Boy oh boy the things I am learning at the canning plant. Since my last post, I have become an employee of the local canning plant – where country folk (and some city folk) come to put up their produce in jars or cans for the winter. In regards to manual labor, it is similar to my produce packing job back in Raleigh (i.e. lots of manual labor and being on your feet). In regards to pay, I make half of what I made there. So, yes, I am taking positive steps with my life.
For the most part, I like working there. I like meeting with the locals and learning how each different person puts up their produce. I like mixing and mingling with the farming community and I like that staying busy makes the day go by quickly. What I do not like is the amount of tomatoes I have steamed, peeled, cored, and cut in the last month. Tomatoes have rotted on my clothing (along with soured peas and corn), tomatoes have seeped into my skin, tomatoes have been the cause of many cuts on my hands because apparently I don’t know how to use a knife. Tomatoes. They just might be the death of me this summer.
I have decided that no real woman needs a spa. All she really needs is a visit to her local canning plant. It is the perfect place to receive a facial. Between the constant steam being emitted from the pressure cookers which provides a sauna-like experience and the abundance of natural skin care products (corn, peas, tomatoes) splashing on my face, I think I have found the fountain of youth. If you look at it that way, I am basically getting paid to receive an all-natural facial. I just can’t understand why everyone wouldn’t want to work at the canning plant.
It is not a good place, however, to receive a manicure. In addition to my chopped up hands cause I can’t wield a knife, I have found that I am also developing muscles in my fingers and forearms that no person should ever have. Gripping a corn cob so I can cream it and holding a tomato firmly so I can core it have resulted in some very sore finger and forearm muscles. Man hands here I come.
We get all types of women, and some men, in the canning plant. My favorite though are the hoity toity ones. The ones that come in with their hair all done, their make up layered on, khaki pants, a sweater, and ballet flats. Really people? Really? Today, a lady came in and I kid you not, she had on nude panty hose under her capri pants with her open toed sandals. In a place where moisture, humidity, and stains are just a part of every day life and she walks in wearing panty hose?! That’s just not right. I won’t even discuss the fact that she was wearing panty hose with open toed sandals, cause let’s be serious if anyone has seen me at the canning plant this summer they know I have no right to be calling the fashion police on anyone.
You’ve also got the farmer’s wives with their cute little Southern drawls and their fresh off the farm produce. Then you’ve got those who share all the latest news and updates of a small rural town. That’s when I keep my mouth shut and just do my work. Like I said in the beginning…the things I learn at the canning plant!
Panty-hose-wearing-women and gossip aside, I really have enjoyed my job at the canning plant and the things I have learned while working there. If you need me though, I’ll be at the local nail salon getting a manicure. These man hands aren’t going to fix themselves!