Working at The Bindery
I have a dream. I have a dream about getting a doctorate degree in music. Well, to get that far, I know I must get through undergraduate school first, let alone graduate school, and so on. Last year I realized that I needed a job that paid much more than minimum wage if I was going to afford to go to college. I then heard about The Bindery from a friend in the same situation as I was. I filled out an application, went to the orientation a few weeks later, and then discovered that working there would be no ordinary job. I will now briefly explain how the factory works and then show you the "ropes" of working in my department.
There are two major departments at The Bindery: the press and the bindery. The press cuts large rolls of paper into smaller ones. The rolls of paper are trimmed down to size for books, and all words and graphics are printed here. The paper is then folded by machinery into forms (groups of pages in books). Bundles of forms are held together with a piece of wood at each end and tied with plastic string. The bundles are then loaded onto skids. After the skids are prepared, the bundles are shipped to the work-in-progress area (where you are) by fork trucks. The skids of bundles are placed in front of each pocket, where forms are placed to feed into the machine that binds the paper into books. Pockets are parts of machinery about 12-15 feet long and are at waist or stomach height. The machine takes one form from each pocket and groups them all together to make a book. It runs very quickly, and it can make thousands of books in minutes. Five lines are in the bindery department, therefore, five books can be made at the same time.
First, I will explain the safety procedures and shift information. Wearing steel toe boots and ear plugs are mandatory, for the machinery in the factory is dangerous and noisy. Tie any long hair back, and tuck in any loose clothing. You can wear gloves if you wish, but it is not mandatory. Bring water to keep yourself hydrated, because it is very hot inside. Make out a time card for yourself at the beginning of the week and punch in early everyday. Since you will be working afternoon shift with me, I can tell you the schedule of work. Monday through Thursday, work is from 3:30pm-11:30pm, with a 30-minute lunch break at 7:30. Friday is 3:00pm-10:30pm. Saturday and Sunday (usually optional) is 2:00pm-9:30pm. No lunch break on these days. Every day, there is a 5-10 minute break every two hours.
Now, I will share the steps to perform the duties of a gatherer in the bindery department. Place your belongings at the end of the line on which you will be working, and out of people and fork truck traffic. Grab a bundle of forms from the skid by the string or by the ends, lifting with your legs, and cautiously throw it up on the pocket. Bundles can weigh from 25 to 50 pounds, depending on the type of paper being used for...