The Id and The Odyssey; Episode 19
Good Work Episode
Rich walked down the street to Jankowski Tucking. The docking terminal had ten bays on each side with an office area to the front. Every bay was full and there were more trucks in the terminal’s yard. It was surrounded by a chain link fence with two gates for vehicle traffic, one on each side of the building and small gate that led to the office.
There were three picketers at each of the vehicle gate holding signs that read, “Jankowski anti-union,” and “Jankowski unfair.” Rich walked by them and darted through the small gate to the office. The picketers chanted, “Two, four, six, eight send me scabs before it’s too late.”
Inside there were three women bustling around an office with six desks. There was a man busy answering phones and calling at the same time. Rich stood at a counter for awhile. They were too busy to notice. Finally he cleared his throat loudly.
One of the women looked up and asked, “What?”
“Frank Jankowski,” Rich said.
She pointed in the direction of a stairs, “Up the stairs, turn to the left, and it’s the middle door. Knock before you enter.” She immediately delved back into her work.
Rich did as she said and knocked on the door.
Rich walked in. Frank was behind a desk with piles of papers and folders. He shuffled through them and did not look up. “What do ya want?”
“A job,” Rich said.
“Why’d they send you up here? Applications are downstairs,” Frank said frustrated.
“You told me to see you,” Rich said.
He looked up and smiled. “Good man, let me take you down stairs and I’ll have you help one of the guys on the dock. He’ll show you what to do.”
He followed Frank down the steps.
“How long ya gonna be with us?” Franks said and before Rich could answer he asked, “Can you work till nine?”
“Sure,” Rich said. “I was kind of wondering if I could work for you tomorrow too.”
“You can stay as long as you like,” Frank said.
They walked out to the dock area where six men were loading and unloading trucks. They were using dollies, hand trucks, and high lifts.
“Hey, Butch,” Frank yelled to a man using a hand truck. “Come here,” Frank waved. “Butch runs the dock,” Frank said to Rich. “He’ll putcha ta work.”
Butch was a stout man with a stern face and flat top haircut.
“This is -What’s your name?” Frank said.
“Joe Deacon,” Rich said.
“Joe’s a farm boy and knows how to work,” Frank said. “Get ‘im started.”
Frank turned and immediately hurried back to his office.
Butch and Rich shook hands. Butch give about fifteen minutes of instruction on how to load, unload a truck, and how to read the bill of lading.
They worked together for two hours and then Rich worked on his own for another hour.
For supper Frank had pizza brought in.
Rich grabbed a slice of pizza, hurried back to the bike shop, and got the repaired bike. He rode past the ridiculing picketers.
Frank ask everybody how long they were willing to stay. The consensus was nine. Frank slid into overhauls and worked the docks after supper.
Rich enjoyed the work and mentally toyed with the idea of staying. “I will eventually have to come clean,” Rich thought. “Frank wants to avoid problems. As soon as he found out I was fifteen he’d have to turn me in. It’s too risky. Maybe just a couple of days and I’ll have to move on, but this job is fun. I like it. I like Frank. I like Butch.”
“It is good work,” Rich thought, “honest, hard, not hypocritical; what you do is before your eyes and felt in the strength of your arms, back, and legs. It’s like farm work; a man is as good as a man does.”