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    During the summer of 1998, I got my first "foreign" job working at an upholstery factory. I really enjoyed the job rather well, actually; I worked as a temporary "trash boy." But not only did I do janitorial services, I also did various "floating" jobs - some of which involving delivering a load of fabric or cushion foam or boxing up the chairs or fetching a special part and various other tasks. I was paid $7 an hour, and I normally worked for over 9 hours each day (7 AM to 4:30 PM) so I felt that I was getting paid really good (and I was!). When I said "foreign" earlier, I meant that I had never really worked under anybody else except for my dad, so this whole ordeal was all new territory to me.
    I also read as much as I could during my lunch breaks too. Well, as the story goes, I had been reading "Conversations With God: Book 1" when this lady whom was walking by asked what it was that I was reading. I jubilantly told her (with my mouf full) "Confersations Wif God!" Now this lady.. she has red frizzy hair, and ever since I began picking up the individual trash cans for each worker (they all worked at their own little tables) every time that I had gone by this lady, she would give me this look like "What are you doing here?" but despite that look, I thought "Man! She would be a GREAT spiritualist! But isn't she? Isn't this a strong sense of intuition coming through here? Nah.. she wouldn't be giving me that funny look though." and I would proceed.. sometimes the thoughts would nag for quite some time though. This was that lady that stood before me now. She said "Oh really??" "Yeah.. it's pretty good - DEFINITLY different." I responded sheepishly. She then turned and said "Here - come here, I want you to meet somebody" as she walked towards the door. Quickly I picked up my stuff and headed for the door with a bubbling elation that I had the hardest of times controlling! Finally! Could this be? Is she.. what I suspected her to be? No WAY!! Coowelll!!!

    I stepped outside to see a younger man sitting on what was apparently "their bench," eating lunch. She asked me my name and we introduced ourselves. Her name was Ali, and his was Alan. She wanted me to show this book to Alan and wanted to see how big of a kick he got out of it. "Hmmm," I thought... Well, he didn't look at it much, and I've forgot most of the conversation from that point on by now.. But we ended up to be great friends. And was she a spiritualist? Well... that is debatable. Later I found out that they were both "Apistolics" - he was 7 years into it, and she 1 year. If you are unfamiliar, the Apistolic denomination is a branch of the Pentacostal church, and it is VERY fundamental in it's ways; it is actually one of the most what some call "Fire and Brimstone" type church denominations that I've seen yet. (Ali later told me that some actually regard the Apistolics as downright "brainwashing" evangelists) As we got to know more and more of eachother... and our ways... *wink* I eventually went down with her (she drove me) to an Apistolic revival. The drive was at least an hour long, but during that time.. we talked about things.. that I didn't expect to talk about. The Revival? Geez. That's another story all of it's own accord. :-)

    Our relationship.. outside of working with Kimball Upholstery.. is a life drama in itself. Apparently.. (I never did get to hear Alan's side of the story to most of this drama - not much that is) When Alan and Ali met, they clicked together like boom. When Ali moved down from where she used to live up north, she had the hardest time finding a job. To make it a little shorter, she got hired by Kimball through bizarre circumstances. That's when the two of them met. They hit off so well, that it began to scare Alan apparently.. He was already involved in his church, and I guess some soul-felt tugs were no-nos.. From that point on (wherever that point hit at - definitly before I was employed though) Ali practically devoted herself to Alan - painstaking - SACRIFICIAL devotion to him.. But he was too afraid to do anything back for fear of sinning and being damned to hell (see, he had been divorced once, but is now married again. The thing I don't understand is: how could he NOT be damned to hell if he's already been divorced and remarried?). It was at that point where I had met the two - during this drama. Ali is really one of the most sensitive persons that I've ever met too. *sighs* Well, back to her religion envolvement though.. She had grown up Catholic (Greek Orthodox I think?) and she never understood their services because they were all in a foreign language. She told me that her parents would never explain church to her because he was always "downstairs drinking coffee and eating donuts." She also told me about how she was abused a bit as a child.. She didn't go to church after she left home - she didn't feel the need to. Later when she married and had kids (a girl then a boy) her husband left her. She told me how her daughter was into the "things" and studies (spiritual things) that I was into.. but only lightly (and I still don't know how deep she got, sadly) - she read a LOT as a child. Alan came along and he introduced Ali to his church, thus she developed into the religion that she is now in.

