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Sleeping Smarter, Not Harder

, , , , , | Working | April 14, 2022

This takes place about twenty years ago. I’m in my early twenties and working a basic warehouse job — driving a forklift, shipping/receiving, packing orders, and so on. There’s nothing special about it.

The owner of the company is a decent guy. He’s always walking about, interacting with employees, and being generally light-hearted.

One of the lazier employees finds out that we have a warehouse opening, and he talks to the warehouse manager about hiring him to help in the warehouse. So, the manager sets up a meeting, conducts an interview, and then eventually hires the guy.

The new guy is decent. He seems to be hardworking and can follow instructions. The guy is diabetic; it runs in his family. This shouldn’t be a problem for anyone that is diabetic and they work on following proper guidelines to ensure they’re healthy. However, this guy wants zero to do with it. He doesn’t monitor his blood sugar; he just carries around candy in his pocket and eats it if he feels lightheaded. He loves to party and just doesn’t take care of himself.

After maybe six months of [New Guy] working, we’ve noticed he’s hard to find at times. We look for him outside (since he smokes) and we check all entrances, but we can’t find him. We check the bathrooms — sometimes he’ll sit in a stall for an extended period of time — but we don’t find him. We wander the warehouse, checking every corner, checking up in spots we store packing material to see if he’s found a place to nap — past employees have done this — but we don’t find him.

We double-check the parking lot to see if [New Guy]’s car is gone. Nope, his car is still in the parking log. We wander the warehouse again, yelling out his name, rechecking outside of the building and the bathrooms, but we cannot find him.

We’ve now spent forty-five minutes looking for [New Guy] and he’s nowhere to be found. The warehouse manager tells us to just get back to work, and if he shows up, he shows up. I continue to work on my tasks.

About half an hour later, one of the other warehouse guys tells me that [New Guy] was seen climbing down the racking from a pallet and that the warehouse manager caught him in the act. The manager took the pallet down from the top of the rack and found out that the new guy had hollowed out the inside of the pallet to sit inside of it and sleep. The pallet had forty-eight boxes on it; [New Guy] had taken out the boxes in the center except for one to act as a seat to sit on and built up the outer layer taller. He had then put the pallet on the top of the rack.

Aside from thinking that that’s pretty impressive, I also know the owner will be pissed about it because he was even out helping us look for [New Guy].

[New Guy]’s punishment is none of my concern. All I know is that the warehouse manager doesn’t fire him on the spot.

I go to lunch and I am sitting in the break room when in walks the owner. He gets his lunch out and starts making small talk with me.

Owner: “Did you ever find the new guy?”

Me: “Yes. Apparently, he hollowed out a pallet and was sleeping inside of it up on the top rack.”

Owner: “What? He was sleeping?”

Me: “That’s what I was told.”

His face turns bright red and he takes in a deep breath and yells.

Owner: “DID YOU FIRE THE F***ER?!”

Me: “Sorry, that’s not my call. You’d have to talk to your warehouse manager about that.”

The owner stood up and marched out to the warehouse.

Surprisingly, the new guy wasn’t fired, but I never asked why they kept him. But it wasn’t too far down the road that the guy ended up getting fired for not coming into work for three days straight without calling in.

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