“Some Lessons from the Assembly Line” by Andrew Braaksma
In the article “Some Lessons from the Assembly Line” by Andrew Braaksma, a junior at the University of Michigan, the author narrates of how he spent his time every summer as a factory worker. Andrew Braaksma gives details about the hard times he faced as a factory worker. Braaksma narrates how he was exhausted by the12-hour string of days at the plastics factory. Braaksma says that the work is frustrating and the check small. Knowing that the job could vanish overnight, was the most stressful thing factory workers experienced. Overseas relocation and downsizing seemed almost impossible for Braaksma until one of his workmates at a certain factory informed him that the division where he worked would be closed in 6 months and relocated to Mexico. Workers here in Mexico would be paid 60 cents per hour. Braaksma says that life is hard out of campus and that he works for factories only for a short time. Andrew Braaksma’s article “Some Lessons from the Assembly Line” is a work of art which describes his experiences when working in factories during summer. This article compares these experiences with the leisurely college life.
The first key point noted in Braaksma’s article is that of hard work. Braaksma illustrates hard work by working in the factories surrounding his hometown during summer. His friends would take part-time jobs that were easier than the jobs he took which included working at factories welding, cutting, moving or assembling parts. Braaksma would work for 12 hours a day for around two months during summer to earn some income. Hard work is a quality that is rare even to his friends at college who prefer easier jobs.
The second key point is that of misuse. Factory owners misuse the workers at the factories by overworking and paying less than they should. Braaksma says that he would work 12 hours a day and he would later be shocked by the small check he would receive. Factory workers are made to work for a lot of hours which make them too exhausted at the end of the day. After all these tiresome work, the workers would later receive meagre wages. After being through all these struggles, workers are also faced with the most stressing issue which is that they can be jobless overnight due to downsizing and overseas relocation.
The last key point is that of the lessons Andrew Braaksma learned working in these factories. According to the article, Braaksma states that all the lessons in the world would not have made him ready for the struggles he had operating the machine at the factory. These lessons inspired him to make the best of his years in college before entering the world of reality. Andrew Braaksma states that the summer months he spent in the factories would be tiring, long and in every aspect educational as a French-lit lesson.
In conclusion, it is evident that working in factories is not an easy task nor does it pay well. Andrew Braaksma describes his experience as a factory worker as educational despite it being long, underpaid and tiring.
Braaksma Andrew, “Some Lessons from The Assembly Line”, Newsweek. 9/12/2005, Vol. 146 Issue 11, p17-17. 1p. 1 Color Photograph