Before I knew it, Downtime happened.
It seems whoever made the orders schedule underestimated how bad we wanted Probiotics over & done with, and wanted to be on to the next thing. (And it might suck if the next order ends up being Sugar Free…at least for the Cook [deck] person). So now, we get to spend the night cleaning everything twice over…
Or so I thought. We end up starting up prematurely, much to the Lead’s dismay (he has a child-like attitude problem). So at the very least, we set everything up for Day side to continue. And surprise, the next order turned out to be ‘Multivitamins’, for men! Hooray! Now I get to unwillingly get a smell of an ingredient stuck in my throat for the majority of tomorrow night! Besides that, I will be doing drops as well, so more practice on that front. Sucks that the Lead won’t be able to observe my developing skills, though.
Also, does anyone else ever want to say something to someone, but don’t remember until after you leave or clock out? That was me today, and hoping it doesn’t cause any trouble for leaving it out. Because this is a job where you don’t want to leave ANY thing out of mentioning, especially if it slightly refers to our Downtime. I don’t believe it’s a huge problem, but we’ll see tomorrow night, eh?
For the remainder of this post, I figured I could explain how the factory’s lunch & breaks work. Briefly.
So we get two breaks and a lunch, just like every other job. Not much different except for the times we take each. First break happens around 8-9:30p depending on the job. Lunch is generally after the 6-hour mark, which I thought was a thing not to do when you were full-time. Alas even as I type this, I’m currently on my lunch at 1:25a; since there are so many of us to account for, 12-2a is usually good enough to get everyone in & out. (A secret: I was told Lunch might happen later on some days & a second break could be skipped cause of it. Had that happen about three weeks ago, when we were severely short-handed). And last break is generally between 3-5a. Me personally, I prefer closer to five, if at all possible. That way, I’m under two hours away from leaving 😉
We were recently told that if we went over 17 minutes for break, our pay would be docked for the whole fifteen, which is kinda lame. (Though I’ll admit to abusing the breaks all too often… Keep it on the down low 🤐). Lunch, as far as I know, is exempt from the rule. So uh, you know… [don’t] abuse it.
Second night Mixing for Kit 1, and it’s not as bad as the first night. For one, I’m not as tired as I was Monday (though I still do if I sit for too long). And two, I’m measuring & writing down everything this time. So it keeps me busy. A lot busier.
We became short-handed after 10pm, though. One of the Chris’ end up leaving for some reason, assuming he felt sick from Taco Bell BUT I’m jumping to conclusions without knowing. (Update at 10:30p: he wasn’t sick, but a family emergency was the reason). So the Lead took over his spot with Flavor. Regardless, things are still as slow as Monday. Downstairs frequently went down, no pun intended, and drops were rather far apart from one another. To top it off, we were also confirmed to be doing Probiotics the whole week, striking out the Lead’s claim that I wouldn’t need to worry about Flavor this time…
But you know, could just punch me in the gut anyway. How ‘bout dah?
Speaking of, I feel myself coming down with something…literally and figuratively…
It’s not a huge problem. Though the new paperwork we were told to fill out for Flavor is EXPANSIVE so if anything, I might run into a bit of lost faces of confusion there. But we will see when we get to that point, Saturday night.
Also, I’ve taken a liking to wearing this shirt on the days that I get paid, a way to signify that ‘hayyy! Dat money’s hittin’ ma account after work! Let’s go!’ To me, anyway. To others, it’s a bird head on a human suited-up body with stacks of cash behind it. But to a certain fighting game community, it’s a meme/inside joke. Multiple meanings behind it, which is why I love wearing it on those paydays.
Here’s hoping hire-ups don’t catch on to the wrong meaning…
Holding down Kitchen 2 tonight, and once again experienced a bit of sweating (though not a stink fest like a few posts ago, mind you). It’s slowly becoming the norm for when I work over there, which is a good thing. I could use the busyness. (Bad enough that I’m tired as is, so keeping on my toes is a plus in staying awake instead of sitting down).
I was able to buy some breakfast bowls the other day for cheaper than the break room concession was offering. Essentially two – from Walmart – for the price of one 👍
So tonight was the first night working in Kit 2 that I had the need for a “changeover”; that is, changing to a new order, setting up for the next batch. Fortunately, the order didn’t change completely. Rather, due to an error by the day side team – an order was shorted a huge amount of candy – I end up continuing the gummi worms, so no other input was needed, except to put in the order number, which the Lead had that covered thankfully. I’ll have to learn how to input it myself, but my exhausted brain wouldn’t have remembered it for long.
