When the sandwich lines finally closed down and stopped producing, everyone was shunted over to the last remaining line that was working in High Risk, the living nightmare that was Sushiiiiiiii !!! Muahahahaha
I thought that the workers were tightly packed on the sandwich lines until I looked over and saw hundreds of people standing sideways, forced to bump groins whilst raised on platforms attempting to keep up with a product that passed them by at warp factor 1 !! Actually, there was around 20 people but it looked like a hundred rapidly moving arms, moving like Bruce Lee on speed. I kid you not when I say I was dreading it, the actual thought of being squashed like a sardine whilst trying to place a piece of sushi into a warp speed, passing tray was a prospect I wasn’t looking forward to!
The mostly short, Ewok creatures (Joking) machine-like people who worked on there were very nice, friendly and surprisingly , they actually found time to talk whilst they were whipped into going faster. Whenever I tried to talk to someone, half a dozen trays would fly past me in the blink of an eye, untouched by the piece of Sushi I was supposed to be putting in them! So, the people or person who was standing directly to my right, the one who’s turn it was to put their item into the tray were forced to put mine in as well, which believe me, didn’t go down to well with the poor man/woman, especially when it made me laugh! I have to be honest, when I was ordered (Hilton) to go on Sushi during the few weeks after I started, I didn’t like the look of it, so I made sure I was absolutely useless as it. I remember telling Joe and Brian that I messed up on purpose just so they wouldn’t order me (Hilton) to go on there again. For the most part it worked. However, when I had to go back on there over the last few months on nights, I discovered that I WAS actually rubbish at it, so It turns out I needn’t have pretended 4 years ago! Anyway, all my friends joined me on the Sushi Line and Matt and Chris were given the job of running an adjacent sushi line to speed up production and eventually, Matt’s line was full up with almost all of the workers from the sandwich line.
The first two of my friends, who came over to sushi with the rest of us, who I haven’t mentioned yet were untraditional and legendary (Idle) in that they never seemed to do much yet unbelievably, got away with it. Jimmy was small, slim and very quick at what he was doing, when he could be bothered to do anything. On the very rare occasions that he did do something, he either complained all of the time, or claimed he needed the toilet (Which he didn’t) We all knew he was sneaking out to the smoke shelter because when he finally came back (We were all given 5 or 6 minutes for toilet breaks: Jimmy took 15 or 20, known as Jimmy time) he reeked of tobacco. When he was challenged about his phantom toilet breaks, he more often than not threw his dummy out of the pram, stamped his feet and begged Matt or Chris to move him to another part of the line so we couldn’t question or tease him, and the smell of tobacco would follow him like a skunk leaving an odorous trail. Alongside Jimmy’s legendary status, (complimenting Jimmy like Champagne and strawberries) lurked a man in the shadows, a man who made James Bond seem unsophisticated. His name was Art and if there had been a University degree on how to look busy whilst doing nothing, Art would have been the professor! Art was brilliant and ingenious. His job was servicing the lines, but he was always missing in action, pretending to do something that he shouldn’t have been doing! (Like fixing a machine that wasn’t broken) We would often hear his name being called above the din of the machinery because an ingredient was running out (Again) but he couldn’t be found, and when he was located he was more often than not using his silver tongue on one of the European ladies who populated the sandwich and Sushi lines. Art’s big bright smile lit up any situation, whereas Jimmy’s grimace meant he was about to complain (Again) They were fantastic. I remember once they were both given the job of working together on a machine that made rice blocks and they both argued with each other about the best way to do it, in fact they argued that much that at one point the sushi lines stopped because they had run out of rice blocks. Legends.
On the wrapping machinery on sushi and the sandwich lines we had two other legends. Big Scott (Yeti) and Derek (Del) boy, the love machine from Granada. Scott was excellent at manipulating the machine, he hardly ever put one of his big feet wrong, but Del thought the machine was temperamental, and rarely got it right. (Sorry Del) they worked well together and were always laughing and joking between themselves. One of the managers, well, maybe 2 or 3 of them, liked to blame Del for the machine not working properly, but Del always had his say and generally shrugged their criticisms off in his own laid back, very cool way. Whenever I asked Scott what the problem was when production stopped, he always answered ‘Derek’, and Del would always extend the middle finger in his direction.
Apparently, the Sushi line was the brain child of a guy who actually ran the line for years, Ben. If that was true then he must have made the factory hundreds of thousands in profit over several years. Ben ran the line like Guardiola runs a football team, efficient and accurate. On the days when Ben didn’t work, one of his prodigies ran the line. His name, Danny, his strategy, not giving a f:!!k whilst looking like he did give a f;(“k. Genius. Danny was a great chap, always smiling, always talking and the women loved him. In fact, one of the women did actually fall for him and now, I think they have a child together and I believe they’re very happy. There are several other characters who I haven’t mentioned yet, like Peter, Ladders, Yannis, Brett, Magdalena, Dominica, Armstrong Muela and Ronald. The sushi line had quite a few characters as well, but I’ll leave that for another day.