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Published on March 14th, 2019 | by voxx

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My First Day at Work

Your first day at work is an unusual day, a very different day after what feels like a lifetime at school. Excitement meets apprehension, and there’s no more “You must not eat in class”. You can do as you please at work – within reason of course.

As I walked past my school it seemed odd to not turn into the building, and yet ten minutes later I was at the doors of Woolworths. Following the instructions I had been given at interview, I proceeded up the stairs to the canteen. Someone suddenly strode in. “Will the new starter make his way to the stockroom!” So there I was, my place, my position, to begin my first day of work.

“Shutters up,” someone growled, pointing at a metal chain which I then pulled on, watching as the steel shutters slowly rose. A grey van reversed towards to the stockroom and someone else, old and fat, barked, “Jump on the van and pick up the parcel.”

There was a solitary parcel, right in the corner. I picked it up and handed it to the man.

“On the belt,” he muttered. “You’re not at school now.”

As I completed my my very first task, I realised he was right and school suddenly slipped into the past.

“Come on, time for a cuppa.”

After a break, we returned to the stockroom where a lorry awaited us, packed with parcels, boxes, packages of every shape and size that zoomed along the conveyor belt.

“Faster!” “Quicker!” Everyone was shouting. Like ice to sunburn, this was a shock to the system. I had expected to be beginning work as a trainee manager, but it had since been agreed that I would start with six months in the stockroom.

“Grab a trolley, fill it with soap powder, take down in the lift to the shop floor. The manager is yelling for it. Hurry!”

After repeating this process four or five times I decided I should take a self-appointed break. I deserved it after all. Wandering along the aisles, past hardware then pick ‘n’ mix, I found myself drawn to the music section. Thin Lizzy was being played, ‘Whiskey in the Jar’. Before I knew it, I felt a heavy hand on my shoulder.

“You’re here to work, not stand listening to whatever that is.”

“It’s Thin Lizzy,” I said.

Within seconds, I was once again looking warily at yet another loaded conveyor belt. I didn’t like to admit it, but maybe school wasn’t so bad after all, especially when four o’clock came and it wasn’t home time. “Not here,” the fat man reminded me. No, my new home time wasn’t until five.

Eventually, that glorious hour arrived. Aching and tired I picked up my clock card and punched it in. Day one successfully done. As I passed the school again I took a last look, before quickly turning right onto the main road to go home.

- By Christopher Milsom


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