My night in Kit 2 was cut short, however. Apparently, Downtime was in the schedule…in the middle of making batches for the order. The math as to why Now of all times to go into a chill period fails me.
By the way, “downtime” is when a Kitchen is pretty much on cooldown. I mean, machines gotta rest eventually, right?
Now Downtimes are often twelve hours long. TWELVE. HOURS. LONG. And the lucky-yet-unlucky team that works during that time has the fun & enjoyment of cleaning the area & machinery of excess pollutants & nasty whatevers that might have formed during the runs. Or maybe because the higher-ups are germophobes that think stuff can form on machines as food is being cooked. Either way, lots of cleaning pursues during this time. For Kitchen 1 folk, it can be easy or hard, depending on what all needs to be done + everything going without a hitch. For Kit 2 or 3, it’s just the lone person to get things tidy, though I imagine they get help from the Lead or whoever takes pity on them. It’s not completely boring. As the machines are essentially cleaning themselves with occasional human intervention, you are free to roam to other kitchens & chat with the ‘mates. Supervisors might also end the twelve-hour downtime prematurely for reasons so there’s that as well.
At least for me, the downtime started near the end of shift so no harm done.
Except cleaning the machine part filled with a jelly-like substance in it…I should have snapped a pic…
*sigh* It’s what I feared as soon as I realized the third ‘Chris’ wasn’t here tonight, as well as what that Chris predicted: I’m doing the Mixing of Probiotics tonight, alongside the new Chris on the team. Literally not a huge surprise, dang near had my night ruined. (Then I realized I was off my bipolar mood & couldn’t help but joke around. I’m weird, okay?)
It’s more or less another boring night in my opinion because mixing on a Probiotic night – make that a Week – is Terrible! They sanction a part of Kit 1 to mixing a couple of ingredients; something something stuff is in the air to pollute the product, sure. Then one or two people end up having to spend the whole night either within, what we call, the ‘tent’, or outside the vicinity of the opening into the tent, and we just wait for the Flavor person to ask for the mix in the bucket. We set up backups for when one of us is on lunch or break, so that the other person doesn’t fall behind. Not so pleasant when downstairs keep failing for some reason, and we’re left waiting around for Ever with no where else to really walk to (you don’t leave the general area anyway, but it’s even more limited on a night like this). We converse, sure, but that only goes for so long.
Ah well. At least I’m confirmed for Kit 2 control tomorrow night 😁
Also, apparently I’ll be fighting my team for talking down on me every single night I’m there. It’s all fun & games until someone gets hurt…by my hands…
Not as much going on today. But why’d I buy this thing…
I find it funny that I was almost stranded about ten minutes ago yet, I refused to take this back at the time…
C’mon. What am I gonna do with money stranded??
Anyway, back to the night…
A very quiet night actually. And we were short-handed. This hasn’t happened since a month ago where about 2-3 call-offs & scheduled days off left us in a tight spot. Tonight, though…
We had one call-off but the rest were just scheduled or requested days off. Which left us with a total of five people to work with.
You read right. Five people. From a usual total of 8-9 people. Now if you recall reading a previous post, I mentioned that we would have at least one person for each of the other kitchens, three in all. And that everyone else held down a role in Kitchen 1. But when we’re short a person or two, things alter and one person might end up with two roles in Kit 1, depending on the order we’re making. And breaks and lunches end up being a one-at-a-time priority.
Luckily as far as I know, things in Kit 1 haven’t been too tough. Actually, the order has yet to even start up cause fortunately, we aren’t the only ones that are short-handed tonight. The meeting earlier only saw about 15-20 people in attendance, when there are usually around 30 people in all, and downstairs is seemingly still getting things ready for the order as we speak so… We have been spared, for now.
Though it doesn’t matter much for me. I’m holding down Kit 2 for the night and already saw myself with a ‘catching-up’ moment. The guy in Kit 3 had a major spill and I decided to go and help him out. As soon as I returned, though, I found myself having to refill the flavor canisters, the sugar bag, AND the gelatin bag. Not to mention changing filters and cleaning one as well. Like yikes! I end up sweating beads by the end of it. And I at least had a bit of help from those in Kit 1, since they were still awaiting to start up. So it wasn’t too terrible.
Like I stated, it was a rather quiet night, nothing too big. But apparently, we’re doing Probiotics tomorrow night so uh…That should be a full post of craziness.