Even the second job often offers opportunities for reflection
Job Fair: It’s an interesting play on words because for me because its literal meaning strikes me as ironic given the environment I find myself in when I work a side job at a local poultry plant. (That’s another nice title that sounds better than “chicken kill plant” since that’s what they actually do and it’s as appealing as it sounds.) This job seems to be anything but fair.
Like most cops that work the more questionably safe parts of town (in any town in America, mind you), I have a special place in my heart for people that have “jobs”. In fact, that was my number one standard in dealing with my customers as far as choosing which decision tree to use in a given interaction.
So very many of our clients have found themselves in our presence for poor choices that may have otherwise been avoided by seeking to do something with their time other than “nothing”. Actually earning money by trading your time and skills for a mutually agreed upon wage is an unknown thing to the indigenous people of my various assignments. And when you encounter the rare sweet Flower of Employment in your travels, it is something to be savored; appreciated, cultivated…not plucked or allowed to be desiccated if at all possible.
Pulled over for speeding or a tag being out of date while going to (or coming from) a purchase of $2 dollars in gasoline for the third time tonight while you drive around to nowhere to do nothing? Ticket chances: 80 percent discretionary impact (likelihood) of pressing hard on the carbons.
Pulled over for speeding or a tag being out of date while going to (or coming from) a place of employment so that you can pay your bills and contribute to your family, or just yourself? Ticket chances: 20 percent discretionary impact (likelihood) of pressing hard on the carbons.
That established, this kill plant is a universe unto itself. Just as many people have to be able to fail a test for methamphetamine use and/or be a convicted felon in order to hang or mud sheetrock or paint houses, at this place you generally have to be a convicted felon for assault and/or a gun crime, or be working there to support someone who is (or has).
I am employed there to reduce narcotics sales in the parking lots and to prevent fights that spring up on breaks given the temperament of the people working there, but regardless of their past deeds: They all have jobs.
I respect it. I love it.
Their employee turnover rate? 100 precent. For a little over $10 bucks an hour you are working amidst the sight of blood and the smell of rotting flesh and turning live creatures into smaller parcels of no-longer-living creatures and the inherent mess that comes with such, so would I be prone to irritation? YUP. Would I look at that as a long term career? NOPE. But they are still here and still trying to do the right thing the right way and I literally couldn’t ask for more of them.
(Ok, outside of not stabbing each other with boning knives because they and their girlfriends and wives and baby mommas are all from mixed gang backgrounds and packed in together in the aforementioned unpleasant environment, hence hiring an armed post certified police officer on the premises. But I mean OTHERWISE…)
Attendance counts. Trying counts, when you actually try instead of talking about trying “later.” Give people like this credit, and if you’re in the position? Give them a chance yourself. It’s the people focused doing on nothing for themselves that stand the greatest chance of becoming the problems we all end up having to deal with anyway.
Speaking of which? Time for me to go back to work.
When officer Alexander D. Teach is not patrolling our fair city on the heels of the criminal element, he spends his spare time volunteering for the Boehm Birth Defects Center.