- You possess the education of a 12th-century manure mucker, your biggest aspiration is to one day be allowed to use a shovel.
- You need everything explained to you at least a dozen times.
- You need everything explained in a tone that one would use when explaining to a small child why he shouldn’t eat all the finger paint and vomit into the fish tank.
- You need everything explained to you in monosyllabic language. (Ironically, the word monosyllabic is exactly the type of word that should never be used when explaining something to a temporary worker.)
- You need everything explained to you with accompanying diagrams. These diagrams should be drawn in crayon if possible.
- All diagrams should be drawn in non-threatening colors such as forest green or navy blue. Bright colors confuse and disorient temporary workers (fuchsia makes us crazy).
I was interrupted from my duties by Rat-Faced Guy, (not his actual name) who informed me that he needed my assistance.
He dragged me over to a line where juice was being packaged in small cans. As cases of these cans progressed down the line, a machine would lift every other case and then fling the cans into the air, spilling them across the floor. Evidently, that’s not how the machine was designed to operate.
Rat-Faced Guy (probably not his name) explained to me that the malfunctioning machine would be shut down, and I would step in to take its place. As the cases came down the line in pairs, it would be my job to pick up the first case of juice and place it on top of the second case of juice. Then I would have to do that again and again until the machine was operating properly again.
It was at that point that Rat-Faced Guy (potentially his actual name, when I said Rat-Faced Guy, people seem to know to whom I was referring) asked me if I understood.
“So, you’re asking me if I understand putting one thing on top of another thing?” I asked him.
“Yeah.” He looked at me with his beady eyes, his wispy mustache twitching nervously.
“What if, instead of putting the first case on top of the second, I put the second case under the first case?” I proposed.
Rat-Faced Guy (probably his actual name) looked at me incredulously. “Why would you do that?”
“I’m a visionary,” I told him. “I’m like Henry Ford, Steve Jobs, or Thomas Crapper.”
“Just do it the way I told you,” squeaked Rat-Faced Guy (almost certainly his actual name).
For the next two hours, I stood in one spot, and successfully put one thing on top of another thing.
Perhaps now they will trust me with something challenging such as putting one thing next to another thing.
The sky’s the limit–except for stacking things: two is the limit for stacking things.