What was the toughest job

PullMyFinger

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What was the toughest job you ever had physically ? I've moved pipe, dug ditches, core drillers helper. No job was as physically hard as one at Iowa Beef Processors in 1981. My job was on a crew of 6 to pick boxes of beef from 40 to 108 lbs off of trays and put them on pallets to go on an elevator . From there guys loaded the trucks from the pallets.
In 58 days I dropped from 190 lbs to 168 lbs. I felt my csiatic nerve sending shocks down my leg on my last day. I wasn't able to get out of bed for 2 days after that. I missed the last 2 days of probation period of 60 days. They let me go and it was a relief. My crew broke a national record and picked 1,006 boxes per hour per man for an 8 hour shift the previous week. They promised a big party with a keg of beer if we could hit the1000 box number . 48,288 boxes of beef were shipped out that day. All we received was a letter from IBP headquarters to each guy . I still have that letter to remind myself never to go all out like that again. Lol, I haven't worked like that since then. I was 22 yo that year.
Share your story as it is amazing to see how things have become easier over the years.
 

Mbogo

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522
Stacking hay barns as a teenager. Basically picking up a harobed load of bales and stacking them on another with the help of a boom truck. Three stringers were the worst. A 100 degree day felt like 120 at the top of those barns.
 

mtmuley

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A winter working the Shute Creek gas plant out of Kemmerer, Wyoming. The work wasn't as hard physically as some others I have had, but the brutal cold working with steel and long 6 to 7 day shifts was a *****. mtmuley
 

elkassassin

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Hey mt?

That was Where you Left Your Carbon Footprint wasn't it?:D


A winter working the Shute Creek gas plant out of Kemmerer, Wyoming. The work wasn't as hard physically as some others I have had, but the brutal cold working with steel and long 6 to 7 day shifts was a *****. mtmuley
 

cosmic_cowboy

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#1 Shoeing horses did 5 or 6 a day. Close second roughnecking on a core rig working swing shift in minus 30 degree weather, Worked 10 hr. shifts. When we had to trip them, it was 10 hr. to pull the rods and change the bit and then 10hr. to put them back and start drilling again. I was the helper up in the top of the rig, made $4.15 an hour. Late 1970s
 

PullMyFinger

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#1 Shoeing horses did 5 or 6 a day. Close second roughnecking on a core rig working swing shift in minus 30 degree weather, Worked 10 hr. shifts. When we had to trip them, it was 10 hr. to pull the rods and change the bit and then 10hr. to put them back and start drilling again. I was the helper up in the top of the rig, made $4.15 an hour. Late 1970s
Same for my drill helper stunt. On the platform freezing and adding or removing core pipe
 

Captain_coues

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849
Mine is either Wildland Firefighting or Concrete pouring. Both were hard physical work but the work was fast paced and constantly moving/changing so mentally it wasn’t too bad. Not like working with hay bales where all you can think about is hay bales until it’s over.
 

tailchasers

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Hog shackler at a slaughter house. I lasted 2 days on that job. Boss noticed me and my build and knew right away what he wanted done. Pay/benefits were great but what an awful job back in the 80's. The hog was shocked, shackled, and stuck in the jugular in 2 seconds 7,500 hogs a day.
 

customweld

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542
Rat packing hay barns. Being a vertically challenged fella makes you ideal for that top 6’ feet of the hay barn. Hooking for a heli log outfit was a close second
 

grizzly

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Demolition crew at a middle school they were remodeling. It was a summer of hand-loading cinder block into a wheelbarrow and taking it out to dump in the parking lot for the loaders to pick up.
 

hornkiller

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My current job 3-4 years ago it was
-28 -34 every morning for 3 weeks and never got above-10 the whole day that sucked!
 

unclebuck

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385
I have a cabinet shop. We built some office furniture that had to go on the 7th floor. My son and I had to carry 2 ten foot 300 lb pieces up the stairs as they were inches to long to fit in the elevator. That was on my 60 th birthday. Did lots of other dumb stuff when I was younger.
 

