Pros: decent pay, knowing what freedom truly feels like at the end of the day
Cons: no sanctioned breaks, poor work enviornment, questionable staff
A typical day at work would proceed as follows, I come in to check the mess that the night shift left for me, order my paper and get the glue that I needed for the first hour. Between constantly running around fulfilling the whims of my team mates, constantly refilling glue buckets, and hanging 2000 lb rolls of paper onto the presses, I would slowly take care of the aforementioned mess. Typically finding what i needed was difficult to impossible, inventory is typically empty and tools were scattered throughout the press room.
What I learned is that the facility does nothing but produce junk mail for major credit card corporations and corrupt politicians propaganda. When they aren't doing that they mostly do coupons and health insurance brochures. the place cares not for their employees at all and treat them like toilet paper. they use them until they are withered and hollowed like the cardboard tube at the end of the roll. It is a filthy workplace overall. glue is caked on the floor and has been neglected for 20+ years.
Management is highly questionable. often times they reward those who brown nose more than those who actually accomplish their daily tasks. They do their jobs a managers, frantically running about and freaking out as necessary and unnecessarily to ensure proper progress. no requests for advancement or learning opportunities will be acknowledged, that is unless you share a pint with them on your time off. often times they will freak out before they know what is actually transpiring, pressuring the press crew to do something they have no control over. they – more... also have no query over time management and pto, it is entirely up to the employee to schedule their time off. occasionally even after months of preparation the management may tell you tough luck someone with seniority just signed up and you are stuck here...
The workers are either really cool or completely insufferable. There are really cool guys there, they will teach you if you ask, joke around and help you out if necessary. However they are far and few between the many unprofessional and authority abusing workmen. many are too caught up in themselves to give you the time of day, or they simply have acquired their position through brown-nosing and gave up, delegating their responsibilities to those below them and taking 30 min- 1 hour breaks. Which of course if you are a second assistant like I was that was impossible, even sitting down to take a break on the press was enough for them to harass you about being lazy and immediately find some random job for you to do on top of your already long list of duties.
the hardest thing that I've had to do there was spend a full 12 hour shift scraping glue off the press and floor alone.I had to clean a press that has been neglected for upwards of 10 years, furthermore no one who was responsible for the mess actually laid a finger to keep it clean afterward either. as 2 weeks later on an overtime day I witnessed its slow return to the terrible condition it was at before...
The place really is a sad place to be. It gets worse every year.
the most enjoyable part of the job honestly was going home, after a 12 hour day of being soaked in cancer causing chemicals and glue, while breaking your back to keep the press running at speed, in a place with almost no ventilation. the sweet salvation of seeing time creep closer and closer to 7 is the only way to stay sane. then when it hits seven and you return to the fresh air outside its like being washed over with the purest form freedom! – less