In my college years I worked one summer at the pinball machine factory.
It was a decent job. Pay was good, assembly work wasn't too hard.
But during the last week you were there, they had to train somebody else to
do your job.
So they had you pull nails out of the wiring harness boards.
These were 4'x4' sheets of 3/4" plywood with a blueprint of the harness on
them and a nail at every bend and termination.
There were maybe 80 nails in each board and a stack of boards about 20'x 30'
by 10' high.
Six of us pulled nails 8hrs a day
The guy in charge was a fellow named Zeno, who only spoke an eastern
european dialect that none of us could recognize.
He talked constantly, and although we couldn't understand him, you could
tell by the rhythm and laughing that he was telling jokes.
He was also putting nails into new boards at a rate slightly faster than the
six of us combined could pull them out.
Okay, picture this.
Six College kids, doing mind numbingly boring work on a stack of boards that
does not get any smaller, but is in fact growing slightly larger every day,
listening to someone blather on constantly in an unintelligible language.
By the third day, we were all so punchy, we thought Zeno's undecipherable
jokes were hilarious. He kept us in stitches for the rest of the week.
He probably thought he was worlds greatest standup comic.
I don't think any of us came back for a second summer.
Paul K. Dickman
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