    It has been over a week, almost 2 weeks now since I have heard from either one of them (that is to the time of this writing: 8/12/98).. I plan on calling up Alan sometime - because him and me would debate often on how the stuff that I was studying was all "wrong and evil" and the likes. That is a whole other branch though... and it was quite an experience. I hope... -maybe next summer I can continue this drama. I can't tell you how often I was there to try and help Ali.. and try to tell Alan what she needed (even though Alan was NOT to know that I had known what Ali had told me - I had to choose my words and conversations with Alan carefully).. But he refused to act and acknowlege. I don't know if anything will ever happen.. As with all things, I leave such dramas in the hands of God and in the hands of those souls who know what their doing. Sometimes I did get a little bit too involved, but I knew how to step back for a while. Anyways...

    DID YOU READ ALL OF THAT? Hey cool! (yeah right) if you did, you must either REALLY like me or you're REALLY bored. *grins* Here are a few pictures that I took at work...

This is Ali... doncha love that look? :-)

This is Cheryl. She was one of my sub-supervisors, and she was the most fun and have-fun type person that I knew at Kimball. She was absolutely great! Very caring, a mother of 2, and she just had a great attitude! Thankyou, Cheryl! (sorry for the bad pic.. hehe)

This was a shot that I took of one of the loading docks - this one for what's called the "Poly room," which is where the gal there glued on the foaming to the back of the wooden frames. My job was to deliver those frames with the poly on them (and sometimes just some extra foaming) down to my area - 2A. Cheryl, in the picture above was standing before one of the DCC terminals in area 2A. In some later pictures, you'll get a glimpse more of area 2A.

MELVIN!!! Oh my buddy.. actually, this guy was a real grump at times, but I think he was jealous of my age and jubilance. :-) He was the other trash guy for the factory. Little booger him.. I was only there for one week when he took off for S. Carolina for 2 weeks! And lemme tell ya - one person simply CANNOT do that entire factory alone! It's just not possible. When he came back (thank goodness he DID) we sort of agreed that he would do one half and I would do the other - which saved on us having to run into eachother and doing eachothers jobs and getting all confused. This guy really was a great janitor! And he talked LOOOTS.... Booger butt him..! But I just HAD to love him! :-)

This is Alan - the masculine one. :-)

Ali and Alan together.... Awwww! :-) I don't yet understand Alan's funny pose in this picture either- as he never did seem to be a caffine freak at all.*shrugs* Buuut.. working in that factory, `sweatin buckets will make you thirsty I guess...

Me!! :-) I always ate on the concrete so I could face the both of them when talking. I like this pose in this picture... it is rather appropriate I feel... strange. :-)

The Oz man... Ozzy! :-) I love this guy - I really do. He was/is different. Actually he was much into choir and theater as I was during his high school days, and we talked about All-State and different school plays every now and then. Now whenever I would run low on things to do, I would always go to Ozzy and ask him "Hey Oz, need me to box any chairs?" and he would either shake his head or say "Sure! You got time to do some?" And ohhhoho! :-) I LUVED boxing chairs! Mainly because I didn't have to WALK much to do it. Plus, I got to use my head and dexterity to get the suckers put together with speed and accuracy. I really do like this guy! :-)

This is Denise stuffing her face. :-) No, she isn't a pig or anything, just got a bad photo that's all. :-) She was another sub-supervisor, like Cheryl was.

Kurty!! :-D Haha! This dude was my main supervisor guy who was basically in charge of the entire area 2A. His name is really Kurt, but I had to try SOOOO hard to keep from calling him Kurty. He's quite a bit more serious about the job than some of the other people I know, but he's still a great guy! :-)

Alan eating Chinese food on my last day at work. (Ali took this shot) Yup! I got to drive to the Chinese place that day in Ali's car to pick up the food - which was TOTALLY cool because driving is a big luxury to me, not to mention somebody else's car! (I did not have my own vehicle, my aunt drove me to and from work each day)

A different pose of Alan and his Chinese food...

 This time, it's MY pose with the Chinese food! :-)

I didn't know this guy very well, but I took this shot anyways. I delivered most of the "poly" to this person's line (line 23) that you see in the background; each line usually composed of 3 people. Below the yellow tray that you see in the foreground was where I kept my lunch sacks and such.

Go back the the Cove