My buddy in the warehouse
rolled up to me on the forklift,
stopping an appropriate distance away
with a thought in his eyes,
lowering his pandemic forced mask
to reveal something of a smile.
He said
‘Remember last year
when all we cared about
we’re those stupid safety rails they built
that we had to try and drive around, 
right before they installed the impact sensors
to shut down the equipment
if we happened to hit something?
Good times.’

Good times they were, too.
I remember all the questions the sensors raised.
The one guy was so super paranoid
and thought if he stopped driving for even a minute
higher ups would get him for slacking off.
We also joked the other guy would get fired immediately.
Which he did.
Two weeks after the sensors
he blasted a chunk of concrete off the support beam,
then tried to hide it by fleeing from the scene
driving 0.5mph in emergency mode
(which shuts the vehicle down every sixty seconds)
all the way back to parking area.

I only set that alarm off once
when a faulty sensor disagreed with a woodchip
a good deal away from those new rails.
I was laughing about it,
in no way scared that anything would happen to me.
In fact, none of the changes we faced ever proved
worth the apprehension and stress we showered in
when we were just getting used to new ideas.
We discovered nothing was ever as bad as it seemed.

Or so we thought.
Crazy what a difference
a year and a super disease
can make on our lives.