Last night I did a shift at the cannery. It was my first time on account of my aversion to service. The cannery is just a little weird in that I felt just a little like I was working at Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. They don't make candy or have a chocolate river, of course, but the workers wear white aprons and blue rubber gloves and there is a lot of stainless steel.
There's a great deal of excitement in the air when you first get there because you are allowed to place an order. I was working at the "dry pack" operation (as opposed to the "wet-pack"). Neither dry nor wet pack sounds that appetizing to me but apparently it is because while the wet or dry food that is packed into cans is, ostensibly, for needy people, when you sign up for a shift you actually get to buy some of the food. But only 60 cans per shift. These cans are pretty big. So 60 of them is a generous limit. However, I can only imagine how many cans people would buy if there were no limit at all. When you get there you get a big flat-bed cart and an order form to fill out. I kept trying to peek at other people's forms. It was like eating at a new restaurant. "So what's good here? What do you get?" Apparently the potato pearls are the thing. As I loaded up my cart I couldn't help but exclaim, "I feel so. . . so. . ." At the same time my friend who is the Stake President's wife said, "self-reliant?" I said, "Mormon."
When we came to the powdered milk I considered getting some because it seemed like the right thing to do. But I was a little hesitant so I asked my fellow shift-workers to give me the 411. "For drinking you must get Morning Moo which is sold commercially." I started to put my cans back on the shelf--"No, go ahead and get it. You can bake with it!" You guys crack me up.
After we bought our food, I got my assignment. I was picturing a sort of frenetic Laverne and Shirley-scenario and I was ready. My job was to open big boxes of potato pearls for canning. I was to pull down the box flaps, open the big bag inside, and use the bag to hold the box flaps down. I did this to three boxes. I never did it all by myself as the eager full-time cannery worker gave me a hand with the flaps each time. My next assignment was to wash two windows (inside and out) and two doors (inside and out). Then I was instructed to put a stool away after it was washed off. I suspect there are more difficult shifts than the 8-9:30pm, but I was pleased with how easy it was. That said, early in my shift I bit the inside of my lip. It bled and got all swollen causing me to bite it again and again during the night. (You know how that happens.) So it's not like it was some kind of picnic.
In the tradition of posting nothing but incredibly flattering pictures of myself on my blog, here I am shelling peanuts for the implacable Veruca Salt.