track record of successes over the long haul of his residency within the institution. What is to stop him from accelerating matters to a more advanced workload?

Maybe I should stick to unveiling truances about human nature, persona theory’s relation to the competitive sports mindset, our social justice platforms that influence our ethical conscience, and commonalities of monotheistic spirituality that I have mulled over for the bulk of my ascetic life. The above are revealed in my autobiographical novel, The Ascent of a Barbarious Court Squatter by Author/Digital Musician Jacque D’Artichoke, J.D.http://www.amazon.com/The-Ascent-Barbarious-Court-Squatter/dp/146370898X.

Upon contemplation, it is altruistic that the food sticks to the pan because people justifiably need to eat.

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