Wyosam

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Loading hay on trucks at the age of 13.
Same here. From about 12 up it was mostly solo. Old flatfender jeep idling along in 4 low dragging a skid. Point it down a row, and load bales from both sides. End of the row, jump in and turn it around and point down the next row. Stacked 6 high. Then stack it in the barn.
 

eelgrass

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I have a cabinet shop. We built some office furniture that had to go on the 7th floor. My son and I had to carry 2 ten foot 300 lb pieces up the stairs as they were inches to long to fit in the elevator. That was on my 60 th birthday. Did lots of other dumb stuff when I was younger.
I had a cabinet shop for a few years. I remember one install when we took out the big living room window to get a cabinet in the house. It was a big floor to ceiling kitchen cabinet for the oven/microwave. HA!
 

heywouldya

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764
Either a welder or house framer in high school. Carrying 2 7/8" oilstem pipe or plywood was tough. Then welding in leathers for 12 hours in 100+ heat wasn't the best either. Good times!
 

PullMyFinger

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117
Sacking potatoes when I was 8. Thought I would die. Got used to it after the first day
I sacked and stacked 100 lb dried beans but the pace wasn't horrible. Just the awkward way the bags folded when I picked them up. Actually the hardest part was getting the small paychecks, lol.
 

EVILNR

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899
Worked for a electric utility provider at a generating plant. 12 hrs.day/7 days a week for 3 mos. at a time. Brutal. After 4 years decided I needed to go to College.

Also at a Poultry Processor on 3rds. I dont do 3rd shift.
 

unclebuck

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385
I had a cabinet shop for a few years. I remember one install when we took out the big living room window to get a cabinet in the house. It was a big floor to ceiling kitchen cabinet for the oven/microwave. HA!
We've done that a time or two. You'd think I'd learn after the first one.
 

Gator

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Welding petroleum tanks in the refineries in Long Beach California.
Summertime was brutal. 10 to 15 welders inside the tank putting out the heat.
 

DeerHunter53

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Unloaded a semi truck load of tar rounds I believe they weigh about 75-100 lbs a piece. Went home that night fell asleep with my clothes on. Got up the next day and done it again. I was working the summer jobs for school. At the end of the summer I had muscles in my s---t
 

Elkhunter05

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#1 Shoeing horses did 5 or 6 a day. Close second roughnecking on a core rig working swing shift in minus 30 degree weather, Worked 10 hr. shifts. When we had to trip them, it was 10 hr. to pull the rods and change the bit and then 10hr. to put them back and start drilling again. I was the helper up in the top of the rig, made $4.15 an hour. Late 1970s
I remember working with you! I felt soo bad for you. You had such a hard time with basic comprehension. You got made fun of quite a bit but took it pretty good. Did you ever find your family?
 

rmanwill

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Worked at the feed mill for ten years in my younger years. Unloading box cars and semi loads of feed daily. Not to mention the sprinting up stories to beat the grain to turn wheels to get it in the right shilos and cleaning them shilos out occasionally. Oh, the good old days.
 

littlebull209338

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Unloading box cara loaded with 55 gallon drums of oil, lay them down and roll them up a ramp and stand them back up. All my children were born naked !
 

3TOE

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Mine has to be my current job. I do field service work on capping machines for Coke, Dr Pepper, Pepsi etc... The work itself is getting more physically demanding the older I get, but the traveling & the 70 plus hour work weeks are catching up to me. I had to stop saying “I’m getting too old for this $hit!” Because I was starting to convince myself that I actually was. Lol
One day the old body will be too beat up to do it anymore, then I guess I will get a sweet job at Home Depot cutting keys or something like that.
 

feddoc

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Worked at the feed mill for ten years in my younger years. Unloading box cars and semi loads of feed daily. Not to mention the sprinting up stories to beat the grain to turn wheels to get it in the right shilos and cleaning them shilos out occasionally. Oh, the good old days.
I worked at a feed mill for about a year doing that. We had a machine that would take big cow cakes and turned them into little pellets. The machine was not unlike a mill to make wood pellets in that there had to be a certain amount of moisture in the ground up cow cakes to be fed into the mill, then pressed through the die.

