Teamster For A Day


Earlier today I shared a Frank Fact with you. It was part of a series of stories that I posted on social media a few years ago leading up to my October birthday and was designed to give you a bit more info about how I arrived at this point in my life. I thought the last one was worth reposting as a cautionary tale. Same as this one.

Frank Fact #2: I had many jobs while working through college, one of which was as a truck loader for UPS.

The hours were 4am-8am and my responsibility was to unload semi-trucks by hand into the terminal so the brown trucks could be loaded. I worked hard enough on my first day that there was steam rising from my sweat-soaked clothing into the cool, Florida-winter-morning air (like a clip from NFL films).

My new coworkers, all seasoned UPS veterans, chuckled and advised me to take a few aspirin before leaving the building. I did not do this and really just dismissed that idea as being for pansies. It’s not like that was the first time I’ve unloaded a truck – that used to be my profession for a time. I have calloused hands and a strong back. I had worked hard before so there was no need for preventative sore muscle treatment.

The paralyzing pain hit me around noon. I was struggling to make my way around campus and felt as though someone had tightly tied a two by four from my head to my butt and a two by four all the way up each leg. I recall trying to take a drink of water from a water fountain in one of the buildings at school and it being physically impossible for me to bend down to get my lips near the water. I just stood there with my lips moving like a fish trying my best to keep a tear from rolling down my cheek.

“Too sore to return to work” was the reason I gave for quitting that one-day job. This story illustrates my decision to eliminate any career choice that involves a significant amount of manual labor. It’s a young man’s game. I don’t even mow my lawn anymore. I’m like a veal calf these days – fed a diet of whole milk and kept contained most of the day in my dark basement where muscle tone fades a little more each day. If you cut the ribeye out of me and put it in the deli case, mine would be the one in the “human ribeye” section with noticeably more fat marbles than the other human ribeyes.

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