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March 13, 2003: Y is for Yesterday

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Wednesday was a maddening rush of a day. Within the space of 8 hours, we issued more than 700 shell-polishing kits to mollusks – more issuance than I or most of the others have ever done before in a single day. By the end of it we were completely exhausted, but in a good and enthusiastic way.

I've earned new admiration from my coworkers for how quickly I can pull the shell-polishing kits from the boxes and boxes of little numbered indexes that line the table at the training site. To give you a bit of perspective, imagine long and narrow boxes full of about 250-300 uh….shell-polishing kits…that look surprisingly like credit cards (What can I say? They're very compact little suckers). Now imagine that there are about 30 of those little boxes all lined up on a table, and you have to find a single shell-polishing kit out of the whole pile. Give me an index number and I knew exactly where the kit is located, snagging it unerringly from the box and handing it to someone to register. I was having a marvelous time, stepping back and forth in front of the boxes, searching and plucking as fast as I could to keep up with the continual stream of mollusks who shuffled in and out of the room. I didn't care until after the day was over that I was pulling them faster than anyone else on the team could. I was just having a blast.

If every day could be as exciting as yesterday, maybe the monotony of this part of the job wouldn't get so overbearing at times. Time passed so quickly that it was lunchtime before we knew it, and then after lunch, closing time rushed up on us without once giving us a chance to take a breath.

We did over 700 yesterday! It doesn't make up for the days of nearly unending boredom when barely a handful of mollusks show up all day, of course. But next time I'm sitting at a training site, counting the spots on the ceiling and doing my best not to fall asleep from lack of anything to do, at least I have yesterday to remember.

This has been an AlphaBytes entry.

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