Tuesday, June 29, 2010

This much fun AND I got a free t-shirt!

Saturday I spent a little over 6 hours at the Tyson Track Center helping package meals to send to Haiti. The event was sponsored by a nonprofit called Numana. I was a little apprehensive, because if there's one thing I can't stand it's inefficiency, and there was great possibility for inefficiency in such a large operation. However, I was very pleasantly surprised. These folks have turned meal packaging into an art. Each assembly line has the potential to be a finely tuned machine, churning out hundreds of meals in minutes. In 24 hours, over 1.4 million meals were packaged. Not too shabby.

I had a great time, and there was no shortage of bloggable moments. I'm feeling a little ADD today, so I'll give them to you in to-the-point bullet form:

- The first table I worked with (I was a coordinator,and my job was to manage a line and train people as they came to it) consisted of a couple of cheerful families of 4. We got along famously. Then a lady joined us who was a little, well, more senior than the rest of us and pretty crabby. She kept pointing out to me people at other lines who weren't wearing the required hairnet or gloves. I was not about to start playing health inspector, so I just kind of nodded and moved on. After about half an hour, though, I caught her shaking her booty to a Madonna song that was playing over the loudspeakers while she worked. I liked her a lot more after that.

- Midway through my shift, the crew from The Harbor (our church) showed up. My parents brought Abby so she could help out, and her buddy CG was there too. I set the team up at a table and got them started. We had a great time. I especially enjoyed that as a coordinator, I was the only one not required to wear an apron and hairnet.

- Somehow the lady from my first table ended up working with The Harbor crew for a while. When I saw her join the table, I snickered to myself, knowing that she would not hold back. Sure enough, she apparently called out Sarah for being too slow right off the bat. I have no idea what the team did to scare her off, but it worked and she was gone after a few minutes.

- At one point my dad thought it would be fun to, instead of handing the bag he had just sealed to Abby for boxing, toss it to her. This would have been a great idea if she had been looking. Instead, it smacked her in the head. Way to assault your granddaughter with relief rations!

- There was a guy with a microphone walking around, cheering on volunteers, updating everyone on how many meals were completed and spurring on competition between tables. At one point he started taking requests for music to be played over the loudspeaker. Someone requested "something by Usher." He said, "Is that a singer?" WHAT? The guy was my age, maybe a little older. Who doesn't know who Usher is? He was completely discredited in my books after that.

- After The Harbor team left, I worked with a group of high school students from a church youth group. They were 1) Really fun 2) Really fast and 3)SO young. How do teenagers keep getting younger?

- For the last hour I was pouring ingredients into the bags with two of the guys from the youth group. One of the ingredients is vitamin powder. It smells vaguely like ramen noodles, and if you don't pour it in the funnel just right it poofs out in a cloud and coats everyone nearby. I came home completely covered in a yellow film. On the bright side, I won't be vitamin deficient for some time.

- Abby brought home her disposable plastic apron and hairnet. She wore them all day yesterday.

- While I was there the music played constantly, so I must have heard easily over 100 songs. So why, why, WHY is MmmBop the one that is still going through my head?

That's just wrong.


Denise said...

I am stalking your blog, but I very much enjoy it. Thanks for making me smile!

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joven said...

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joven said...

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Patty said...

That's great! How did they know you would thrive as a coordinator? Glad you guys all had fun!