The Family (Or most of them)

The Family (Or most of them)
The Family

March 8, 2007


I've wiped out and almost gotten myself killed racing a pallet truck around in an ice cream plant I used to work in.
I've cut my hands many times cutting the fins off of northern pike, pickerel and other fish at a packing plant I worked at in northern Manitoba.

I've been hit from behind when I was a truck-driver and stepped on rusty nails while hauling stuff around. I just about puked cleaning up the washrooms when I worked as a janitor.

And I almost blew myself up filling up machines with gas at an equipment rental place where I had a job.

Now, as a journalist, the biggest workplace dangers are breaking a nail on my keyboard, losing my vision staring at a computer screen or developing sciatica due to poor sitting posture.

But I've noticed in the last couple of months that I'm terror-ridden in the office by something that almost certainly could never hurt me, really, because I've never touched it in the 10 years I've been there.

It's this. It's a paper-cutter. The old kind. Guillotine style.
Chop Chop.

The thing is old. It's green. And it's been sitting on the printer station table where we all print up copies of stuff we need for as long as I can remember.

Never bothered me before. Just another object.

Now, I can't get it out of my mind. It's not that I have dreams about it...I have waking images, when I'm in the office, of my fingers getting cut off by it.

It's gross. I can't explain it. It's almost a phobia.

What phobias do you have with whatever objects you work with?

What unrealistic fears do you have about the pencil sharpener, water cooler, dying plant in the corner or what have you?

Or how dangerous is your job, anyway? As dangerous as mine?