Sunday, October 31, 2010

My Summer Job

I was driving home one night in this past summer, listening to NPR when the summer jobs segment came on. It got me thinking about my summer jobs. I guess they were pretty typical: fast food place, summer camp, with the exception of pineapple cannery. 

I was a trimmer (big knife) on the last shift (overnight to 6 am). Took the job because it paid well and a group of friends were going to do it. On top of that, I still could work at the fast food place (If I only had that energy again).

A trimmer trimmed of the bits of skin still on the pineapple after it ran through the skinning and coring machine (the ginaca machine, cool name). You would sit at the conveyer belt as the pineapples would roll by. You picked one up by sticking your thumb in the core hole and trim the extra skin off the other end. Then you would flip the pineapple (remember you have a big knife in the other hand) to trim the other end. This flipping part took some time learn and after the first night, I had a terrible rash on my stomach from the pineapple juice because I was using my body to help me catch it. 

After a quick trip to the infirmary, because of nausea and my rash, the old timer suggested that we wear a garbage under our clothes to protect our skin. After a couple week, I could flip and catch those pineapples like a pro. 

I did have few "Lucy" moments. There were 6 of us per side, that meant, you need to pick up 1 of  every 6 pineapples that came down. The smaller the pineapples, the faster they would come. If you couldn't keep up, you would have just grab them and put them on the side. The supervisor would either come by and help you (annoyed, lots of sighing) with your pile or they would stop the line for you to catch up (more annoyed, more people sighing). The ladies from the first shift were always so nice, letting us go a little earlier. I think they did it because they just didn't like they way were doing it. 

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