Lileks Hits Home Work

On Thursday, Lileks bleated about a label he found in an antique store:

Antique? I used to work at Drug Package, Inc. What does that make me?

Back in 1996, I after a string of retail jobs, I answered a blind box ad in a newspaper for a warehouse shipping/receiving guy in O’Fallon, Missouri. I went to what might have been a poke-him interview, where a blue collar job poster wants to know why some college puke applied for it. The guy asked what I hoped for in the future, and I said I’d hoped to be promoted to printer.

So he hired me as a printer, and after a couple of weeks I was operating a Didde-Glaser 175 two-color Web offset printing press with a turn-over bar for two-sided print and perf wheels.

I was printing prescription blanks and forms; the labels came from lithographic presses elsewhere on the floor.

I worked that job for two years because I’d told the guy hiring me that he didn’t have to worry about me taking the training and going elsewhere right away (I promised to stay a couple years, so I did). The job was fortuitously placed; although it was forty-five miles from where I lived in South St. Louis County, it was a little less than half way to Columbia, Missouri, where the girl I was dating at the time lived (it was an hour home or an hour and a half to see her, which I often did). And that relationship worked out even though the job was not the longterm thing for me that it was for the others there (one fellow had worked there since the War, and the war was not Viet Nam or Korea).

At any rate, it would be odd to see things related to one’s adulthood coming up in antique stores. Although, as a frequent visitor to antique malls, I realize that the stuff one finds in them is often thrift store items with higher prices. Also, Drug Package has been in business for over 130 years, and the label Lileks found bears the St. Louis location on it, and from what I understand, Drug Package moved to O’Fallon in the 1960s or 1970s. So perhaps I’m not that old after all.