Every night when I get home from the factory my room is unbearably hot. I come home and immediately open up the windows, then lock the door and head downtown on foot. The main library is some blocks away so it takes a while to get there and back. People still drop off books at the back entrance late at night so I go there and raid the donations. I never know what I’m going to end up taking from them since it’s different every time. The weirder the book, the better I guess.

I’ve bumped into some of the local heroin addicts rooting through the boxes of books. I’ve known some of them since high school. They got hooked, and to support their habit they swipe books and sell them to the used book stores downtown. Seems better to me than breaking and entering people’s homes to steal stuff and pawn it. When I see them at the book drop-off I step aside and let them root through the boxes first. That way maybe they get the rare books worth fat loot. I feel sorry for some of them. I really do. Sooner or later each one of them will go pro on the heroin and move to the city, to be closer to the source. Most of them I knew that moved out of town for the H are already dead. They’ve either overdosed or been murdered. What a way to go.

After raiding the library I usually pick up my mail, swing by the coffee shop and see who’s around, then head back home. My room has cooled off enough by then. The summer heat in that house is severe. We don’t have any air conditioning. Not that I’d use it if we had it anyway since air conditioning always gives me nosebleeds. Joe has a swamp cooler he puts up in the livingroom window and that actually helps keep the temperature down.

Things at the job are ok. I’ve learned alot more about the overall manufacturing process of PC boards and I’ve become much more familiar with our pesky robots. There’s a couple of things about the robots I’ve started to hate. Changing out the goo tank is one nuisance. Resetting the stepper motors when they get off-zero is another. The goo tank holds about 5 or 6 gallons of the junk and when I re-fill it I have to sit there and wait over an hour for air bubbles to rise to the surface. They don’t want air trapped in the line because it causes the needle to spit crap all over the PC boards you’re working on. When the stepper motor(s) get out of whack it’s usually by just a fraction of an inch. That might not seem like much, but when you are dealing with tiny circuitboards a fraction of an inch might as well be a mile. The needle will dump junk everywhere it’s not supposed to be. I’ve tried to manually reset the machines a few times with an allen wrench but I just end up making things worse. I have to call the maintenance guys to come up and mess around with it. They are usually good about getting up to our area quickly but sometimes you have to sit around and wait for hours until they can show up. I don’t know where they come from. Must be some hole in the wall or factory dungeon basement.

All the raw boards we work on come from the Stores area across the hall. It’s all women in there, and the one that seems to run the show is quite bossy. A few times I’ve walked into their area to ask a question or pick up some boards and before I can even get a word out of my mouth she yells “What in the hell do you want?” Uhmmm, I… well. “Speak up or get outta here!” she says. Damn. She’s rough. I don’t know whether or not the lady is serious, all I know is when I leave I hear alot of giggling coming out of their area. I think they have three or four of them working the board stores on night shift. They seem to own the domain with iron fists.


~ by factorypeasant on September 9, 2004.

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