This morning I barely woke up when Hubby came in from midnights and slumped on the edge of the bed. Sometimes he catches a wink during lunch at work, but never enough to say he slept on the job, they are entirely too shorthanded and work like madmen all night, even in running time.
“Man, I had a vivid dream last night at work,” he said.
“You’re dreaming a lot these days.”
“This was the worst ever,” he said. “I dreamed I was kidnapped from the mill, taken on a barge and sold as a Japanese sex toy. . . ”
We won’t even go there about the sex toy part, I skipped that to say, “You are joking me. . . ”
“No. No. And the guy who bought me took me on a ship headed somewhere but when he found out I was toothless he turned around and took me back to Japan and got his money back.”
“And you got sold again?”
“No. They let me go in Japan. I didn’t know anyone, I was lost in a huge city. I finally found someone who spoke English and asked where the police station was but he said to not go there because they would take me to immigration prison. I wished I had my cell phone. Then I woke up. I was never so glad as to be in that nasty smelly steel mill in my life.”
Yes, I have Hubby’s permission to blog this story in particular. He always says he doesn’t care if I tell that he got his armpit fur caught in the electric mixer (another story, coming soon) or how he went over like a mighty oak when running down Mount Baldy, right in front of five high school girls.
And no, I don’t think I will try to interpret the dream.
But I can fill in some Indiana steel worker sensibilities here.
- For instance, the United States allowed the Japanese market to come to the mills for tours and take home our technology.
- United States has lifted the tariff for steel imports.
- The United States lifted the governing protection for steel purchases, as it did have to be purchased from unions, now it does not – a real union buster across the world.
- That steelmills internationally have been left like iron ghost towns, communities devastated, nothing done in the wake to call the owners back to take responsibility for such miss use.
- That the pensions are vested now by the government, deeming their security questionable.
- The steel mill retirees who were not banking on social security, but did feel secure with pensions are now wondering if they will ever retire.
- That a contract was signed then broken by the company.
- Meaning, the mill workers have, in our case, lost one-third their wage, all profit sharing and all incentive, besides being forced to send nearly one thousand voluntary workers into the unemployment line for Indiana in order to keep the mill open long term.
- We won’t go there about the reason or owners, but suffice to say that the Indiana unemployment is running out for those who truly do need the funds to keep a roof over their family, but the ones who forced these ‘voluntary’ and unnecessary layoffs, the roof over their head is larger and grander than royalty.
- That every time we purchase a product we try to purchase American made or at least a European brand, a way to offset the wildly tipping balance of the import market.
- That when a man goes to work in such conditions and there are not even enough co-workers on crew to back each other up for safety, a man starts to doubt even being there, especially if he mostly kept going back year after year for the other guy. It is, after all, a crew, a team, a way of life.
- Not to mention the money poured into security, signs, marketing and needless wants but the widow’s pension is null, the safety for the men left wanting, the pollution devices not up to standard or purchased, and on and on. A man can only see so much, I suppose.
Just read between the lines and do some internet searching for the reality that cannot be spoken by a steelmill employee’s spouse. I wrote this in fifteen minutes because I can only place very limited energy into the steel mill employment and challenges thereof forthe entire region, not just our family. I have to stay in my answer and keep building a business to bank on when there is nothing to do but work through it. No anger energy allowed. Just live in the answer.
And we wonder why a steel mill worker has a bad dream about being sold as a Japanese sex toy then tossed back to fend for himself in a huge, foreign world… just for being a little bit imperfect?
The dream is hysterical. Until we wonder at the practicality of the message?
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