We were supposed to unplug the machine to clear any jams. One day Rudy got lazy and decided to clear the jam with a broom handle. I looked up and told him not to, but, he did anyway. He lost all but the thumb and index finger on his right hand. Good dude; he just got careless.
 

rmanwill

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I worked at a feed mill for about a year doing that. We had a machine that would take big cow cakes and turned them into little pellets. The machine was not unlike a mill to make wood pellets in that there had to be a certain amount of moisture in the ground up cow cakes to be fed into the mill, then pressed through the die.

We were supposed to unplug the machine to clear any jams. One day Rudy got lazy and decided to clear the jam with a broom handle. I looked up and told him not to, but, he did anyway. He lost all but the thumb and index finger on his right hand. Good dude; he just got careless.
Yep. Had a co worker do the same. Lost all four fingers.
 

OutdoorWriter

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When I was a junior in HS in late 1950s, I took a part-time job that lasted only two weeks. It involved unloading the merchandise from trucks and stocking a new store's shelves. The name of the place was Linda's Lingerie. I wore my fingers to the bone handling all those bras, panties & corsets. :cool:
 

Slightlysober

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When I was a junior in HS in late 1950s, I took a part-time job that lasted only two weeks. It involved unloading the merchandise from trucks and stocking a new store's shelves. The name of the place was Linda's Lingerie. I wore my fingers to the bone handling all those bras, panties & corsets. :cool:
That’s a different type of hard. Did you have to change the lingerie on the mannequins?
 

Servehim

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Had quite a few tough jobs, handling hay was physical but I loved the smell and working outside. The roughest was using a jackhammer to chip off cement from the inside of cement trucks. I think my ears are still ringing from that summer job.
 

Bluehair

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Unloading box cara loaded with 55 gallon drums of oil, lay them down and roll them up a ramp and stand them back up. All my children were born naked !
Me and a buddy had to unload all of our oil deliveries at a trucking company. Those days sucked. We also unloaded the trucks at the feed store. Salt blocks suck too.

I had a friend who dug the graves at a pet cemetery in Phx. He hates horses to this day.
 

Idahoron

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Worked at the feed mill for ten years in my younger years. Unloading box cars and semi loads of feed daily. Not to mention the sprinting up stories to beat the grain to turn wheels to get it in the right shilos and cleaning them shilos out occasionally. Oh, the good old days.

I worked in a feed mill making trout feed for 35 years. The Cement and steel floors ruined my legs. The ladders going to silos and elevator heads were murder. Stacking feed bags on pallets was tough on the back. Hammering the rail cars trying to dislodge the meal was tough. Breathing the dust and steam had me sick all the time.
Feed mills make old men out of young ones. I finally fell off a ladder in 2019. After several months of physical therapy and finally surgery they told me I had to go back. I said nope I don't. I left and 6 months later the whole crew left. The company asked me to come back to help them because no one knew how to start the mill. I told them 🖕 and they still don't have anyone that can start anything. The boiler has set there for almost 2 years with the water in it. I am sure that the condensate lines are rusted out and the boiler might be trash.
Now I'm a grave digger in a pandemic. I need to rethink life choices.
 

eelgrass

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I left a finger at the sawmill, as did a lot of us. There are a million pinch points in a sawmill. Look with your eyes and not with your hands. :D
 

rmanwill

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I worked in a feed mill making trout feed for 35 years. The Cement and steel floors ruined my legs. The ladders going to silos and elevator heads were murder. Stacking feed bags on pallets was tough on the back. Hammering the rail cars trying to dislodge the meal was tough. Breathing the dust and steam had me sick all the time.
Feed mills make old men out of young ones. I finally fell off a ladder in 2019. After several months of physical therapy and finally surgery they told me I had to go back. I said nope I don't. I left and 6 months later the whole crew left. The company asked me to come back to help them because no one knew how to start the mill. I told them 🖕 and they still don't have anyone that can start anything. The boiler has set there for almost 2 years with the water in it. I am sure that the condensate lines are rusted out and the boiler might be trash.
Now I'm a grave digger in a pandemic. I need to rethink life choices.
Idahoron, you sure bring back some old memories. Not all good either. 🤔. You take care. Sounds like you earned it. 35 years, I give it to you. I only did 10 years at the feed mill and then went into Law Enforcement for 31 years. Retired for past year and it's the best of the three😁
 

azhunteraz

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Summer of 1980, I was a 15 year old living in a small town in southern AZ. Got a job as a grunt at a local cement plant. One of the trucks broke down, and the full load of concrete had set/dried inside of the truck. I was given a jack-hammer and a bandana to wrap around my mouth & nose, and told to crawl inside and chip out all of the set concrete. Took me about two weeks working full time. Was making $3 per hour. LOL
 

