Now about unwanted guests. Let’s begin with nonhuman ones. When I first started at Brighton mosquitoes were a terrible plague in the summer. Out plant sits in a low-lying area that once was wetlands. The natural habitat of mosquitoes. Some of those blood-suckers were huge. But Sharonville must have done something to rid the area of them, because they are practically extinct now. But back in the 70’s I donated several pints a year, and they weren’t picky about my blood type. Rats are also a popular intruder. It’s very discouraging to find a dead rat in a vending machine. Kind of makes you lose your appetite. Also discouraging is finding a dead roach floating in a cup of coffee dispensed from a vending machine. I bring in my own coffee, and buy very little from the vending machines.
Before I get off the topic of rats, they can be entertaining, too. A dead rat was once tossed into a press John M. was operating, I don’t know by who. The top die came down and splattered it all over John. I heard he lost his lunch. Another dead rat was tossed into a flanging machine Badeye was running, to be smashed under the icr roll. Once again, undigested food was dispensed onto the floor. It’s also fun to toss a dead rat into a pickle tank, and come back later to find shiny bones afloat. We’ve had great fun with dead rats.
Recently, raccoons have been a problem. Traps were set, but I don’t think they worked. We’ve got a lot of hunters working here, and someone was allowed to bring a rifle onto the grounds to shoot it. Birds fly through the shop all the time, but no one ever bothers them.
Humans have passed through uninvited, too. I already mentioned the young Moonie girl who came through the shop passing out flowers. More recently, we had a man walking through our parking lot looking into cars. We think he was searching for a car with the keys in the ignition. Someone working in shipping saw him and challenged him. Instead of leaving, he walked into the shop. He had a belligerent attitude. When the plant supervisor Mark L. learned what was going on, he came out of the office to confront him. When he wouldn’t leave, Mark took him by the arm to escort him out. He slung his arm loose. But he then left of his own accord. There was a road construction crew working on the railroad tracks that crossed Mosteller just south of our plant. The guy found a truck there with keys in the ignition and drove off with it, heading north on Mosteller. A policeman directing traffic at the work site jumped in his car and gave chase. The man crashed before he got off Mosteller, and was arrested. I never heard what his problem was.
The most common uninvited people we get have been thieves. We keep a lot of metal stocked in our yard, some of it exotic and very expensive. People have come during the night and ripped us off. The property was eventually fenced in the 90’s, but some thieves just cut through the fence one weekend night and drove off with some metal. Yet some are so brazen they have come onto our property in broad daylight while first shift was at work. These people drove a truck through our open gate to the back yard where the metal is stored. Lonnie F. saw them loading metal into their pick-up and asked them what they were doing. They jumped in the cab and drove off. And Lonnie grabbed the truck! Like he was going to stop them! They just drug him along, until he finally let go. I don’t think he was injured, but with Lonnie it’s hard to tell.
You might wonder why our yard isn’t guarded. We’ve had guards from time to time. There was even a little guard shack constructed for them and put out in front of the gate. But one weekend Mark L. came by the plant while nothing was going on, to find the guard racing around the shop on a forklift. We’ve not had any security guards since.