I went to work on Tuesday after leaving early on Friday and resting over the long weekend. When I arrived at work I checked the boards to see what position I was assigned for the line - none. Ok. I can make work for myself. No problem. So I did.
I did random tasks of setting wet lids and little pails out to dry, lot code forms for scaling, prepared the scaling order for shipping, and filled out labels for the cook and baker's helper. These labels are put on the pails and are fussy to fill out (11 labels of 16 kg of caramel per pail, 4 labels of 55 kg of icing per pail, that kind of thing). I also ran sporadic errands for my scaling replacement - retrieved forgotten items from shipping, returned ingredients to shipping for canceled recipes, loaded stacks of dry large pails onto carts and brought them to scaling. All in all it was not bad of a day. No boss had come to me with tasks so I filled the time in myself.
Not long before the end of my shift Big Boss took me into the production office for a meeting. The only other person there was her assistant, no union rep. But I ran out of fucks to give by this point and let the meeting continue without causing a stink. Big Boss told me that I would need a doctor's assessment so she knows what I can and can't do. I said no problem, I'd go that day after work. She told me I could help in scaling in the meantime doing the really little stuff. I told her that even if I set a weight requirement for myself - like 10 kg - I would probably exceed it and end up hurting myself, so that's not a good idea. She rolled her eyes and told me that the administrative work she had set aside would have to wait until the new year because we are just too busy right now. And that the admin work would be done by Big Boss and Assistant in the new year so I need to figure out what I want to do about my job at the company. I just stared at her. She just took away the admin work she was going to give me, the work that would have been easy on my back, work that demonstrates my knowledge of the company, work that would have looked good on a resume. And it felt like she was telling me I need to quit.
So I nodded and smiled and when the meeting was done I carried on with the tasks I'd assigned myself. One was to go to shipping to get some Skor bits. Grabbing a cart I made my way to shipping and when I got there saw the door that leads to the admin offices. Some things went through my mind in a flash:
- Big Boss will never see me as anything other than a union production worker
- Assistant got the promotion to her position that I felt should have been mine - I'm better qualified and have a large base of knowledge of the way the company is run, and yet I wasn't even approached for the promotion
- The Purchaser got a raise. He is a completely useless purchaser unable to correctly order supplies, every department is running out of necessary items and ingredients had to be thrown out because they expired because he ordered way too much. The raise was approved because the VP didn't talk to Big Boss about his performance.
- The cakes coming off the line look rushed and incomplete - skirting falling off, uneven layers, a seam in the icing on the side. People pay $40 each for these cakes and they look worse than the $20 cakes at Safeway. We don't have enough staff but Big Boss is running the lines anyway.
- Big Boss thought it was a good idea to run our cake inventory down to almost nothing to make inventory day easier. She succeeded. But inventory day is the beginning of our busy season, so starting with empty freezers while trying to fill them with the fall/winter cakes is too difficult for the plant. There were trucks backed up to shipping waiting for cakes to come off the line to fill their orders, and shipping has (on many occasions) shorted customers because of the lack of cakes.
- All the upper management that was there when I was hired are now all gone. They fled like rats on a sinking ship.
- The person I need to be most concerned with, is me.
So instead of grabbing the Skor bits I went to the accountant's office and had him print out the short term disability forms. I figured that I need to let my back rest while I go to physiotherapy and learn how to strengthen the muscles to help my back. Also, I can learn what will be good for my back in the long term, and what will make it worse over the long term.
After getting the forms and his signature I finished my errand and punched out a little early. I went home, showered, and went to the doctor, then to the physio place to make my first appointment. Now I'm just waiting to find out if I will be approved for disability. I figure if I continue to work I will just keep hurting myself and that's just not an option any more. So there you go, decision made. Eeep.