Bluehair

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Summer of 1980, I was a 15 year old living in a small town in southern AZ. Got a job as a grunt at a local cement plant. One of the trucks broke down, and the full load of concrete had set/dried inside of the truck. I was given a jack-hammer and a bandana to wrap around my mouth & nose, and told to crawl inside and chip out all of the set concrete. Took me about two weeks working full time. Was making $3 per hour. LOL
I used to have to clean out the inside of the trucks also. I was a yardbird for CTI In Clarkdale.
 

NVPete

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A lot of us had some pretty tough jobs growing up and somehow survived. I can't believe I even made it to 75 looking back. Some of the tough ones I did were helper on a core drilling rig pulling sometimes 3k ft. of steel to change bits, working in a mine shovelling muck onto conveyor belts, or cleaning up rock spills when a belt broke, unplugging jammed crusher bins,digging power pole holes by hand tools (pick, shovel, spoon, jackhammer), on the line fighting fires on a hand crew or fire truck on a wildland suppression crew,and as someone else said being a draftee and a two year stint including a tour in Viet Nam (this being toughest of all due to physical, emotional, and psychological effects). All these while being of a pretty skinny, not too physically strong or mentally tough make up. I think I survived a lot just on will and determination (and working with great people who had your back and would look out for you or mentor you through tough times!) (y)
 

Snoopdogg

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12 year old working in the fields carrying 5 gallon buckets up and down rows to water seedlings. The buckets seemed to weigh as much as me back then.

Oh, and work projects! 🤣
 

Gadjet

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Wearing what is basically a space suit in the heat of summer for days on end running a sandblaster. Rebuilding mining equipment.
 

notdonhunting

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A lot of us had some pretty tough jobs growing up and somehow survived. I can't believe I even made it to 75 looking back. Some of the tough ones I did were helper on a core drilling rig pulling sometimes 3k ft. of steel to change bits, working in a mine shovelling muck onto conveyor belts, or cleaning up rock spills when a belt broke, unplugging jammed crusher bins,digging power pole holes by hand tools (pick, shovel, spoon, jackhammer), on the line fighting fires on a hand crew or fire truck on a wildland suppression crew,and as someone else said being a draftee and a two year stint including a tour in Viet Nam (this being toughest of all due to physical, emotional, and psychological effects). All these while being of a pretty skinny, not too physically strong or mentally tough make up. I think I survived a lot just on will and determination (and working with great people who had your back and would look out for you or mentor you through tough times!) (y)
Just want to say thanks!
 

Troubadour

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Burned miles of ditch as a kid with grandfather on our ranch. I got to love it though eventually.
In college I framed and hung siding for large private air plane hangars. Kicked the **** out of me, especially the roofing. The heat off the steel would melt our shoes so we would started to work before sunrise to beat the heat. Got in great shape though.
 

eelgrass

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Ha! Neither did I, that specific reference was watermelons. The adults were not cutting kids any slack, I either did it or kicked rocks. I did it.
I spent one summer on my uncle's farm in the San Joaquin Valley. He put in about 5 acres of watermelons. My cousin and I had to hoe the weeds by hand but we had flood irrigation. Up at 2am to get our water supply. My cousin and I set up a roadside stand and sold melons for $.10 each and we got to keep all the money we made. Big money back then.
 

DeerHunter53

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I spent one summer on my uncle's farm in the San Joaquin Valley. He put in about 5 acres of watermelons. My cousin and I had to hoe the weeds by hand but we had flood irrigation. Up at 2am to get our water supply. My cousin and I set up a roadside stand and sold melons for $.10 each and we got to keep all the money we made. Big money back then.
.10 cents would buy you a twinkie and a coke so it was big money
 

SlinginLead

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Toughest Job.....bagging groceries in the early to mid '70's, when I was 16-17 years old. Bagging groceries for the likes of Linda Evans, Yvette Mimieaux, Carly Simon, Julie Newmar, Elizabeth Montgomery, Shelly Faberes, and the likes. What was so tough???...trying not to spring a B_ _ _ _ _ !
 

