Ok, that's not news, but working in an actual factory instead of an office building may take some getting used to.
For one thing, you don't get rock star parking at 7 AM here. In Lenexa, I could roll in around 8 and still get a good spot. Here, showing up at 7:03 has me parking most of the way down the row. I know I should view that as a good thing, since walking is exercise and exercise is good, but I'm not looking forward to doing a 100-yard dash in the Iowa winter.
Plus, safety is taken to a whole new level. My first meeting on my first day was mandatory safety training, during which we covered what I should do if I came across a chemical spill, why you shouldn't wear rings* on the factory floor, and what not to do if I saw someone trapped in a confined space.**
The biggest hazard I was likely to face in Kansas was a paper cut or boring meeting. Here, I'm shopping for my own pair of metatarsal boots and there are medical professionals on site. You regularly see people in safety gear walking down the hall.
The factory is BIG too. You could drive right by the old office building and never notice a John Deere sign. This is just a small portion that you can see as you turn off into the driveway.
Here it is on Google Maps. To give you a frame of reference, I was standing right near where the A placemark is. You can see about half of one building in my shot.
I'm going on a factory tour on Friday. No cameras, but should have a ton to share afterwards. My coworker who offered to take me on the tour asked if I wanted to walk. Looking at that map, I think I'm going to stick to the Gator....
*I also learned a new word: Degloving. Just a hint- it happens after the glove is already removed...
**The safety engineers will have you know that the men's room does not experience enough gassy build-up to qualify as an enclosed space. Given that it's closer to my new cube than my car is, I figured it wouldn't hurt to ask.
I've been trying to get more pictures of myself on shoots in addition to the pictures of the things I see on shoots, if only to prove that I'm actually there and doing something resembling work.
And I've finally got the art of the self-portrait more-or-less down- stand in front of appropriate background, face into the sun, hold camera as far away as you can get it, tilt chin up to avoid appearance of double chin, try not to make a weird face, and CLICK!
I was a little embarrassed when I looked through my pictures from the last shoot, which was only 3 days, and found no less than 6 self portraits. And those were taken the first 2 days, because my hair was too scary for pictures by day 3.
Looks like I'll need to add "figure out how much shadow the hat will cast" to the steps.
At least I have this one to balance them out. Swinging my feet from the back of a parked Gator.
Disclaimer: This post is with great apologies to the team who worked on the campaign for the new Gator that Deere just introduced. You'll notice I had a different model entirely. I just couldn't pass on such a catchy headline.
With that said, my Gator adventure.
I spent most of last week chasing a 7530 with a 568 baler through a corn field in a Gator TX. It's not a bad way to spend a sunny afternoon.
Except for the bumps.
And the dust.
And the not-quite-dry spots.
And did I mention the bumps? With as wet as it's been this year, the farmer did have a few spots that weren't quite dry when the combine rolled through, leaving some ruts. It didn't slow down the guys in the tractor, but it about shot me out of the driver's seat of the gator.
And after a pass with a few extra bumps, I reached for the walkie talkie...and found out that it was no longer conveniently tucked in the cup holder.
Oh no. It was somewhere in this field....
Possibly even hiding in a windrow like this:
And a Gator's engine is louder than the sound a lost walkie talkie makes when you drive through a field.
Which means walking. Plenty of walking, for the driver and the poor unsuspecting film crew who happened to be along for the ride.
Incredibly, we did find it. One of the crew members heard it chirping while we walked and was able to follow it back to where it had fallen out.
And we found a better use for the cup holders, too. MMMMMM....Chocolate.