Doctor Fiancee (kellingham) wrote,
Doctor Fiancee

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I was running one of the wet labellers this morning, on a line that just started running an order at...hmm...maybe 7am. So we were just going to get it going ready for dayshift really. I noticed the gum for the front labels was running out so I sent an engineer to fetch a new tub. Now, the gum we use to stick dry labels to bottles comes in huge, heavy tubs. It is gloopy and incredibly sticky. Imagine treacle, or camel snot (which would be more accurate if you saw some). It is the worst thing imaginable, except for the ubersticky special gum we have to use for the tax strips which looks suspiciously like caramel. I keep thinking how delicious that gum looks.
Anyway, we set up the fresh tub and let the bottles run through. After a while Allison, who was running the strip stamper next to me, pointed at the tube which runs from the gum pump into the labeller itself and spits the gum through a nozzle onto a roller. It was swelling, as though there was a blockage.

Interesting, I have never seen that happen before. Very much like when a cartoon character stands on a water hose but at a much slower speed.

I gave it a poke. Squishy, yet worryingly tight. I turned the pump off and stopped the bottles going through, the increasing bulge making me a little nervous. I was sure this thing was going to explode. If it did, well, the thought of camel snot flying in all directions at high velocity does not fill me with good thoughts.

I called the engineer over. He peered at it. He looked at his watch.
"I ain't touching that, it's time for me to go do the handover anyway. Let it run, you've only got 10 minutes or so before the line stops anyway." he advised.

That sounded fine to me. So I did so. And when the time came for us to go and leave it to the dayshift, I turned off the pump and left. I did not know who was running that line that day, so I did not know who to stop in the hallway and inform about the scary gum problem. I did manage to tell the boss who I presume would pass the message to the production manager who would pass it to the line manager who would pass it to the operator, but I cannot help but wonder if the message got there before the person running the labeller got a horrible sticky shower.

Part of me thinks it would be funny. And almost fair, seeing as last week they left tables and tables of bottles that all needed hand washed when they had time to do it themselves.

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