Thursday, August 02, 2007

Job #12: Texas Instruments Clean Room (cont.)

I was hoping to just slip out on my last day working in the clean room, but the shift manager decided to get ice cream and have a small going away party in the break room. I'm not sure why exactly. I hadn't worked there that long, and I mostly kept to myself. Maybe it was just a good excuse to be out of our bunny suits and face masks.

Some of the people wished me good luck at my new job at the charter school. "You're lucky to be getting out of here." That was the parting sentiment at most of the jobs I'd had up until that point. You're lucky to get out here.

The majority of my co-workers, though, a lot of whom I didn't recognize out of their suits, just quietly ate their ice cream, enjoying a few extra minutes of break time from a twelve hour workday.

Someone drew a card for me on the special clean room paper (its fibers wouldn't damage the microchips), and several people signed it. This isn't it. I'm sure I have it someplace, but I've been looking for it since I started this blog and I just can't find it. This is a "recreation" I drew. It's fairly accurate, although maybe there wasn't a cake in the drawing now that I think about it. Maybe the man in the bunny suit was just sitting at his station, working.

Months later, as my year at the charter school was coming to a close, and I was already thinking that I'd be lucky to get out of there, I ran into one of the clean room workers in the lobby of a movie theater. He told me that everyone was slowly being fired, and that the factory was probably going to close.

The air entering a cleanroom from outside is filtered to exclude dust, and the air inside is constantly recirculated through high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) and/or ultra-low penetration air (ULPA) filters to remove internally generated contaminants.
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