The sisterhood and the reprieve

Today the ladies saved the day!

We had just done a major cleaning of the piler and started taking trucks on again.  I was on the high ramp side and there was a woman dumping beets on the conveyor belt.  From up on the high ramp, she looked in her side view mirror and started yelling.  I went over to her truck and she said, “There’s something on the belt that will damage your machine.”

I went to look in and couldn’t see anything but she kept yelling that we weren’t looking in the right place.  I ran around the other side of the machine and Cindy was standing near all the buttons.  I couldn’t remember where the emergency button was so I said, “Where’s the red button?”  Cindy understood immediately and pressed it to stop the machine.

In the meantime, the woman caught Todd’s attention and as soon as the machine was off the guys started looking where she pointed.  There was a long metal bar that had snapped off somewhere.  If that had gotten up the conveyor belt to the rollers that dump the beets onto the boom, Pleasant View would have been out of business.  Way to go, Girls!

Todd was in a good mood this afternoon.  He said he expected that we would be 60% done by tonight and he said the farmers were happy.  Some of the farms have already turned in all their beet crop.  At this rate, Todd thought we might finish in about ten days.

The weather was sunny and warm, in the 70’s.  When my friend, Cindy, switched to night shift, she had been the one taking beet temperatures about every hour and sending reports back to the scale house.  She designated me to take over for her and gave me a quick training on how to take the temperature of a beet as best she understood it.  I may not have been as thoroughly trained as I should have because I didn’t fully understand what I was doing, but I sent reports in about every hour anyway.

This afternoon Todd came out and took the beet thermometer and started cutting one beet after another in half and taking their temperatures.  He was getting readings of anywhere from sixty two to sixty six or sixty seven and his good mood turned to worry.  The beets aren’t supposed to get warmer than sixty five or they’ll start turning to mush.  He went back to his truck and I could see him talking on his phone with his supervisors.  I started cutting more beets in half and taking their temperature and I couldn’t get the readings to go above sixty.  I puzzled about that for a while.  I think I may have figured out what I was doing wrong.  I was taking the biggest beet, cutting it in half and taking the temperature from the very center.  When I began measuring the temperature around the outer edges of the cut section I got a range of temperatures all the way around.  I need to ask Todd tomorrow if he want’s me to take the highest temperature reading around the edge.

As a result of the beets heating up, Todd shut us down around 4:15 this afternoon.  The night crew won’t need to come on till 9:00 tonight.  So we finally have a little time to catch up on laundry and grocery shopping and such.  And we also have a little more time to give our feet a rest tonight.  Thank you, Lord!

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