Thursday, December 26, 2019

Pick-face (fiction)


Joel took his ass-chewing like a man.

Richards had to admit that was a refreshing change from the mouthy millennials he usually dealt with.

Richards’ tone was scathing. “Alls you gotta do is work WITH your team.” he repeated for about the fifth time.

“Hey, you” Richards said to one of the men lounging around, enjoying their new bosses’ discomfort. “How much grain were you supposed to ship out today?”

The man smirked. “Six pallets. Just like yesterday, the day before and every day for the last four months.”

“How many did you ship today?” Richards asked.

The man said “Six.”

“How do you know that?” Richards pressed.

The man pointed to the pick-face. The bags of grain were on pallets and the pallets were stacked three pallets high. “Two stacks a day. That is what we ship.”

Joel was unwilling to expose himself to anymore ridicule from either his boss or his direct reports but he couldn’t help but noting out-loud “13 pallets across the pick-face and you only ship out ten a week. That shouldn’t be too hard to keep track of."

The steel columns supporting the roof were on 54' centers and, it was a snug fit to get 13 pallets across that space, especially when the bags bulged out over the sides of the pallets. Pallets were wedged into every bit of space from wall-to-wall.

“Actually” Joel’s employee said “we ship out double shipments on Thursday and Friday and you pay us for seven days a week.” Joel suddenly remembered his employee’s name was Steve, Steve Wright.

Joel cocked an eyebrow and looked at his boss.

Richards shook his head in the negative. “Don’t look at me. You need to learn to TRUST your team.”

“Now go back to your office and color in your report. I need somebody who can do this job. I want it to be you. But if you can’t do it, I will find somebody who can.” Richards said.

Joel hung his head and walked back to his office. Things were seriously out-of—kilter but he couldn’t quite put his finger on it.

When the door to Joel’s office closed, Steve Wright said “I gotta bad feeling about this guy. I think you ought to get rid of him.”

Richards said. “He won’t be a problem. He may be honest but we can work around that. He is old and stupid. You saw him roll over like a whipped puppy. He needs this job.”

“He will work out just fine when he figures out things work better when he spends all of his time in the office.”

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