As I mentioned in the last post, Enerfab was merging two workforces. But they only had work for one. Several of their employees transferred to our plant in Sharonville, which was still open but not producing very much work. All of our customers knew Brighton was going through a big shake-up, and sales orders had slowed drastically. So now there was work at Enerfab’s plant on Spring Grove that required only half the employees who were there.
That meant a lot of odd jobs. There was always sweeping to do. And cleaning up debris. The place was a mess, with everything scattered everywhere. I washed heads in shipping. I did grinding, of course. One of the more interesting jobs was running a polishing machine Joe K. had built. It was a menace. You operated the polisher on top of a rickety scaffolding twenty feet up in the air. With no harness, of course. But being high up in the air was no big deal there. One day I saw a press operator from Brighton who had gone to work for Enerfab months before they purchased us, Chip M., riding about twenty feet up in the air on a plate of carbon steel. The plate had three clamps on it, connected to a three-way cable which was lifted up by an overhead crane. He had the control box in his hand, and came riding down the aisle toward the press he was working on. I’d never seen that done at Brighton.
The oddest of odd jobs I had then was to move furniture. I, Curt W., and Al H. were assigned that job. Mark L. and the sales force had been relocated to the general offices at Enerfab. They were situated high above the head shop, which gave them a clear view of most of the entire shop. But their new digs needed office furniture. There had been a fire, I don’t know how long ago, in one of the offices, and the salvageable furniture had been stored in an old shed. So it was our job to move the furniture from the shed into Mark L.’s new offices. We spent days on that job. There was a rickety old open wooden lift they used as an elevator. So we’d drag the furniture onto the lift, take it down, move it by forklift to the offices, then lift it up to an outside entrance door and shove it inside, then move it to where it belonged. I went home tired on those days.
I also did a polishing job on a much smaller polisher than before. I polished light poles. Some city in Texas, it might have been Austin, wanted polished stainless steel light poles for an upscale area downtown. That was different. This job took me to a distant corner of the shop, what they called the bowling alley. But this was only one small area of the Spring Grove plant, a cavernous structure I never fully explored.
Enerfab had a stockroom attendant. We were used to just getting stuff we needed ourselves. Now we had to sign equipment out and return it. And we had to sign out for any supplies we needed.
Their water tasted terrible. I was advised not to drink out of the fountains. Later I heard they took all the fountains out and went to dispensing bottled water.
I liked the foreman. He was a friendly old guy a year or two away from retirement. He helped me out there a lot more than anybody else did. He’d often stop me when he saw I was just doing busywork and talk. He also would stop me when I was busy working to talk. He just liked to talk.
But I did get to run a flanger much of the time. More about that in the next post.