How to be Useful

Stuck in Mac Town? Play Tetris!

One of the things I don’t like about software is that it’s never finished, it’s just versioned. Again, and again, and again. That’s why I like hanging lights in a theater: you reach a point where you can say, “I’m done.” Sometimes that’s opening night, and you’re done because you’re run out of time. Sometimes it’s done just because there’s nothing left to do. I love that feeling.

Useful? Well.

We jump at the chance to do something more useful than check Facebook and eat.

Twice so far I’ve pitched in to help food inventory, and the best part is: it got done. I believe that there was a crew of two assigned to inventory maybe twelve or fifteen tri-wall boxes, and six or so strandees showed up to help. The whole thing took about an hour and a half.

A pickle forklift pulls the boxes from the container, we cut the straps, unpack enough so that we can see and reach everything inside, the crew chief checks it against the inventory sheet, for some unknown reason we write the SKU on the box to show that we’ve checked the SKU printed on the box, and then …


Inside the big boxes are lots and lots of little boxes. The big boxes are all packed into a shipping container, which is really a big box. And some of the little boxes had stuff in them which had to have a SKU put on it, and I could argue was a little box.

Tetris! We repack a bunch of oddly-shaped boxes back in the tri-wall box. Sometimes the boxes are nice and uniform. One had almost nothing in it but boxes of generic Cheerios. Sometimes it feels as if every box is different; paying attention while unpacking is what a smart person would have done, and we had a couple of them, but they weren’t there for each unpacking and sometimes we had to try several different variations on the packing.

And then, we are done.


2 responses to “How to be Useful

  1. Hey – that looks like Marie ( there with the triwalls. Red hair, pretty, Canadian (I think)? Heading for Byrd Field Camp this summer. I keep feeling I should ask you to wear a “Pablo says ‘hi’!” button. But no, I’ll mind my manners and stick with the vicarious experience.

    Great that you’re finding ways to pitch in during down time. I think you’ll fit in at Pole. 🙂

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