Friday, February 4, 2011

Working From Home

Today, I awoke at 5am, got dressed (old t-shirt, worn jeans with boot socks), poured a large mug, dropped my lunch in a box (smoked oysters/crackers, bottled water, two bananas, a pack of instant rice noodles), and sat near the phone.
And sat some more...
As I've done every day this week, while waiting for that phone to ring, ready at a moment's notice to get out the door and head to work.
I kill much of the time receiving, and responding to, trash texts from my co-workers.
It's now Friday, and I have yet to get that call...

We have a drug screen policy at work. Anytime one sustains an injury, he gets sent for a drug screen (the piss in a cup, kind.) Anytime a supervisor suspects behavior under the influence, a drug screen is ordered. Anytime somebody is off work for a 30 days, a screen must be passed prior to returning.

It's 'Their' money that pays for it, and ridding the mill of inebriated/stoned/tweeked laborers is a smart thing that I tend to agree with. Once was a time when the paper industry was notorious for drug use among it's labor force.
Drugs were rampant. I mean, the shit was everywhere. It got to be old news when I could walk the department floor and kick a small pocket-pipe, or sweep up two or three roaches at a time during my shift clean up. Beer cans stuffed behind an I-beam was a common site. The Marlboro pack sitting atop the machine might be a drop.
Yeah, notorious and everywhere.
My brother once stated that I worked in a pharmacy with a corrugator in the middle of it.

About 15yrs ago, The Powers decided to clean the industry up. A lot of folks lost their jobs, and arbitrators gained new ones, as managements instituted new policies, bargaining agreements were violated, grieved, restored, renegotiated... etc.
A lot of push back and eventual understanding on both sides has brought us to where we are now:
With me reporting to work Monday for the first time since my surgery December 20th; barred from the production floor while being sent to the clinic to pee in a cup; sent home to await the results/phone call from my boss ordering me to work... at which point I am expected to report promptly to my scheduled shift.
All of this is on the clock.

My schedule is Days, 6am-2p. After about noonish, I figure I'm done for the day, but I'm still expected to answer that phone during my shift, should they call.
I just received the call, finally, five days later at 11:30am.
"Gino!"
Yeah, Mando.
"You're good buddy, see ya Monday."


A week.
Boring and wasted.
But at least I got paid for it.

4 comments:

Bike Bubba said...

Come to think of it, can you talk better now? Congrats on getting back to work--I'm guessing that your wife will be glad you're getting some more activity.

My dad used to work in a paper mill when I was little, and one story he told was that a guy shot the place up after a coworker joked about cuckolding him. Nobody got fired, 'cause the union contract didn't have a clause that you could be disciplined for coming in and shooting up the place.

No, I am not making this up, and I'm guessing this makes some kind of weird sense in light of what you've seen.

Gino said...

yes, i speak much better now. people can here me from 10-15 ft away,depending on atmosphere noise, so its not too bad.

and yeah, contracts are contracts. it sounds stupid. i assure you, the membership didnt want that guy back either, but if they allow contract breaking in one case, it sets a precedent for the company to violate next time. all that counts when before an arbitrator, which is not always a favorable place to be for labor, so you try to limit every excuse they have for going against you.

as for the shooter: i'm sure he was arrested, and time spent in custody cost him his job anyway due to unexecused absence.

i've heard stories of the old days (about the time you and were kids)from some of the 40yr vets. it was zoo.

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

Well, sorry it was dull, but yay on the all-clear!

Bike Bubba said...

Actually, since no one got hurt, I'm not quite sure the shooter even got arrested, believe it or not. We're talking rural Ohio in 1970 or so of course....