So I work in a warehouse that has multiple electric forklifts. Nowadays I find myself leading a crew of forklift operators more than wheeling one around. One night my crew and I were strategizing the night’s plan near Lift #1.
In fact, two of the boys were debating who has “number 1” for the night. I let out a brief chuckle as my mind flashed through a memory about my experience with my “number one fan”.
For the past couple months, the crew has enjoy my previous stories of exploits, and harrowing adventure at work and outside of it. They asked to share, and I am one to share …
PART TIME DRIVER
One of my first observations about forklift operators are that they are a rather clique-y group. Of course, this type of behavior isn’t just for forklift drivers, it’s for most humans in a confined space for endless hours.
At the time of this story, I was a supervisor that was occasionally called upon to jump into a lift. My scheduled work shift was 8am – 430pm. While I slept, I received multiple text messages and missed calls from work leaders.
I called back, and their question was if I could arrive earlier to work and drive a lift. I complied, and hastily put myself together, and a lunch. If you don’t know anything about Aquarians, we have certain routines. Any interruptions to these routines is cause for a grumpy Aquarian, especially me.
I arrived about 6 am, a long 2 HOURS after all the other forklifts were checked out by the regular drivers. As I said before these drivers are particular about the lift they use for the morning: ride height, control preferences loaded.
The remaining lifts are operators that have the day off, and/or sick. I shrugged my shoulders, and asked the Receiving Team, “Which lifts are available to check out?”
The Receiving Manager quipped, “Number 1, and please drive Hard Lines now.”
Cleared For Take-Off
I was a part-time driver AT BEST because of my classification of a supervisor. I felt self-imposed pressure to drive hard today since I started 2-hours after everyone else.
I positioned a pallet to be wrapped, so I stepped off my lift. In the distance, I heard the other lift’s beep-beep-beep. But one in particular kept approaching.
One of the more prolific drivers was steaming towards me in a forklift. I smiled and quipped, “Morning X, what’s up?”
Without saying a word, he stopped the lift close enough that he could step into the cab of the lift I was currently using. He then tossed my phone off the lift onto the pallet I was wrapping, accompanied by the drop lists for the merchants, and any other personal items I had including my forklift keys!
Finally, he drives off with Lift #1.
The crew that witnessed the event was stunned into silence. One of them mouthed the words, “WHAT. THE. FUCK.”
The merchants were slacked jaw while waiting for my reaction. I thought, I don’t have time for this childish drama. After finishing the wrap job, and like a bullied student in a hallway, I gathered up my items, and placed them in the “new” forklift.
Without a word said, I turned on the lift. A few merchants approached me, “We saw that! We’ll back you up. What are you gonna do?”
“What am I going to do? I’m gonna get back to work,” I grumbled. “But there’s definitely gonna be a conversation about that Beyonce moment afterwards.”
You’re Number One
As you can imagine, neither of us were the number one fans of each other ever since.
My audience of two boys couldn’t believe what they were hearing from me. Lastly, I became my father in an instant.
“If I hear that y’all are bickering over Lift #1, I’ll park the son-of-a-bitch myself and NEITHER of you will drive it for the night! Am I clear on this point?”
They nodded as they mumbled the words, “Yes, sir. Crystal clear.”
I had a besmirched smile on my face, “Perfect. Let’s keep digging then.”