Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Working in Factories


This is not meant to be a very good photo, just a piece of documentary evidence which I took while I was picking up my mobile phone from being fixed, of the back of the factory which I worked in when I first moved to Hull. It was Ross's then, but now it is something else, and seems to be manned by a lot of Poles who have come to this city.
I used to work the night shift, from 6 to 6 and use to have a scooter which I used to whizz across the flyover from where I took the picture.
I quite enjoyed doing this, when I used to put burgers into boxes. It is mindless therapeutic activity, rather like twiddling with worry beads, but is obviously rather more productive than fiddling with beads. I used to like working on the end of the line, and I can make a mean cardboard box. You take a flat piece of cardboard and by means of various dextrous movements transform it into a box. My technique was so fast that the box, to an observer, must have looked like a blur of arms and cardboard, rather in the manner of a magic trick, cardboard and then box in the twinkling of an eye. You had to be quick as the line moved on its inexorable progress, and that rather concentrated the mind, as if you didn't there would be a ever-increasing pile of Ross Beef Burger boxes on the floor.
Inspite of this, some of it was a little boring and you used to live for the tea breaks, of which you had three, of twenty minutes duration. Of course, everyone smoked and drank very sugary tea and had greasy fryups. With jobs like this you need to have something to look forward to. It is a little easier to keep up the healthy regime when your job is a little more intrinsically satisfying. That's why I get a little peeved at the politicans in Westminster for their smoking ban and telling other people, in other circumstances, what to do.
From this job I imbibed an extensive knowledge of early nineties pop music as the radio was always on. I particularly remember Seal and Billy Ray Cyrus, whom all the girls used to love. I remember Norma who spent all her money on the best cosmetic and toileties and who used to feed her dogs potatoes (along with proper food, not quite an RSPCA case) and I hope they are all right.
They used to make Linda McCartney vegetarian foods. I used to watch as an alternate lines bins of meat for the meat pies, and bins of soya for the vegetarian pies were lined up. I thought then that the lads were a little casual in their lining up of the bins. Sure enough, a few years later a vegetarian person complained when he found he was tucking into a meat pie, and they got into a whole lot of trouble. I think there was a court case.
I finished the job just as the sun rose in the morning and came streaming through the windows. It was the best feeling in the world. Then home to bed, which was the best sleep I had ever had.

18 comments:

Flowerpot said...

what a wonderful description of coming home! Good to meet you Eleanor.

Frances said...

Love the Linda Mc Cartney thing.
I think you are right about work. It is easier if it's interesting and varied. When you have a mindless job you get the pleasure from the social side - the people you work with, doncha fink?

Frances said...

By the way, what are you doing online - did your hubby forget to switch off the computer?

Frances said...

ooh magic, just got your comment about the laptop.

Beverley said...

God, my blog looks dull, and at this precise moment must be the ugliest blog on the internet. I'm trying to put some flowers or something on the header but can't manage it, or I am getting them the wrong size

Frances said...

Ask Rima - she knows all about headers.
I don't know about this template, does it have space for a picture in it?

Rima said...

raaahhh - comments keep getting deleted - will write again later - email me at
rima at marayagalleries dot com to talk about customizing your blog (laughably simple, simple, simple and easy - i taught irene how to do it)

Beverley said...

How kind to get in touch Rima. Sad to say I don't know how to e-mail but will ask hubby when he gets back from Eleanor's football match.

Bez said...

They must have recognised your experience at Ross that you gained at KP. I remember the bags of crisps that were seconds, sold off cheap because they had too many in and they didnt want the customers to get used to it. Besides they would get taken to court for making people fat. My favourites were the salt and vinegar ones that were rejected due to (probably you) putting in about 10 times too much flavour. Better than smelling salts!Incidentaly, a lot of these factories have gone. The old Birds Eye Factory in Grimsby was torched about a week ago.(CD posted by the way.)

Rima said...

Hey, Bev - I'll put a post on how to customize headers on Blogger soon if you can't email me. BTW, my email is also found on my blogger profile, or my gallery website, just a click away.

Beverley said...

Yes, Bez I did get this job because of the experience (but this was only a packing job) I also got another job as a QC (Quality Controller, not Queens Council)at a factory next to this plant called Britfish.

I enjoyed that job at KP. I particularly liked the bit where you tested the flavour of the crisps by eating them. I remember once when someone asked you how I was and you said "Fat". I admit I did put too much flavour on the crips on occasions and once was responsible for a flourescent metal detector testing rod being found in a packet of Cheese and Onion by someone in Derby, apparently.

Bez said...

Sometimes (usually actually)I cringe at my eloquent turn of phrase when I hear quotes from the past. It only took 15 years for you to speak to me again!:-)

Frances said...

Women never forget, eh Bez -
Regrets - I have a few, but not too many for women to mention..
So where is your blog, Bez?
Bev, I enjoyed being online at the same time as you today, usually all the Americans are still in bed - Irene's already stopped blogging and you haven't got online when I'm around. Enjoyed the virtual chat.
C U L 8R

Frances said...

Hey Bev
I saw your name on Facebook but not sure it was the same person. Are you on there?

Sweet Irene said...

All these conversations you people are having! Bev, go to the Minima template and download a picture into that header. It is easy to do, you just have to find a picture that will more or less fit.

Beverley said...

Frances, I don't know, I once tried to get on it

Beverley said...

Frances, I have just been on Facebook out of interest. You don't actually know my name, you only know my maiden name LOL There is somebody in London with my maiden name but it isn't me because that's not my name lol I also went on to see if anybody has been talking about me and what they had to say, but obviously nobody was that interested....

Frances said...

I did wonder, because I was having a look at the London network and your maiden name was the first on the page - co-incidence or what?
There wasn't a pic, so I couldn't tell whether it was a teenager or what.
And I don't know where you're from originally... I didn't think I could message her and ask if she was the person from Hull LOL