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The Pleasure Of Mindless Work

July 2, 2021

I went to work today. I’m still looking and interviewing for a fulltime job. But, today I also signed up for a Bacon shift. Bacon is an app that matches you with shift work. It’s sort of like Uber, but for jobs. You get to pick what shift and what company you want to work for.

If you are curious how a startup managed to the, they didn’t. It’s the first app I’ve used that has a .work extension. Anyway, I signed up with Bacon and had a morning shift working at a local Pleasant Grove company putting flavor packets into larger packages.

For four hours straight, from 8:30 to 12:30, I took five from the watermelon box, five sleeves from the lemon box and then six from the berry box. Why six berries instead of five? I have no idea and it was great to not need to care.

“Orientation took about 3 minutes. After that, I didn’t have to talk to anyone, or ask any questions. Someone was playing music on another part of the floor. It helped to pass the time. So, what did I think about for four hours standing at a table covered with drink mix packets?


Seriously, absolutely nothing.

I tried. I tried to calculate my rate per minute. But, the math distracted me from counting 5, 5, 6, so I gave it up. The guy working the table with me had his earbuds in. But, it wouldn’t really have mattered if he hadn’t. I wasn’t there to talk. I was there to work.

Okay, there were some thoughts that invaded my distraction. And they had to do with Project Management and the years of training I’d been through. I kept looking for areas to improve. I looked for process improvements.

If this were my project, what would I do differently?

I don’t really think I can help it. It’s a weird form of business muscle-memory. I found at least three areas that could be improved.

So, what did I do about it?

Nothing. And it was great.

I didn’t need to be the smart guy. I didn’t need to improve the process. I listened as a couple of young workers talked about how the process could be better. I think they were mostly interested in making it better for them.

It was a refreshing change to be in a role where I knew exactly what was needed and exactly what to do.

Sometimes there is comfort in a repetitive task.

Stay safe

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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