Harvest began this week, so hours have increased dramatically. I am on 12-16 hour shifts, with no days off for the first two weeks. The thing about seasonal fruit processing is that you have to be ready to put in twice the effort during the short window of time for harvest and pack. My supervisor has been coming into work around 3:00am (when I leave) and going home around 7:00pm.
I’m on the night shift in the front office, in charge of preparing and distributing paperwork for shipped product. The transportation coordinator has been training me on how the paperwork process varies according to product, trucking company, shift, etc. We can have as many as 20 truckloads of product shipped in one day to a variety of places, including Shoreline and our processing extension in Hart, MI. Our truck drivers also pick up some raw cherries to be brought back for processing. The trucking schedule is never static; last minute changes include merged loads, canceled loads, rerouted loads, and switched drivers/trucking units. I’m glad that I feel confident about the process after the first week, because now we only have 3 or 4 weeks to go!