Forklift Accident

Frank was rushing. That’s what caused it, Frank said. The store was to open in a few minutes and he was on the Reach Forklift, needing to get one last pallet up in the plumbing aisle. Frank turned hard down the aisle and saw old Marvin, the seventy year old, slowly pushing his computer cart. The plumbing aisle is narrow but instead of slowing down or stopping to let Marvin pass, Frank tried to swerve around him and giving too much room Frank smashed the outside forklift foot into the steel upright support in the middle of the shelving. A great boom sounded throughout the store. Victor had his headphones on and even he heard it. Frank’s face smacked into the metal gridding of the forklift cockpit as the machine was suddenly brought to a stop. The wall of tall shelving wobbled and Frank and Marvin looked up and saw the water heaters above them moving. “Oh, God, Frank. Oh God. Oh God,” said Marvin. “Oh, Frank. They’re moving. Oh, God.“

But the water heaters did not come down on them. The steel upright had been clean ripped out of the concrete, the bolts that held it to the floor were sheared off. Frank brought the manager over to show him what he had done. The manager on duty had him remove the water heaters from the shelves and cordon off the bay. The wall of shelving would need to be taken apart, the upright support replaced, and new concrete would have to be laid.

The manager was not happy with Frank and took away his license saying it would take weeks of retraining to get it back. Frank liked to drive and did not take it well. But 2 hours later, when a truckload of trees arrived in the middle of a thunderstorm, the manager re-licensed Frank and sent him out into the gale to pull trees off the truck with the big forklift. The accident wasn’t really that big a deal, Frank said. After all, I’m a good driver.

1 comment:

  1. Old Marvin has been there for awhile and has higher hourly wages as a result. Management is trying to get him to quit and replace him with someone cheaper (if he quits he doesn't get unemployment). During the winter they sent him out to shovel snow and chisel ice off the parking lot. They even had Marvin wrapping Christmas trees and loading them onto cars. He is a frail old man and some of the other workers expected the work to kill him. They change his work schedule regularly, starting him at 4am some days and 6pm others, and some days only give him a couple hours of work. But old Marvin refuses to quit.


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