Ian Copestick

The Salt Mines

The salt factory
was a really tough

That's why I
jokingly call
it the salt mines.

It was 12 hours
per day.
Six a m. until six p.m.

It's one of the
hardest jobs,
I've ever had.

Those bags of
salt were heavy.

Very heavy.

The way that
the machines
were set up was
pure Hell.

Sheer sadism.

As soon as
you'd managed
to move one
big bag of salt

Put it on a pallet,
another would drop
through the hopper.

If you had to
sneeze, or
cough, you'd be
behind, then
there'd be two
heavy bags of
salt to move.

When the pallet
was full, and you
had to move it
with a pump truck.

Put another pallet
in its place.

Well, then the whole
production line would
be filled with big, heavy
bags of salt.

Until they were
stacking up on
top of each other.

Then some would
fall to the floor,
there just wasn't
enough space.

Then you really
had to get stuck

By the time you'd
managed to get rid
ot the backlog, you
would be pouring
with sweat, all of
your muscles nearly
paralysed in pain.

Then, the pallet would
be full again.

And you have to go
through the whole
thing again.

12 hours of that.

I used to regularly
fall asleep on the
bus home.

Either way, I'd
get home
My wife would
have cooked me
an amazing meal.

I'd soon be falling
asleep, face down
in my food, whether
I'd had a drink, or not.

At the weekend,
all I could do was

I remember that one
time I slept for a full
twenty - four hours.

That's how tired I was
No amount of money
can make up for wasting
your life like that.

I was only on minimum
wage, anyway, but sixty
hours a week of minimum
wage is still quite a bit of

I lasted as long as the
job did.

Until Xmas, then I was " let
go ",
Thank fuck for that.

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