It is Labor Day here in the U.S., and I am fondly remembering the best paying, hardest and maybe most curious employment experience ever.
I was a summer substitute, working for college expenses, willing to do the jobs no one else wanted to do, to earn the most I could in those few months of school break.
They found out early that although little, I was strong, and determined.
I came in early and stayed late, relieving the regular factory staff, who found the 100 degree temperatures in the summer months unbearable.
The dough needed to be in a warm, moist environment; employee comfort was a distant concern. I took advantage. I earned enough to avoid the school-year job that burdened so many of my classmates.
Using a small step stool, I reached up to a large metal tub equipped to sort and wash the 50 pound boxes of the compressed fruit.
I weighed barely 100 lbs. at the time, so I was lifting half of my body weight up to shoulder level. With gloved hands, I pushed the raisins through a water-washed filter, removing twigs, stems and livestock (bugs, mostly) that had been packed into those sticky boxes.
I still eat that stuff today, I understand the level of quality control, and I know those raisins are clean.