March 23rd, 2013

this big, reese

They call him the Wrapper

It's amazing how quickly you can forget that you ever used to do something, even something you used to do regularly. Case in point: when I worked at Books-A-Million, part of preparing for the weekly visit from the truck was stacking totes on pallets and shrink-wrapping them. Well, that's what we called it, but it was really stretch-wrapping. (The difference is that stretch wrap tightens when you stretch it around whatever it is you're wrapping, shrink wrap is applied loosely and then heated to tighten it.) Anyway, once we loaded the pallet, we'd take a big roll of plastic film and wrap it around the totes, to keep them secure and stable once the pallets were loaded onto the truck. I did this pretty much weekly once I became a manager. Yet until earlier today, I had completely forgotten that had been part of the job. What reminded me of it was — what are the odds! — being told to wrap something in plastic film to prepare it for being moved.

See, my church is preparing to undertake a rather large renovation project, so over the last three Saturdays, volunteers have come to the church to help pack things into boxes and move them and the furniture outside to be loaded onto trucks and placed into storage. This time around, I wasn't wrapping pallets; I was wrapping rolling carts. It's a pretty slick system, actually; we loaded boxes and books and what have you onto these carts, wrapped them, and rolled them onto the truck. (More precisely, we watched the movers roll them onto the truck. They're bonded, we're not.) Then they'll be rolled of the truck at the storage facility and stored as is until it's time to bring them back to the church in November. Good system!

It turns out that wrapping rolling carts is very much like wrapping pallets, and after a short reorientation period, I was a wrapping machine. I even remembered the old trick of twisting the roll once you reached the bottom of the stack and started going back up. That keeps it lying flat and further tightens it, you see. So now I'm an expert again! Unfortunately, we're pretty much done moving things now — all that's left in the church is what's absolutely necessary for the Holy Week services and the Easter brunch — so my expertise is likely to go to waste. Oh, well.