Forgive me in advance for this bitching work entry, but as I was running around the aisles in a hysteria, all I could think was that I should blog it. So here’s what happened! Don’t get your hopes up, it probably won’t even raise your eyebrow.
Over the past week, I have worked 38 hours with another 8 on the way. Over that time, there have been two code blue’s, a discovery of illicit mice droppings on one of the shelves (nobody buy anything from Aisle 9 in Coles Gosnells), and an empty box of condoms. When it comes to stealing condoms out of the box, you know there’s something wrong with you. Anyway, for about 25 of those 38 hours I’ve been filling pet food, and as I was working my way through the huge cage of them, I noticed there was a tiny fly trapped in one of the boxes of tinned Pedigree that had been wrapped in transparent plastic. I cut the plastic to let it out, and moments later, an overwhelming smell hit my nose. Surprised, I had a closer look and realised that four of the cans had leaked.
"Fine," I thought, reaching to pick them up. "They’ll just go in the damaged stock."
Then I saw the maggots.
Horribel little white things that writhed all over the place. I jumped up, away from the box, and lost it. My memories of what happened next are fairly vague. I recall running to deli to ask them for disposable gloves- slightly illogical, and I got a strange look from the girl, but I just needed the gloves asap. Then I ran up to the service desk to call the manager over and someone told me he was on lunch break. Panicking, I explained what happened, and he just told me to put the cans in plastic bags and leave them with the rest of the damaged stock. Even though that area is literally a metre or two away from the fresh fruit and vegetables in the storeroom. Nobody buy fruit or veg from Coles Gosnells. Not knowing what else to do, I ran back to the pet food aisle hoping that none of the scarce customers had noticed the awful stench or the writhing worms, and did as he asked. Then I ran to the bathroom and washed my hands for about five minutes, using up most of the soap. Having to go back to the pet food aisle and continue filling the cans of Beef and Gravy was one of the most disgusting things I’ve ever made myself do. The undamaged cans were probably fine, but to me, they were disease ridden, infected, festering health hazards. After I got rid of all the cans, I destroyed the box they came in. If possible, I would have destroyed the cage as well. And maybe sterilised the aisle, just for safe measure.
I know it sounds like nothing to you, but to me, the OCD kid, this was the stuff of nightmares. I washed my hands after touching anything that touched the box that touched the cans that touched the maggots. As Wikipedia put it, an OCD person would not touch "a tissue that has been touched by another tissue that has been touched
by the end of a toothpick that has touched a book that came from a ‘contaminated’ location, such as a school". To have to approach the spot where I opened the box, to smell the rotting meat, to kick at the tiny flies… I refused to let my hands touch any part of my body, especially my nose and mouth, even after I’d washed them. I imagined what I’d do if maggots crawled into my hands. First I’d cut off my hands, and then I’d realise I didn’t have hands, and I’d have to kill myself. I kid you not, this was my conclusion. Just thinking about that made me look at my hands uneasily, until I got a brilliant idea and strode to aisle 3 where I picked up some exfoliating cream to scrub my hands with. As far as I can tell, it takes off the outer layer of skin, which would make my hands about as clean as they could get. So I went home, had a 20 minute shower where I scrubbed every part of my body, and exfoliated my hands. All this while slightly hysterical, trying not to hyperventilate, and with a racing heart.
Kids, if you’ve got OCD, break the habit early. It’s not cool like I thought it was. I would touch the tissue that touched the tissue that touched the toothpick that touched the book that was from school, but I wouldn’t really want to. And maybe I would wash my hands afterwards if I thought about it too much.
God I hate maggots. Time to stop thinking about it now. Might go exfoliate my hands again, just in case. Ta, then!