I’m working cherries. Those of you unluckies not from these parts might not know what that means. Let me explain. Basically, everybody raised in the metropolis of Payson/Salem/Santaquin, sometime in their life will work (or think about working) at the local cherry plants during the late summer. There are two plants: McMullins and Payson Fruit Growers. I had, until this year, missed out on this blessed opportunity because I, as a young high schoolian, had always worked at the swimming pool during the non-schooling months. However, this month I finally filled that long held void in my life.
If you’re trying to a picture a cherry plant, think of the factories on the movie North and South, then just take out the cotton and you’ve got the general idea. If you haven’t seen North and South (which, considering your general lack of culture, you probably haven’t) just think of those pictures you’ve seen of factories around the turn of the century and that’s about the jist of it.
At the plant there are several types of jobs, most of which involve staring at cherries moving along a conveyer belt. Now as fun as these jobs may sound (and let me tell you, you have no idea the excitement that can be had sorting cherries as they head towards their white bucket destination), my job is actually more fun. Yes, it’s true, I am one of the much acclaimed forklift drivers. Not only do I get to drive a lifting fork, but I get to drive said machine from approximately 9:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. (that’s during the night if you were confused). I know, I know, I can barely contain my excitement, even just talking about it.
As to my actual skills, I would probably say that I’m the second worst forklift driver of all time (as for who the worst is, I’ll leave that discussion for another day). No really, I am. Just picture those grannies driving down the middle of the road on the mechanized wheel-chairs and you’ve got the general idea of my speed and driving accuracy, except I might drive a little more crooked. I am making progress though. Miguel and Moises no longer look at me with looks of “Who in their right mind would ever hire this yahoo.” Lately it’s been more of a “You’re still don’t know what you’re doing, but at least you haven’t destroyed anything in the last couple hours”.