Friday, August 20, 2010


Wow, Friday already! Illustration Friday to be exact. This week's prompt is "atmosphere".

Several years ago, I worked at a polyurethane plant. One of my job duties was that of "Safety Coordinator". Sounds impressive, no? Actually, I think it was assigned to me because no one else wanted to do it.

Anyways, I just had to keep track of all the safety stuff in compliance with OSHA regulations. In a polyurethane plant, that could be relatively extensive and tedious. This position also required that I provide necessary safety training to all new employees, including temporary workers.

This place had a tendency to use a lot of temporary workers. And they were usually used to do things that weren't pleasant. In a polyurethane plant, that could be relatively extensive and hazardous.

I recall two such temps. They showed up one morning bright eyed and bushy tailed - NOT! I took the two of them into a meeting room and went through all of the terrible things they would likely encounter while earning their day-laborer wage. I then showed them how to properly use a respirator (gas mask really, but "respirator" sounds more friendly). They signed all of the necessary paperwork, in compliance with OSHA, and I sent them on their way.

The morning breaktime arrived. They left and were never seen again.

My coworkers joked about how I had sent them running away in fear. I say, it wasn't MY fault. It was just the atmosphere of that place.


  1. Something about gas marks just makes me think of horror movies - can't help it!

  2. Hey, if they couldn't handle the heat...

    Uncle Sam gave me the opportunity to spend a lot of time in them and they ain't a lot of fun.

  3. Reminds me of working in a rubber factory -- but we didn't have gas masks or safety measures. My worst job ever!

  4. Great take on the theme! Wow, what a crappy job.. did anyone get sick from the place?