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.