I was a team leader at a food processing facility years ago. We made “gourmet” TV Tray Dinners. They were actually really good. Never frozen and all made from quality ingredients from scratch.
Anyways, we had 3 shifts. 1st and 2nd was for production. 3rd was for a sanitation crew.
The company was ran by a billionaire from NY and his rich buddies. They had no idea what they were doing besides the fact they had an excellent chef.
We worked on average 60-80 hours a week. More times I can count I clocked in 100+ hours in one week. I did this for 3 1/2 years. We had no set time to leave and a lot of us had a one car family. I remember countless times my infant daughter and her mom waiting in the parking lot to pick me up 3-5 hours.
The icing on the cake was we had several processing rooms with vastly different temperatures ranging from 34 degrees, -20, 115. In a 16 hour shift you could work in all 3. It was nightmarish.
The heart my story, there was a 70 year old man who I ate lunch with everyday for about year. He was a very kind man and had already retired but had to pick up a job for medical bills from his ill wife.
He was a temp for 6 months(the temps wore green hair nets, hired-on white). I’ll never forget how happy he was to show me his white hair net. One shift (we started at 7am) he didn’t show up or call in. He was never a minute late and never called in. Somebody found him asleep in his car at 4pm. (9 hours after he showed up). He came in and got a drink and burger from the vending machine. He dropped his burger 3-4 times. Spilled his drink and just seemed off. I immediately went to my POS supervisor who also was an EMT and told him that the old man has had a stroke or some time of medical emergency. He laughed me off even as insisted something was seriously wrong. So nothing happened, the old man finished his shift and went home.
He died in his bed that night from a massive stroke. I 100% believe they worked him to death and I’ll never forgive myself for not taking him to the hospital myself. I think about it constantly. What’s sad is his wife sent us a sweet letter thanking us for giving him the opportunity to work. 🙁