A man searches for what he believes is a ghost at work.
| I work at a warehouse. We receive, store, and ship out furniture. Nothing to exciting but, I like my job. I work in the receiving department as a Jack of all trades kind of person. Sorry I know it sounds corny. We start our shift at 5 am. Sometimes, though, I go in two hours early to set up the machines and prep the work stations for the morning crew.
I have been doing this off and on again for about four years now. That early in the morning the warehouse is awesome. No sound except the air conditioners. No people. I love the warehouse at that time of day. Sometimes, I can see the strobe light and hear the beep of an order picker. Order Pickers are large machines that we drive through the warehouse. The hold, what we call a plate, and lift the operator into the air so they can pick merchandise. I have never seen the Order Picker in question. Only ever the long reach of its strobe lights and the sound of it riding through the aisles. I always asked my supervisor if anyone else was scheduled to work but always received the same response. Nope.
One morning I finished early and was looking for something else to do when I heard it. I decided it was time. I chased down the sound until I found the orange glow of the safety strobe light. I rode around for what felt like an hour. Nothing. I mean absolutely nothing. I kept catching glimpses of the orange light shining through stacked product. When I believed I was getting close to the sound, it changed location. Not direction mind you. Location. Finally, I was ready to give up. As I parked my machine on the dock., I heard the Phantom Order Picker. Then, a loud crash echoed through the entire warehouse.
I ran as fast as I could, forgetting to take my machine. Passing aisle after aisle, I saw nothing. I saw the orange glow of the strobe light. It was strange this time though. It seemed slower than before. Drawing out the shadows it cast as it passed. I turned the corning into a prominent aisle. Our main aisle for the whole warehouse. This aisle has the most traffic through out a work shift. It is the lifeline of the warehouse. What I saw stopped me cold in my tracks. A forklift had run through an intersection without slowing down and hit a Order Picker. The forklift was empty. The order Picker was jammed into the racking. But the plate was still in the air. As I looked up I saw a man, wrapped in his own lifeline, hanging from that plate. The lifeline wrapped around his neck, drawing blood. His eyes were popped out of his head and his tongue just hung limp. Blood began to drip onto the floor.
I screamed for help. I grabbed my phone to call 911 but there was no service. I tried climbing up the machine but it groaned and began to give against the racking that held it. I ran to the shipping dock to try and grab a machine to help. My supervisor happened to walk in at that time and I grabbed him and told him what had happened. He ran to the location as I grabbed a machine. When I met him at the location I gave him, there was nothing. No Order Picker, No forklift, no accident.
Needless, to say, I was frantic. My supervisor tried to calm me down only for me to yell at him that this was some kind of prank and he set me up. He finally got me to calm down and began to tell me a story.
He told me about a year before I started working at the warehouse there was a horrible accident. A worker was on the order picker putting away product, which meant he had to walk into the location, was hit when someone on a forklift, not paying attention, blasted through an intersection hitting the other machine. He hit so hard that it forced the Order Picker to jerk and slam under the racking forcing the top of the machine to the opposite side of the aisle, slinging the man as it fell. During all of this happening the life line, that was supposed to protect someone from falls, got wrapped around his neck. Breaking it instantly.
I was in shock. I didn’t believe him at first. I saw it just happen that morning. I mean, I thought I did. Security came to check on me and confirmed my supervisors story. When I asked why I haven’t heard of it before, they simply said, it was so horrible everyone was told they were not allowed to speak of it.
I still go to work a few hours early. Help get the equipment ready for the start of shift. However, now when I hear the Order Picker or see that orange strobe light. I ignore them. I no longer go looking for the Phantom Order Picker.