Friday, January 15, 2010

Ghost and the Machines

I'm back working the 2-10pm shift. After first shift leaves at 3pm, I'm the only person around. There are people in other departments, but it's not like I have any contact with them.

Around 6pm, most of the lights automatically turn out. Though my area stays lighted, I often end up having to walk through the dark to get where I need to be.

I have survived two layoffs now, one of which was last week. Over the past year, we have lost around one-fourth of our workforce.

Our plating department has been outsourced. The equipment is gone. There used to be a department-wide basin to catch spills--that has been filled in with concrete. It's just a big empty room.

Back in the day, there used to be around 650 people working here. Now, the bosses claim we have around 200. However, word out on the floor is that we have only 170.

Just ten years ago, when I started, there were 56 people on second-shift alone. Now there are six.

It's a big plant at night, and as I move through its acres of idle machinery I feel like a ghost.