Pillsbury Green Giant via Mid 1994
I worked nights on the final inspection – green bean line at Pillsbury Green Giant in Beaver Dam. This job was convenient because I was able to request my hours on demand when i felt like working. During the shift I watched green beans shuffle past me on a conveyor belt for 12 hours, prior to falling into a tin can. It’s scary to think that I was the “final inspector” or the last person to remove anything that snuck thru the cleaning process such as dead toads, twigs, or rotten beans. I still feel guilty for the number of times I just watched these items go past me and land in someones can. I am sorry to whomever received a surprise in their vegetables around dinner time.
(Green Giant is long gone but North American Container Corporation moved in)
The best part of the job was that I ate all the green beans I wanted to, yet on special days I would get transferred to the sweet corn blanching line. The full timers who worked the sweet corn line actually had butter, salt and pepper at their work stations, which made for a “delicious” bonus. The worst parts of the job were wearing the uncomfortable hair nets, dealing with the visual of beans in my head while trying to sleep, and watching a thirsty guy take a “sip” of water from a high pressure hose. Drinking from a super-powered hose is not a good idea, and needless to say he was rushed out of work early that night with a bleeding mouth and fewer teeth.
Another memory was when I had to work for a person that raked frozen sweet corn into railroad totes. The totes are 1100 lbs and will roll down an electronic conveyor once full, ultimately ending up in a railroad car. To make a long story short, I was wearing my Reebok Pumps (Tennis Edition) which had a rubber flap hanging off the heal from standard wear and tear. As I was taping up the tote and riding down the conveyor, the flap on my shoe got caught in the electric roller. In the midst of “panic jumping” to safety, the other shoe did the same thing resulting in both of my feet getting locked to the conveyor. I’m not sure what I did to avoid being crushed, but next thing I knew I was standing in water with just my socks, and no sign of my Reebok Pumps. This was the only night I got to go home early.