Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

Well, there went that shirt.

For the past couple of days, we’ve been unloading trucks of cable that have been coming back from the Kaiser Steel location in Fontana.

Kaiser Steel is one of those ‘throw your clothes away’ locations (along with Pick-A-Part – an auto junkyard in the valley – the abandoned oil refinery in Carson, and pretty much anywhere in the bed of the LA River) because of the nature of the dirt there.

Normally, since cable lays on the ground, it gets dirty, but it’s normal dirt – dust, sand or mud (if it’s wet). The dirt at Kaiser is sticky. Black and sticky – and smelly, when you’re there, but luckily I didn’t actually have to go to that location (although I probably would have stayed cleaner if I had – you have to wear one of those funny little white paper coveralls and a hardhat when you work at Kaiser, which seems to keep the worst of the grease off everything but the shoes). I just lifted the cable out of one truck and put it into another, and yet I’m still covered with that black sticky crap – it’s on my shirt, on my pants, on my forearms where I had my sleeves rolled up, and even smeared on my face.

Now, the clothes aren’t really that important, as I’m certainly not above wearing stained clothes to work (not to mention mis-matched socks and clashing stripe patterns. Why is it that no one thinks I’m cool, again?), but getting that grease off my skin is just a bitch.

Lush used to make an orange soap that for some reason was really good at getting greasy dubious-location dirt off one’s skin with barely any scrubbing, but it’s been discontinued, as I found out when I stopped in at the shop on the way home from work.

So, on the saleslady’s advice I bought another soap which she promised would work just as well, went home, threw the greasy clothes in the ‘extra-nasty’ laundry bag and then hopped in the shower with my also-ran soap which, of course, didn’t work as well so now my forearms and face are bright red and raw from my scrubbing at them like hell.

At least I finally got most of the black stuff off, but I’m considering wearing the same clothes to work tomorrow since we’re going to have to unload more cable from that location.

Sort-of related link: The History of the City of Fontana, with some really cool old photos.

Filed under: Work

11 Responses

  1. wen says:

    So tomorrow? Mix a little olive oil into your soap (or mineral oil-something light) and then wash. Then rinse and wash again (lightly) with just regular soap. It’s easier to do this with a liquid soap, but you can use a bar too.

    Poor you!

  2. Charli says:

    What you need is Lava bar soap. That stuff will cut through anything. My brother was a mechanic and his room smelled of grease and dirt, ew, but without Lava, he never would have had a decent shower.

  3. Great writing! Really enjoyed the post..hell the whole damn blog for that matter.

    Like that great Teutonic Governor of the great state of Cali, I’ll be back!

  4. jdcccw says:

    Dawn dishwashing detergent. Forget all the other stuff – work some of that into your clothes with a toothbrush and let it sit overnight and then wash. It will also take almost any grease off your skin with little effort -it’s specifically made to cut grease and and although I wouldn’t want to bathe in it daily, it does the trick. Just follow up in the shower with a gentle soap like Dove.

  5. Bob says:

    Two words…Simple Green. I used to work as a machinist after I got out of the Navy and Simple Green gets the worst gunk off your skin and it’ll take any kind of grime off your clothes as long as you spray and let them sit a while before you throw them in the washer.

    Lava is kick ass for greasy hands but it’s not for a lady’s skin. GoJo is easier on the skin but just doesn’t have the same grease cutting power. It does have that great orange smell though.

  6. snarkolepsy says:

    No – no – no. Goo-gone. You’ll find it at the gocery store, and you’ll get to keep your skin.

  7. Anonymous says:

    never use simple green or goo gone on bare skin. xylene, the active ingredient in both, is a powerful carcinogen.

    it even states this on the bottles both products come in.

    Go-jo is nice, there’s some blue stuff too that is similar but i forget the name of right now.

  8. Molly Mayhem says:

    A rigger buddy of mine reccomends the St. Ives medicated face scrub for chain grease. This sounds considerably nastier, though.

  9. Sal says:

    My daughter works for Lush UK – if you have the name of the orange soap, or can describe the fragrance, I could ask her if we still have it here and send you some.

    Peggy sez: It’s called “Red Rooster”

  10. Sal says:

    Its not available in the UK – sorry!

  11. Dan says:

    If you’re ever near Industrial Metal Supply:

    They sell this stuff I can’t remember the name of, but they use it in their bathrooms. It’s freakin’ amazing. Even when Lava couldn’t get goo off me, this stuff could. Go buy yourself a gallon.

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