Ranger Job: Oven Cavities
Eeeeeuuuuwww! Upon my arrival to our line on my third day as a ranger, Mike, who is in charge of rangers told me I was to go to oven cavities. Okay, I knew it was coming and I wanted the challenge. By the way, what a name! I wish someone could give it a better name. I mean, is the name left that way intentionally. It makes me wander if working in oven cavities is as dreadful as making a visit to the dentist office?
When people think of oven cavities on line 4, two things come to mind: heavy lifting and sheets of insulation. When I first went to work at this plant I was put in the oven door making area. I had to do a work position called the insulation booth, once or twice a day. We had to line the oven door with a piece of insulation. To be honest, I didn’t mind it too much. I’ll admit I didn’t like going home and having to blow my fiberglass-irritated nose and I didn’t like having a thin layer of insulation all over me but I stayed in the door area for two years. I left because I couldn’t stand to work with a couple of people.
Oven Cavities has five positions. Rumor has it, they used to have six but disagreements would come up because one person had the privilege of not entering the insulation booth for that day. So I guess that’s why the sixth position was done away with. (Every person now must do the insulation booth two times in a 10 hour shift.) I worked with four guys. They were all nice and helpful whenever possible. During our shift I had to lift oven cavities (which weigh about 30 pounds) for five hours!! That’s an average of 80 cavities per hour. By the end of the day I was sore from head to toe and had a few bruises I didn’t even realize were there until I got home. I sure worked hard. To be real truthful, that’s a man’s area.
I was able to keep up in all the areas, except the insulation booth where we had to quickly wrap two sheets of insulation around the oven cavity. Both times I was there I couldn’t keep up. The first time I didn’t have the routine of movements down fast enough. The second time, I was a little discouraged, considered it ridiculous to do all this work in a very short time, and was rather worn out from lifting so many 30 pound cavities. Finally during my second try, the boss moved me out of there because I kept pressing the hold button too much.
Like I said before, the guys were nice. Everytime I would do good on a job they would tell me. And one of the guys, who had a pleasant southern draw did an extra hour of the insulation because I would have had to rotate into that position. When one of the guys asked me what I thought of their area. I told them the obvious, “YOU GUYS WORK HARD BACK HERE!”
I talked to two other women who have worked in oven cavities. Teresa, who is in her early 20’s and has a small thin frame like me and has been a ranger for a year. She says she has worked there three times. And then, there is another Teresa, who is in her mid 40’s. She probably weighs about 20 more pounds than me. She said when she first started working here she was put in this area for three weeks. I asked her how did she do it. She said she just pushed herself to learn to keep up because she had too.
When I get put in oven cavities again that’s okay I’ll take on the challenge, of course. (I need the mental challenge) I enjoy working with that team. You know what’s interesting, so far the areas where I have worked, that most people would not want to go, seem to be filled with helpful nice people. I plan to be a ranger for about 25 weeks and I’ll just have to leave my trusting soul (and body) to my bosses and know that they will place me, to the best of their ability, where they need me to be.