Jobs, Part 3: Assembler, Advanced Specialty Products

Assembler at Advanced Specialty Products: Two weeks. That’s how long I lasted at Advanced Specialty Products, or ASP. Here’s the story.

Sophomore year of college at Bowling Green rolled around, and either I, or with the encouragement of my parents, decided it was time to get a part time job to have extra spending money. After talking with some friends, I found out about this place located just a block away from campus, and within walking distance from my dorm, that pretty much hired college kids exclusively.

I don’t remember interviewing, though I can’t imagine that it lasted very long. See, the name Advanced Specialty Products is a bit of a misnomer. While they may be “speciality,” they are hardly “advanced” in any logical sense of the word.

My first day was spent pushing a plastic screw through a long rubber strip at pre-cut intervals. This rubber strip would eventually be used along the floor boards of Jeeps. For several hours, probably four to six as I don’t think eight hour shifts were the norm with classes interrupting, this went on non-stop with a small group of people each situated at a table with a box of rubber strips on one side, plastic screws on the table and a large empty box on the other side to toss in the completed assemblage. Mind-numbing is a word that comes to mind.

I probably put in 15-20 hours those first two weeks, but in truth it should have been 10-15 as I found myself running to or from class to work. And quite frankly, I hated it. I don’t need to be solving world problems, but I need something more challenging than what your above average chimp would find absorbing, and even then I think that chimp would burn out after awhile.

After two weeks, I walked into the bosses office and explained that, while I didn’t hate the job (lie), I felt like it was eating up too much of my studying time and would be quitting. This didn’t phase the boss, who’s response was something along the lines of “yeah, we didn’t expect you to last long.” To this day, I’m not sure if that was because I seemed bored and ill-suited for such a menial task, or if I was bad at, which seems hard to believe because, like I said, it was putting a plastic screw through a piece of rubber.

Although this was my first attempt to balance college classes and a job, it would not be my last.

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