Top 11 Bottle Shop Moments

Working in a warehouse, one is constantly experiencing the type of moment that both warms the heart and affirms life. Reminiscing in the spirit of the season, I've decided that I would look back on my two and a half years at Bottletown, and outline for you, in no particular order, 11 experiences that I'll remember forever. May the party continue for years to come.

1. Josh Dives into the Clouds

In the interest of providing our customers with intact products, we keep on hand large amounts of shipping peanuts, stored in bags which are approximately 5 ft in length x 2 ft in diameter. One day, Josh, our all-star bottle picker, found himself atop a 15 ft scaffolding, beneath which our peanuts were stored. With my encouragement, and in the interest of efficient time management, rather than climbing down the scaffolding he decided to jump into the fluff pile, which would of course break his fall.

Unfortunately, by a strange quirk of the law of physics, when Josh's body hit the fluff bags in the prone position they shot out to his sides, allowing him to slam into the floor at full force. Luckily, no injuries occurred, but unluckily, I was the only one who saw it.

2. Blown out Blow Out

Our warehouse managers get upset sometimes, particularly when dealing with warehouse employees.

It's an old tradition at Bottletown to shout "Blown Out!" when an individual makes a mistake, or demonstrates their inability to perform a task properly. One day in particular, shortly before our managers wedding, we employees were using the term perhaps more than necessary. As a result, the manager flew into a frightening rage, shouting "If anyone (expletive) says 'blown out' one more time, I'm going to (expletive) kill someone!!", and smashing a Quadra8 glass bottle into the floor in the vicinity of the offending parties. Yuuki got hit in the mouth with flying glass, but no injuries occurred. When the manager left, someone of course yelled "Blown out!" and we all laughed!

3. The Boss's Wedding

Towards the beginning of my Bottletown career, all company employees were invited to the wedding of our owner--the reception for which was held at the top of a downtown Seattle tower, with a great view of the city and stadiums. Not knowing many people in town, I attended with Angel, hoping to make friends and enjoy the free buffet.

Along with free food, there was also an open bar, of which some took more full advantage than others. Our office managers wife, in particular, enjoyed her libations. By her admission, our office manager should have known previously that he'd married "a dancer", and as such, she decided to dance. Unfortunately, our manager himself wasn't much for dancing, though one of the other warehouse employees in attendance was. As such, the rest of us enjoyed watching the manager fume as the dancing got more and more intimate, until he forced his wife to leave before violence occurred.

4. Bottletown Social Function

From time to time one of our shipping partners will provide the Bottle Boys with thank you gifts, and these often come in the form of tickets to sporting events. After I'd been in the warehouse for a few months, I was lucky enough to be invited to attend a free Mariners game with my manager and a few of the other employees.

Being new to town, this was my first time to the stadium, so after work on a Thursday I decided to show up to the game early, purchase a hat, walk around a bit, and generally settle in as a Mariners Fan. I checked in by myself and found my seat about 15 minutes before the game started.

I was a little anxious as I waited for my friends, worried that they would miss the first pitch. Disappointingly, they indeed did. In fact, they missed every pitch that occurred until the bottom of the eighth, when they arrived bearing peanuts stolen from a bar, a flask, and a bunch of soda. "Hey, want a peanut?!" my manager asked no one specifically--or everyone surrounding us, depending on how you look at it. Most people didn't, which was just as well, because he needed them to throw over the balcony onto the crowd below.

In a few minutes, the Mariners had lost the game, and it was time to go. I decided that it would probably be best if I took the bus home by myself, particularly since my boss (and my ride) had just run off full speed into the crowd shouting and laughing.

5. Short Shorts Thursday

A few summers back, our forklift driver jokingly suggested that if it got over 96 degrees Fahrenheit (a rare occurrence in Seattle), on the following day everyone would have to wear short shorts to work. This became a running joke, and by the humorous will of God a heat wave hit, and temperatures did rise over the 96 degree mark, prompting the announcement that the following day all male employees were to arrive wearing short shorts.

Most people ignored the request, but one individual in particular didn't. In fact, he embraced it, and showed up to work in hot pants a la 1960's basketball players, which he'd worn on the bus in conjunction with a tight white t-shirt. Most people laughed, if a little uncomfortably, expecting him to cover up a bit as the day went on. Unfortunately, the opposite happened, and as the temperature again began to rise, he decided that it was in fact too warm for even a shirt, so he spent half of a day in a warehouse wearing nothing but short shorts and tennis shoes. Predictably, soon our female office employees began to feel threatened and he was forced to cover up.

6. Cigarette Juice

This is an experience that I unfortunately missed, but happened this week. Outside of our warehouse is a common smoking area, in which there is a gallon jar filled to the brim with old cigarette butts. Because we've had a diluvial amount of rain in the last few days, recently it has also been filled with water. For $9, and the respect of his peers, yesterday one of our employees drank a glass filled with that water. He didn't die, but he didn't have an urge to smoke for the rest of the day either.

7. A Very Special Dedication

I've written on this one before: Click here for details

8. John Schirmer

I love you John. Don't be sad that you aren't the subject of any of these stories :(

9. The Captain Writes His Resignation

At a warehouse, employees are essentially cogs in wheels--they can be replaced with a like part at an instant's notice. As such, when one leaves a warehouse, they usually do so with little fanfare or concern. Put in your notice, or just leave--no biggie. Well, one individual, who we designated "the Captain" due to his leadership skill and funny sailor's hat, took his resignation more seriously. In fact, he spent several working hours preparing a script to read to our owner at the point of his departure. "I regret to inform you..." "I've received an excellent opportunity at career advancement in another position..." and such. I miss you Captain.

10. Heart to Heart at the Star Motel

Soon after two employees--friends and bandmates--began their Bottletown careers, they got into a nasty argument. I'm not sure what the difference of opinion was regarding, but it was serious enough that they walked next door to the "courtyard" of our neighboring dirt bag motel and spent nearly two hours hashing out their differences. When they returned, with tears in their eyes, the first thing they said was, "Don't worry, everything's okay. We're still friends." They both worked at Bottletown for months afterwards, leaving (mostly) at their own volition.

11. A Special Delivery for All the Top Republicans

Once again, I've written about this before. Click here.

This is, by the way, the only experience that made the list from my time answering phones.

I love you Bottletown. Viva la Bottle.


Anonymous said…
classic tim!