“Welcome to the weekend shift!” “Thanks.”
Jim continued. “They run a different ship on the weekends. Not the busy work you’ve seen during the week. More ah the high dollar work, or sensitive jobs. When folks haven’t paid their rent on these units, we dump everything we don’t want.”
The crew hauled out an old storage unit from the back of the warehouse.
“Anyone want this jade table?!” Ruckus shouted out. Jane spoke up. “Sure.”
She and two others loaded the small table and chairs into Jane’s truck.
The past-due storage unit was otherwise full of inconsequential junk, including a few press-board items that disintegrated before they even arrived at the dumpster, and some boxes of old clothes that, after being picked through for valuables and quality, were thrown unceremoniously into the clothing donation bin on the edge of the Sneaker-Wiles-Scribe Transportation warehouse property. No other storage units were past due that overly warm weekend.
“Alright, gang, we have some big ones.”
There was a chuckle from the back of the crowd. “Yeah, yeah, get that garbage outta ya now, all y’all, cuz half the crew is gonna move one of our top dog customers. White Glove Treatment only.” Abe, the boss of the shop that morning, paused to let that sink in. “This could be a big tip job, so no horsin’ around while we are on the property, period. Anything less will not be tolerated. The others will work assorted VIP odd jobs before joining up with the big move. Any questions?”
Jane looked around; a hand from the back.
“We got, like, eight people here. How much …stuff… does this guy have? We movin’ a mansion a’stuff?” All eyes darted toward the back. “It’s all on the military’s dime, Ruckus. They’ve got some big money items. If you’re not comfortable bringing your best, you can go back home after you do your little milk run.” “Don’t worry, boss, just was askin’ for a friend.” The crowd chuckled. “Alright, let’s keep all our limbs, and see if we can’t make a few extra bucks!”
The crowd dispersed to their trucks.
Jane and Jim were paired up to take care of two of the smaller moves first. They had a smaller truck than the one Jim usually drove during the week, but it also felt different for a few additional reasons. The pallets were wrapped in more layers of clear shrinkwrap, everyone was moving at a more cautious pace than normal, and there were more documents for customers to sign. The additional ado almost made the weekday moves feel more like casual practice rounds.
“This’ll be a nice run, Jane.”
Jim smiled and readjusted his signature old red cap before they hit the road. Maybe the potential of receiving an exciting additional tip made the weather felt nicer and the roads seem more open not just in traffic but in possibility. “Should I do anything differently?” “Nah, all good. Just smile and nod, like usual.”
She practiced both consciously.
|Sources: My professional experiences.|
|Inspirations: I had a memory of a jade table we dumped once. Reservoir Dogs may have unintentionally inspired Deflef’s speech, but it was certainly not direct inspiration.|
|Related: Somewhere in the Sammohini Arc of “The Story.”|
|Photo: Some furniture dumped or forgotten in a back alley in Seattle.|
|Written On: June 19th (30 minutes)|
|Last Edited: July 10th (15 minutes)|