Chapter 3 – A Change of Heart
The months that followed John’s first day of work formed a period in his life he could not have anticipated, yet it was one he chose consciously, despite the odds stacked against him.
A good-natured, easy-going guy who always wore a smile on his face, John worked alone with his thoughts and the cacophony of machinery around him. The work was the same and the environment remained a nickel oxide dust-ridden death trap, particularly for those who chose not to wear their masks.
Sleepless nights began to take their toll as he continued to shovel the nickel oxide onto the conveyor along with some of the other fellows with whom he started. He would yawn and then automatically check his mask to make sure it was snug. As one of the few who wore breathing protection, he struggled to understand why more didn’t worry about the dose of nickel oxide ingested daily into their lungs.
None of it made sense, because it all seemed so obvious. Clearly something wasn’t adding up. Even the foremen who’d been there for many years were blinded to the inevitable. And then there were the guys who smoked on their breaks. Nothing like adding fuel to the hot burning flames.