"Keep a Journal: How else are you going to get a good look at who you were?"

Sunday, January 21, 2007


I awoke the morning of Jan. 19 feeling a little stuffed up. I headed to work anyways as THIS WAS THE DAY...

...I was finally getting re-instated as a Machine Operator.

More on that in a moment.

So I took the qualification test between 10 and 11 am and passed. I then started straight in on a clamp truck on the xdock (after Bill ensured that I was OK to resume operating that) helping Cal to offload some display pallets of summer sandals. Cal himself has yet to regain his qualification as a Machine Operator.

We finished about 1 PM. After break I realised just how peaked I felt; and the fact that my sniffling and coughing had only gotten worse during the day led me to beg a favor from our First Aider, Dave Thompson.

I asked him to take my temperature.

Don't get excited. Our first aid room has a perfectly good, re-usable, digital, oral thermometer.

I figured it this way: either I was having some sort of allergic reaction, or I was genuinely sick. Allergies don't usually involve a rise in temperature, so I figured if it was still 98.6 then I would stop *itchin' and get back to work.

It was 100.2...and rising. Dave also took my wrist pulse, just to be sure. My heartrate had gone from a normal rest of 68-72 BPM (I know, I'm out of shape...) up to 92 BPM. Swollen glands, too.

So I went home.

I've spent an absolutely miserable weekend with what wikipedia tells me is a low-grade flu. Fever, aches and chills, dripping sinuses and chest congestion/irritation. Dave was worried I might be coming down with pneumonia. My stomach has been...unsettled...for the last few days, but so far I have managed to keep what little I've eaten down. Still have the inevitable by-products to deal with, tho'. I am still at this hour debating whether or not I'll be at work on Monday. I am heavily medicated.

The Test: to fudge or not to fudge?

I pointed out to Bill that the test could be administered as written in aisle 23-09; as the racking there is only on one side of the aisle. Ditto for 24-02 and 24-19. We needed to avoid aisles like 24-13; according to my measurements, there was less than 5 inches of clearance to work with in that aisle...

So, guess where I got to test?


To Bill's credit, he did offer to spot me for rearward/forward clearance while performing the test manuevers. I certainly took him up on that offer. "Nerve Wracking" doesn't begin to describe it...took me two attempts for each lift in the test. Luckily I was permitted three attempts at each...

Lessons Learned:

Always follow correct procedure. Not only does it make for a safer workplace, it also COVERS YOUR ASS.

The Hyster reach trucks will, in fact, perform the manuevers required in the test HBC uses to certify our operators. The margin for error may be just over 4%, but they CAN do it!!!

The Hyster's steering point is off-center...you have much more clearance turning into the rack from the right hand side than from the left. I actually had to re-position the machine a couple of times in 24-13 just to make sure I didn't whack the racking behind me...I was almost certain that turning from the left was going to require more space than I had, and I didn't want to find out for sure the hard way. Did I mention this was nerve wracking?

Next Post: my. kids. had. another. birthday.

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