*Note – this posting will make it obvious where I’m employed. This is my own personal blog and insert all of the usual stuff about how I don’t speak for the company or a single other soul out there*
The first thing I noticed when I went to work at the Mine was the noise.
And just like the Grinch, I cringed and thought “One thing I can’t stand is the noise, noise, noise, noise!” All of my prior experience with mining involved closed facilities and potential facilities, which were, to me at the time, joyously quiet.
They were supposed to be quiet. We’re not. And we weren’t when I started there. Not even close.
Shovels shovelling, haul trucks hauling, crusher crushing, concentrator concentrating, pellet plant pelletizing, dragline dragging, horns honking twice, horns honking thrice, pease porridge in a pot, nine days old.
Just like all cities with a paper mill know what money smells like (apparently rotten cabbage), I knew what money sounded like at the Mine. That ever-present “noise” meant that we were taking big rocks and making them into small rocks then making them into powder then making them back into pebbles then shipping them off so that they could grow up and become cars and trucks and high efficiency washing machines and and and
and now nothing. <Defeated sigh>
We have been told that we will stay in shutdown mode until April 1.
And just like parents get nervous when their kids get too quiet because it usually means something resulting in a spanking is going to happen, it’s hard not to get nervous when the Mine becomes this quiet.
I love to hear the birds in the morning at home. Or the squirrels when they yell at my dog for getting too close to their tree.
I don’t want to hear birds and squirrels at work. And I do now.
I want to hear production. I don’t want to be able to yell across from the fueling station to the warehouse and actually have that friend hear me calling their name.
I want to hear the sound of employment. The sound of 700 gainfully employed Rangers providing a key raw material for civilization. The sound of solid health insurance. The sound of contractors and vendors and the security company and the companies that make the materials that the contractors and vendors sell to us and the restaurants and grocery stores that feed us and the entertainment venues and the clothing stores and and and…
It’s not just the Mine that is hurt when we are quiet.
And we’re quiet.