September 22, 2012

Yesterday, I worked at the Adesa car auction in Framingham, as a temporary employee through Labor Ready.

Since I don’t have a car, I have to go to all of the car auctions with other Labor Ready employees who have cars.

Both times that I’ve gone to one of the auctions, the car that I was in got stalked by vehicles.  One vehicle that I saw yesterday was one that has also stalked me a few times in past weeks; it says “RUBINOFF” on the side, and has a picture of bottles of alcohol on the side, in a rainbow array.

On the way there yesterday, the guy in the passenger seat was putting things into his conversation with the driver:  “muddy the waters,” “macaroni and cheese,” a few other things.  It could have been worse, but none of it should have happened in the first place. The driver said “Go with the flow” a few times, and did some coughing when we were driving back to Waltham.  They were decent to me at the end, though; when we got to Waltham and had gotten our checks from Labor Ready, the driver offered to take me with them to the bank where they were going to get their checks cashed, and drove me to my bank even though it wasn’t the one that they were going to.

When we were in the parking lot after the auction and about to leave, a helicopter showed up and flew across the horizon.

The auction itself:

When we got there, it seemed to me that there were a lot more Caution cones and barrels around than  there needed to be.

As soon as we got there, and had gone to the hallway where the workers, not all of them from Labor Ready, had gathered and were being organized, a woman rubbed her nose at me.  There was coughing from some guys who were behind me; I didn’t turn to see who they were.

One of the men who was checking people in seemed to use the word “pull” more than he needed to, I thought, once he saw me.

There was some more coughing from outside the room that I went to with other people who hadn’t driven at that auction before to get information about what to do.

When I went back out to the check-in table, a guy to my right started talking about how he’d “Gone to a wine-tasting party and almost been sick.”  Then he started to talk about cheese.

The other guy who was checking people in did some coughing.

While I was waiting in the hallway for my group to leave the building, a guy to my right coughed while he walked past me.  I said “I heard that; please don’t do it again.”  Another guy went past me and blew his nose.  Another guy walked by after that; he had a jumpstarter with him that said “56” on it.

Here are the rest of the notes that I took about it, and more about it that I’m writing with them:

–some more coughing

–guy leading a group starts to walk through the hall, sees me and touches his nose

–before the cars get driven into the auction hall, they get wiped off for a minute by a guy who’s there to do that.  One guy I had no problem with; he did what he was supposed to do and was professional.  Another guy who had the same job walked up to my window, which was open so I could hear what was going on, and said “You need a wipe-down in there?”   That was the only time that I really lost my temper at the auction; I said “Get the f— away from me.”  I drove the car a few more feet; he walked up to the window again, and I told him that the other guy, who had shown up by then, had it.  Sometime after that, one of the other workers said to me “I heard you were giving the wipe-down guy a rough time?”

–The jumpstarters had various numbers on them; the one that was brought out to the row of cars that I was driving with other people when we got out there was number 54.

–I don’t know if I saw any women at the auction buying cars, which is too bad because it’s a good deal if you educate yourself about what to look for.  Of the crowd of men who were there, there were a few, each time that I drove a car up to the building, who walked past the car and touched their noses or coughed at me.

–One time when I was driving a vehicle up to the building, I heard someone say “puta.”

–Another time, I heard someone say “It smells like a fishcan.”

–Both of the men who were running the line that I was working on rubbed their noses at me at least once, as did the older guy who directed the cars into the building and was mostly helpful and seemed to be sorry for it later.

–I would be lying if I didn’t say that the harassment, especially by people who were supposed to be managing what was going on, to whom I had to listen and of whom I had to ask questions if I had them, set me off-kilter for a while.  Once you get sent off-balance by it, then you make more mistakes, and then they feel like it’s been proven that you’re not worth much, the harassment gets worse, and it’s a cycle.  Things did sort themselves out, and by the end things were cordial between me and the men who had helped me do what I was there to do.

There seemed to be a lot of bogus road work going on when we got back to Waltham.  One thing that happened was that a long stretch of road had Caution cones on it, and was not accessible to drivers.  There were several large vehicles there that said “BITCON” on them, and some police officers.  The driver of the car that I was in asked one of the police officers if he could drive up the road; the police officer said “No, it’s fresh pavement here” and told him that he had to take the detour.


Copyright L. Kochman, September 22, 2012 @ 11:24 a.m.