Acid in the vaseline

I have worked some pretty bad jobs in my life.

One was a temp job in Allentown, PA the summer after I graduated college.

Nobody told me what the real purpose of going to an expensive private college is (I went to Davidson College). I thought it was to get an expensive education, but much much later I realized the real purpose is to starting building a professional network.

Today I’m in touch with exactly 1 person from college, and all we do is recommend music to each other on Facebook. So yeah, I kind of missed the point of college and when I graduated I didn’t really have much of a plan for starting my career and I had no network to rely on. So I moved in with my parents for a summer and worked some temp jobs.

At one of those temp jobs (cleaning the shelving and displays from a Rite Aid drug store that had gone out of business), this guy told me about his worst job.

He’d gotten a temp gig cleaning out a huge industrial chemical electroplating machine that was big enough that he had to climb inside of it. The electrodes were caked with some kind of acidic crust that he needed to scrape off.

The proper safety equipment for a job like that is probably a full body hazmat suit.

All they gave this poor guy were some dishwashing gloves and a jar of vaseline. The gloves were to protect his hands, and they suggested he use the vaseline to completely seal off his nostrils to prevent getting chemical burns there. I’m not sure if they gave him anything to protect his eyes.

If you’re going to be happily and successfully self-employed for the long term, you need some “safety equipment” too.


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