Friday, October 21, 2011

Flashback Friday # 159

The Day I Was A Professional Boxer

Greetings to one & all (yes, I'm talking to both of you). This is a very exciting post for me. It just happens to be the 500th post of this blog. Did you think I would hang in there this long? Like a bad penny, you just can't get rid of me.

Anyway, There was a time in my life when I was a professional boxer. It only lasted for one day, because I wasn't very good at it. The other guys who I was boxing with,beat me soundly.

What was nice about this is that I left the building unscathed. How can that be?

The tile company that Mom worked for (see here & here) had a very large order for a Prince in Abu Duabi (the capital city of The United Arab Emirates). They were working three shifts to produce the tile that would go into his palace. Once the tile was finished, how was it shipped? That's right, you had to box it first. On this day, I was going to box tile. Since I was getting paid for it, that made me a professional boxer.

Back then, I made $3 an hour when I worked for Mom's company. As a boxer, you got 50 cents per box completed. A good boxer could do 10 boxes per hour (that's $5 an hour for those who have shaky math skills). The other two boxers were good boxers and routinely did 10 per hour. I wasn't that good. I had a fall back plan in place. I couldn't make less than $3 an hour even if I didn't do six boxes an hour.

When you boxed tile, you had to stand up a piece of tile, then put in a cardboard divider. A piece of tile, a piece of cardboard. You had to wear gloves. Since the tile was hand made, there were imperfections that could leave a sliver or a sharp edge. The imperfections were part of the charm. It proved that it wasn't mass produced, but genuinely hand made. During the process, some of the tile actually had a thumbprint that mashed a corner. People loved this.

Anyway, getting back to my narrative. I really stank at boxing tile. I could never get more than six per hour. I had hoped that I could pick up a few extra bucks by being fast. I would have made the same amount sweeping the floor or putting up shelves. From then on, I left the boxing to the real professionals.

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