I walk into the warehouse always pressed for time; even if I am ten minutes early. I punch the clock. I walk to my locker and get what I think I might need. The warehouse is about half a mile long. I look for my forklift. It is a standup, I have had it for almost two years now, one of the best things that has happened for me, sad. I greet a few people I know and make it just in time to stretch and hear what we are in for. The days have been light lately but it should be picking up. I don’t have a completely set routine. I can do anything, okay almost anything, I have been working at the warehouse for almost nineteen years. I moved from department to department like people move from company to company, every three to five years.
Monday a buddy of mine, has been here for 23 years. He is close to getting out. Yeah, we talk about work like it is a prison in some social circles. He was almost in tears. There is an airforce base south of us, for most people it is what I would call a retirement job. They do their damndest to get hired and plan on working there until they retire. I have a few friends who made it and a relative. The problem with warehouse work is the more you do the more qualified you are to do warehouse work. It doesn’t open doors. I have another friend who is entering the medical field, she too works at the warehouse. There is a rollercoaster effect that happens, it is a weird calm before a fall, you become okay with work and then your not. We had a conversation about her not. Working at the warehouse for over a decade will not be impressive when she applies to hospitals. Even if it is okay to the interviewer, it feels like shit for the applicant.
I also have a few friends who don’t mind it. They don’t love it, but they have no intention of quitting, and don’t plan on looking for another job. In the simplest way to put it, they have settled. They have enough friends, the pay is decent, and there is nothing else they want to do. Life is at a healthy stagnant place. These kind of guys are the bread and butter of a company. They come in get shit done and go home. They show up on time, they do their work, they joke around, but to be honest they are also shit-sticks and can be a bummer if you talk to them too long. They hate the job, they hate their lives, and they feel trapped like fish in a barrel.
There are generally two things I will for the day. Receive product or put it away. Lately, I have been putting it away. In the last two days, I have listened to six books. I have listened to hundreds of books and thousands of podcasts over the last decade. I am not bragging, I just have neuro-pathways full of shit. That is what I will do again today, even if I receive I will listen to something else. I am like a pro-athlete instinct that has been built, actions and reactions have been acquired, I have faced all the problems before and know what to do when they arise. I have lived this life before. There is nothing new for me to do. There is no challenge, there is the job that needs to be done and I am the person who has been hired along time ago to do it. So, I will go about the day, listing to something new. Learning mentally growing or reinforcing something I learned. I will develop mindsets and take moments to think and continue to do what I am paid to do.
There are a lot of reasons I live in this routine. Some of my reasons are excuses, some so valid that I can’t see a way out. The work I do, have done, isn’t who I am or what I am capable of doing. It is the work I needed to do in order for my family to survive. It was the work I needed to make sure that my kids grew up in a stable home, it was the work I needed to do to make sure they had mommy and daddy at home. It was the work I did in order to raise my kids to be the kind of great people they are today. Being responsible isn’t cool, it isn’t sexy, it isn’t impressive, it doesn’t make you rich, it means you achieve what you determine is the highest priority in your life. Mine will always be my family. There is no company, no mission statement, no personal ambition that compares to the active role in being a part of your child’s life and having a happy marriage. When family really is the priority everything and everyone else can kick rocks. But they are grown and their need for me is dwindling. We have just a few hard talks now. I am proud of them and enjoy their company.
I have the whole day ahead of me. It is 5:16am as I write this sentence. Writing is something I love to do but didn’t know until later in life. It is what I want to do. Which means I don’t look to an airforce base for comfort or escape. In fact, as I look for new work I look for a place to grow, not a place to be a cog in the machine. You see when I talk to people I work with we don’t talk about work like it is work. It is life, it is what we do for a living, it takes all the time in our day. Our life force is used to make sure shit gets done, trucks go out on time, and the customers get the right product, in the right condition. Living in a place for so long you know the ins and outs, you know what is expected, what to get done and what you can get away with. I am pretty sure that is universal, the hardest part for me is breaking the routine and living that way in the broader sense.
Here is the thing, you don’t listen to sales books, business books, personal development books because you are okay with where you are at, you do it to get better at life. I do it because it prepares me for opportunities. I also do it as a substitute for real growth. The actions required for change will destroy the routine and destroying the routine creates the environment for growth and failure. Which would be fine, but I live a real-life and failure isn’t an option. There is no mommy and daddy, there is no safety net, there is no one to back up the fall. So, as I get ready to rush out the door pressed for time. I will put this thought aside. I will do what needs to be done.
P.s. Sorry for the lack of editing, it is 5:31 and I should be ready to go, I am not. And I probably won’t get back to this because I am going to publish it and share it with the world.