ICMDEER

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Funny how so many of us share the same tough jobs. I still say stacking hay was my toughest. One ranch I worked on used a flatbed semi trailer and we had to load it 7 bales high. That was high school and it sure made 2 a day football practice look easy. I also had a bale wagon and stacked hay most of the night after working at my job all day in my 30's. No automatic tie, so I had to hand stack 2-3 tiers on each load.

I also fought fire, but I thought it was easier than the hay. And I worked in the timber. Used to do different things. I did a lot of tree thinning and could usually do an acre or 2 a day. Got $60-80/acre and thought I was getting rich. I figured it out once and I was getting 8-10 cents for every tree I cut down.

I worked at a big feedlot a couple of summers. More hay pitching but the bad part was building new pens. Digging 3 foot holes in hard pan by hand to set railroad ties.

It might seem romantic to some, but guiding can be darned hard work, too. Mostly 16+ hour days and some of the hiking and packing out of critters, especially elk, is tough.

I played football in college. It was really tough physically sometimes because I was a quarterback and the entire defense seemed hell-bent on wrecking my body. They were pretty successful because the result was 3 knee and 3 shoulder operations.

This whole thread is one like the old saying "If I would have known I'd live this long, I would have behaved differently."
 

BLooDTRaCKeR

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Worked many jobs.

Toughest job so far has been trying to raise a family in this messed up society! Keeping a family together is no easy task when the forces to pull it apart are always in motion!

A close second was forming, pouring and stripping foundations 6 days/week. Every morning we stripped a foundation, loaded up forms, drove to a new pit, formed, and poured sometimes into the night just to stay on schedule. Started the day at 5am and often times worked until 10pm. It was all hands on deck once concrete was on site. Didn’t want to find out what happened if the crete set up in the truck! Also had to make for dang sure you didn’t have a blow out and lose the calculated amount of concrete or you would be bucketing it back into wall! (Happened once!) I worked with a bunch of ex-convicts.
Taught me the importance of education and staying out of trouble!
 

feddoc

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Toughest Job.....bagging groceries in the early to mid '70's, when I was 16-17 years old. Bagging groceries for the likes of Linda Evans, Yvette Mimieaux, Carly Simon, Julie Newmar, Elizabeth Montgomery, Shelly Faberes, and the likes. What was so tough???...trying not to spring a B_ _ _ _ _ !
Man, you gotta toss out some stories.
 

feddoc

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Toughest Job.....bagging groceries in the early to mid '70's, when I was 16-17 years old. Bagging groceries for the likes of Linda Evans, Yvette Mimieaux, Carly Simon, Julie Newmar, Elizabeth Montgomery, Shelly Faberes, and the likes. What was so tough???...trying not to spring a B_ _ _ _ _ !
I worked a summer in a seafood store in an older and more affluent part of Denver. It was cold in there and you could sure tell which of the ladies were not wearing a bra once they walked in.
 

elkassassin

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25,881
Sounds Tough there doc!

Any of them Ever SLAP You Silly?:D



I worked a summer in a seafood store in an older and more affluent part of Denver. It was cold in there and you could sure tell which of the ladies were not wearing a bra once they walked in.
 

Bluehair

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I worked a summer in a seafood store in an older and more affluent part of Denver. It was cold in there and you could sure tell which of the ladies were not wearing a bra once they walked in.
I worked with a guy who would turn the office thermostats down EVERY morning to create the same effect. Blamed it on the janitor. I think the statue of limitations fell over already.
 

SlinginLead

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548

I worked a summer in a seafood store in an older and more affluent part of Denver. It was cold in there and you could sure tell which of the ladies were not wearing a bra once they walked in.
When I wasn't bagging their groceries, I was usually in the frozen food section helping them out! The only celebrity customer in which I would run the other way was Phyllis Diller! Truly though, she was very nice. She drove an Excaliber; I used to tease her about it.
 

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