This archived article was written by: Cassidy Scovill
Working is an awful, awful experience, and most people only work so they can afford not starving to death. When I say working, I don’t mean planting your butt in a chair and listening to people complain or bagging groceries. No, I mean sweating, bleeding, and occasionally crying for home when your coworkers can’t see you.
Real jobs are something they don’t warn you about in high school and hardly prepare you for in college. Real jobs hit you like a train and then drag your brutalized body alongside the tracks until you die/retire. They are there to hurt you and when you finally get fed up with this stupid job, you get paid and forget all abuse you just received.
Now the only work I have ever done is bag groceries, so getting a real job was the first step to becoming a functioning member of society. The job was sand blasting, which is where you shoot sand out of a high-pressure hose and clean things that can’t just be scrubbed or sprayed off. In my case, it was blasting the rust off welds on pieces of mine equipment for the long wall. The equipment you need is goggles/safety glasses, hat, respirator, and the tolerance to get sand in every crevice and crack in your anatomy.
The first day of actual work is basically what I imagine Hell to be like. I was doing a two-man job by myself and doing it poorly. First I had to lift a hundred pound bag of sand, which wasn’t that hard until the 20th time; I was literally forcing my battered body to continue on.
The blasting itself is another level of awful entirely. It’s nothing like a regular hose because the stuff that comes out of this can literally tear your skin off. The moment I started spraying the sand it ricocheted immediately and worked its way under my safety glasses. It felt like being caught in a sand storm in the middle of a desert and you can’t wipe your eyes clear of sand without losing the hose. Losing the hose would cause it to whip around like crazy and if you were lucky, it would hit you in the head and knock you unconscious. At least then you could rest.
That was just the first day, and I kept telling myself “I’ll help out today, but I am going to quit.” Then my coworker quit and I couldn’t let my boss down so I stayed and it gradually got better. Then the hose exploded and shot sand all over my arm and I dropped the pot (the large iron monster we feed the sand into) on myself.
After three whole days of work I was so glad we were done. I know three days doesn’t sound like that much, but you didn’t see me, scrapes and bruises up both arms, and my skin had turned into a nice orange color. I looked like a very beat up Oompa Loompa and I can only assume the orange tint of my skin was caused by the chemicals in the sand we blasted. All things come to an end both good, bad and in this case, awful.
Full-time work is coming to all of us eventually and I want all of you to be afraid because your future will be dominated by whatever job you accept. You will look back on these days and regret ever growing up because you know what; not worth it.