Published: Dec 21, 2020

When the factory closed Derrick switched from shift manager to shovel handler. That is to say he went from making sure things got done by a crew of roughly twenty (there had been minor fluctuations during his tenure) to shoveling debris as the building was demolished. The site was to become a series of townhouses, complete with a pool, workout gym, and tennis courts, among other recreations. The wild thing was that one-third of the adult population was now without a job. Derrick could not find the logic behind building homes for people who wouldn't have jobs to pay for said properties.

His father had gotten him the job out of high school, and the company was the only employer for the past 26 years. He wasn't sure what was next, but he thought about his prospects, or the lack of, during the course of the day. He'd also think about the things that had happened as he moved different debris: the time Jared caught his sweatshirt on the cardboard baler and almost lost his arm, when Simon broke a shipment of ammonia so they couldn't work for a week (without pay), and the payoff party, as they all later called it.