What It’s Like to Work In Production
- By Jaymie Giordano
- What my friends think I do: I’m sure my friends think my job is some kind of weird hybrid crossover of Pineapple Express and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
- What my mom thinks I do: Sit around in a grow with a tie-dye head band on, passing a peace pipe and singing the Banana Boat Song while I trim.
- What society thinks I do: Clearly, I move marijuana in and out of a top secret underground bunker while wearing sunglasses to avoid being recognized and brought in for tax evasion.
None of these are entirely accurate.
So what does Production actually do? The short, sarcastic answer is that we “produce”, but with such a vague term trying to encompass such a broad range of skills, it doesn’t tell you much about what we actually do. In reality, we do a little bit of everything. If you work in the industry, you can surely sympathize, but if you don’t work in the industry, let me explain.
Production employees show up mainly before the sun comes up. Those that arrive before everyone else set up the sinks and lay out the floor mats. When everyone is present, we all gather in Production Room One, not to sing, but to plan out the day’s events. Everyone in production is assigned a task, and if the ratio of tasks to people is in favor, they are paired with a partner. They disperse, ready to complete whatever task they have been assigned. Some go off to locate and assemble various machines, mindful of all of their small moving parts and interesting quirks. Others hustle to complete the packaging project from the previous day that needs to be completed before first break. The rest will gather ingredients and other utensils to start work on a new batch of product.
The role of a Production employee changes every day, and yet somehow never changes at all. I can come to work knowing that I’ll be working on a task, like truffles, but I never expect to be working on the same project for more than a few hours. Machines will need maintenance. People will have questions. Something moderately important will get misplaced. A different project will take priority. Change is most certainly the only constant, and that is totally cool. We can all fix machines. Someone will find that misplaced something. We know we can bust out that now-priority project. We try to cross-train each other on anything we can so that we avoid those sticky situations.
…Unless you’re pouring Elixirs. That will always be a sticky situation.
On any given moment, you can walk into either production room and find people singing, dancing, dipping chocolates, smiling, laughing, high-fiving, fixing something, telling a story, and generally just having fun. They all have the same thing in common though: they are all working as hard as they have ever worked.
At the end of the day, the projects are all either completed or stored in a safe place for the following shift. The floors are swept and mopped, machines are turned off and broken down, dishes are done, coolers are locked, and we all gather for the end of the shift meeting. We discuss any snafus experienced throughout the shift, where each project is in terms of completion, and what to expect for the following shift. All questions are answered, accolades are distributed, and the team is dismissed. The managers usually linger for a few extra minutes to discuss the next shift and to ensure that everything is put away and properly stored.
This job isn’t exactly Pineapple Express. In fact, marijuana use is prohibited in or anywhere even remotely near the facility. It isn’t exactly Wonka’s Factory either, although with the addition of a little hash oil that might be the closest guess I’ve ever heard. We dance and we joke, but this really is the hardest working group of people I have ever had the pleasure of leading. All of the changes I have witnessed here at Dixie since I started my position in production, I can honestly say I am proud to be part of this company every day. I feel incredibly fortunate to be the Assistant Leader of the Production Team.
And yeah, Mom, sometimes we sing the Banana Boat Song.