The Game of Life

XXXVII - My Life as a Factory Worker

Published 24 days ago • 6 min read

XXXVII - My Life as a Factory Worker

Before I became my own boss:

I started with the paper round.

I worked in pot wash graduating to the kitchens.

I worked in supermarkets.

I worked in labouring.

I worked in factories.

The paper round took me about an hour on the week days and about two hours on the weekends. For £13, I was doing it mainly for the exercise and because my mum told me I needed to do some work, not the 9 hours I was working.

Kitchens? I was young, and had a great team, and a killer head chef. Fond memories.

Supermarkets were soul destroying for the work, but decent people made it a laugh - until they left.

Labouring was a BIG graft, but the jokes were on a different level. You don't get the labouring experience anywhere else.

And then there was factories.

The last jobs I set foot in.

Covid was knocking around causing things to be a mess, and with recently moving to a new city two weeks prior to the first lockdown, I had sunk deep into addiction central with no friends, no job, no gym.

This led up to I - The Cake after working in my first factory.

My sister's friend managed to sort me out some labouring work.

One day I was working on a house, ripping out a ceiling (that definitely took some time of my life).

But the owner of the house was a manager at a factory, and I needed full time work which labouring couldn't give.

I was in the factory one week later because he respected the work I had done on his house.

Now I thought retail was bad.

I was stood in the same spot for 8 hours.

Foiling pipes.

Waiting for the belt to bring me some more foil, to stick it on some piping, to put it in a box.

This was grim.

The IQ around me was low.

One guy tried to convince me he was correct in an argument with his girl once and said "Why is she using words like furthermore, it's not a test!".

... Yeah, I didn't get it either.

I was convinced the entire night shift were alcoholics, and one guy was so pale he looked like Casper. His body was screaming for sunlight, I wondered when the last time was he saw it.

I remember one of the oldies found out I had a a degree.

"Degree???? Why the fookin' 'ell are you working 'ere?"

Ahh, my degree. Was worthless.


Because if you didn't have a masters, you wouldn't even be considered for a job application.

So I would have needed more debt, for something I wasn't sure I wanted to do, just to get a "possibility".

They could have told me that at the start, eh?

It was a good thing I watched football, so I had some common ground to talk to the folks around me.

There were a good bunch of lads, but I was surrounded with no ambition.

Everyone was content.

No one wanted to get anywhere.

At some point I - The Cake happened.

By this time I was off foiling and I had worked in the dustiest place I'd ever seen.

Now I was on servicing, assistant to the supervisor.

My job was so simple. I moved boxes around and chatted to a lad on the end of the belt to put his boxes away.

I must have been sending 200 DMs some days on my phone with my little side hustle.

I cared less and less about the job.

People left and people came like no tomorrow.

There were few people who had been there long term - and I did not want to replicate those people.

But for the most part I had settled.

I could walk around aimlessly moving boxes, chat to a couple of boys & sit at the computer when the supervisor wasn't there.

I could spend an hour or two on Twitter, growing my account, and making my side hustle as successful as possible.

It was easy, I could get away with a lot for my own personal gain, and I hoped it was going to be the last job I ever had.

I'd booked holidays all throughout the year, I hit the gym before / after my shift depending on earlies or lates.

I had a plan to make money online.

I'd started driving sharing with my sister.

We left early on a Friday.

I went for a pint with Steve some days too, getting to know some locals.

This factory life wasn't so bad after all, eh?

And then redundancies came.

Ah shit.

My cushty job was about to be no more.

I knew I was a goner.

I had been there less than two years (that was the rule).

A couple months later, I was hooked.

The routine was good. The gym was 60 seconds away from work. The people were decent and the job was alright all things considered.

That was all gone.

I had to go to an agency, to find a new job.

It was a new warehouse, and it wasn't close to anywhere.

It was fine to drive too but not to get the train.

There was no gym.

And this one.. was worse.

Again, football was a common theme, but less so than the previous, and the IQ seemed to drop devastatingly low.

The organisation was shocking, and there wasn't time to build my side hustle except for when I was on breaks.

I could take advantage a little bit by taking longer breaks, but they cracked down hard on that.

The job was soul destroying.

We handled and sold rugs.

They would monitor how many rugs you had picked / packed every day.

Some were barely the size of my lower arm. Others were more than twice the entire length of my body.

Unloading a Lorry, to sort into the warehouse, to reload into a box, and put into another lorry.

It was monotonous.

It gave me greater drive to focus on biz.

If I was on the train it took me hour and a half to walk, get the train and walk again to work.

I then worked for 9 hours.

My time was being destroyed, and I was surrounded by idiots for the majority. The rest were depressed.

But there was one lad.

On my first day, I was told to shadow a guy called Luke (who had only been there a week... to show me what to do).

He was a few years younger than me, and I'm convinced the only reason I was fired from my other job and to come here was to meet Luke.

If it wasn't for Luke, I wouldn't have survived there.

We kept each other sane, but most importantly, Luke actually had an ambitious mindset.

We would talk about growth, direction, how to improve ourselves, - people thought we were weird, because we wanted something better than this life.

Shoutout my bro Luke, that's a boy for life.

As some months passed, we were getting tired of the place hard.

They banned music at one point, and that was about the only sane thing to keep you going.

When me and Luke were on packing, we'd rotate tunes and the day would be okay.

Until we got separated.

I did learn Forklift, Man Up, etc., so I got some variety, but it wasn't like the last place.

The clock moved slowly, and you couldn't get away with much.

I was hardly training, but my side hustle was getting slowly better and better. I was starting to make decent regular income, and I was getting close to throwing in the towel, I just needed a few more months to put some decent savings behind me, because right now, I had none.

But that time didn't come.

I was 20 minutes from the end of a shift and my Mum had text me.

It was bad news.

She had cancer.

Me and Luke were on the conveyer at the time.

A good 20 metres to the other end, but he could sense a change.

"Bro... you good?" he called over.

I didn't respond.

He came over...

"I'm out man... I'm out" I said, as I showed him the text.

"Bounce bro, go see your mum" Luke said.

I showed him some love and went to see the manager saying I was going to see my mum.

After a couple of days, I came back.

It was early shift, and I still felt sick.

I didn't want to be here.

I just wanted to be up at Mums, which was 2 1/2 hours drive away.

I felt like I was letting my family down.

I had the side income, it was a similar amount.

I remember speaking to Luke that day.

"Yo, I'm going to get a doctors note. I need some time off"

"Do you man, but I can't lie, it's gonna be shit without you". Luke wasn't happy but of course he understood.

I got the doctors note and spent 2 weeks up and down at mine and my parents.

It wasn't enough, I got another doctors note, and that appeared to be the final straw for the warehouse.

I was fired via email & everyone said I should fight it.

I did not care.

It was a signal.

A message from something far greater.

Fired from a job with a doctors note?

These people do not care about you.

Numbers on a piece of a paper.

That my time was now.

For me, for my family, for my future.

I was diving all in online.

I went to stay with my mum for a bit.

And I never looked back.

The Game of Life

Thomas Haynes

Former NPC turned entrepreneur. Join hundreds of readers where each newsletter is a quest towards conquering personal growth, business success, and finding purpose in every moment.

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