Monday, January 10, 2011

Possible Back-up Career?

When I'm not volunteering full time, I enjoy spending my time volunteering. No, really. Well, only if my roommates come with. Last Wednesday we spend our Community Night packaging emergency food boxes for Cook County at the Greater Chicago Food Depository (a giant warehouse south of Chicago...honestly, several football fields would fit inside).

The way they do these emergency boxes is a la I Love Lucy, aka rapidly moving conveyor belt. Each person has a specific product to place in a specific spot in the box. Then it gets labeled, weighed, taped, placed on pallets, and loaded into the warehouse until an emergency (fire, flood, etc). The boxes we packaged could feed a family of five for a minimum of 3-4 days.

Since my job was to take the boxes off the line and stack them on the pallets, I could watch pretty much the entire line in motion: my roommates and the other volunteers putting their products in, the boxes making their way around the corner where more of my roommates manned the scale and tape machine, then the pallet area where I stood. It was all so efficient--our goal was to pack 1,000 boxes, or 25 pallets, but we finished a total of 1,179 boxes in the two hours we worked.

During the break we got halfway through, I joked with my roommates that it would be fun if we actually had factory jobs. We could joke around and play cards during breaks, we'd all be buff from heavy lifting...they didn't feel the same way, but I still think it would be nice every now and then to not have to think so much on the job.

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