Accepted with warning.

The name the punch clock gives as I dial in my number. As always, I am late. Choosing writing, and smoking before work. I’d rather type in my underwear at 3:34 than put my contacts in and get ready to punch in at 4. I go when I arrive. That time might be near 5. 4:35 is my goal today.

But the finger print reader with it’s touch screen display, it always like to have a a word with me. The warning, the mark upon my record, the promise of something more if human resources decides to take notice. Notice this is I prepare to come in on day 3 of a epidemic.

I scrub my hands, vigorously with Purell after the machine has taken my notice. Then it’s white cotton gloves (optional, but I deem necessary) and hairnet. I march towards the printing, marketing my fellow works as I walk by molding. Fresh bottles are made here before they pass to printing and distribution.

Past the heavy plastic curtain that marks the entrance to printing, I work. It’s here I arrive and take off my coat, hanging it on the side of a metal cabinet. Through it’s pockets I dig out headphones. Slip one in right ear, the other around my back, and the cord it’s self running through one of the three layers of shirts I wear just to survive the cold of winter.

Seeing as this is now a global pandemic, and our government advises Canadians stay home as much as possible, I prepare myself a alcohol soaked rag before beginning to pack bottles. I find myself in a trade that is an essential service. Maple Syrup containers of various specs and sizes. This plastic packaging must go out. In the wake of COVID-19 and a global crisis. My employer feels it’s necessary for us to come in if we should ever hope to see pay.

So come in I’ll shall. Risk exposure, health. Just to be sure I can buy smokes. And have cash for a little beer. Oh, and buy bread.

Going to be late, again. It’s always accepted, with warning.

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