Archive for the 'Warehouse Blues' Category

Sixteen Tons

15 August 2005 at 8:03 pm
by Jonah

I got my biggest paycheck to date today. That’s because I had 25.22 hours of overtime for the past two weeks.

When Berck saw the total, he said, “Well, I’m glad you didn’t go with me to my interview. I didn’t know it would be THAT big!”


9 August 2005 at 9:29 pm
by Jonah

Yesterday, the assistant manager told my team we could come in extra early today if we wanted.

We all said yes, of course. Masochists that we are.

So I clocked in at 6:55 a.m. this morning. I always clock in 5 minutes early because that’s as early as we’re allowed to clock in. And I’m always at work 5 minutes early because I leave with enough time to deal with any unforeseen events. And rather than sit around waiting to work, I clock in.

Since we were working so long today, we got THREE breaks and lunch. That helped.

I clocked out at 8:24 p.m. We have a half hour lunch. I worked 12 hours and 59 minutes today.

I’m tired.

Temp to Hire

31 July 2005 at 1:19 pm
by Jonah

Berck is spending the weekend filling out job applications and printing out resumes. Last summer I was doing this; now he gets to. I guess I’ll have to do so again soon as well.

I took last Friday and Monday off so we could drive down to Mobile for the weekend. As it was, we were so busy at work that I had an hour an a half of overtime week-before-last…even with only working four days! We were so busy again this week that I got a full forty-hour week…again with only working four days. On Thursday I was walking around the warehouse trying to solve Daily Order Discrepancies, my last task of the day, and I just felt so tired. I pulled out my watch and saw it was almost 8 p.m. I’d arrived at work at 8:30 a.m. No wonder I was tired.

We had a reprieve from the heat this last week. On Wednesday the high was 80. The HIGH! It was so nice to work in a temperate climate for a change. The weather stayed nice until late in the day on Friday when it started to get hot again. Oh well.

All of the college kids that we hired the summer to build shelves and move stuff we also trained to stock. The last several weeks we’ve hardly moved anything, we’ve been so behind on pulling or inchecking or stocking. If they stock, the incheckers can pull orders, and we only have ten-hour days instead of twelve-hour ones. But we are now consistently behind on our moving goals.

So my boss hired a bunch of temp workers to do what the people on my shift are supposed to be doing. This last week I spent a good bit of time training and supervising the temps on tearing down shelves and moving. When I wasn’t pulling, that is. My boss has hired four new pullers in the last two weeks as well. But we can’t seem to keep people for very long this summer (hmm, I wonder why?) But new people are so much slower than someone with experience.

I’ll probably be pulling again this week. The last couple of weeks I’ve pulled ahead on the departments we were planning to move that day, only to have nothing happen, because by then the powers that be realized how far behind we were for the day and put a stop to all moving so everyone could stock (and I could keep on pulling). At least my pulling times don’t count anymore. That makes world of difference from working last year.

Hell is inside a metal box in the Oklahoma sun

15 June 2005 at 8:50 pm
by Jonah

It’s getting hot here. And working in a warehouse get miserable. We rejoice whenever the huge blowers kick in, bringing in fresh, sun-soaked air from off the paved loading dock.

But at least I’m not being timed pulling.

Hell is actually being forced to perform Sisyphustic tasks in intense heat. My team leader went on vacation a couple of weeks ago, leaving Mark (my shift’s forklift driver) and me in charge of the dozen or so college kids working for us this summer. We had instructions to finish building two valleys, though our team leader didn’t think we’d get as far as finishing the first one. But we did. And it looked beautiful. I was really proud of us.

Except one of the rows of metal shelves poked out an inch off the edge by the offices.

So the next week the order came to tear it all down. Not just the offending row. All four rows, both sides of the middle aisle break, all had to come down. We restacked the cardboard, restacked the metal shelf mesh, took out all the pins and hooks, restacked the beams. Then some main warehouse guys came over and used lasers to straighten it all out. We finally finished putting it all back together today.

Today I was swiping some CD jewel out of the store supplies department for some cracked CD’s that had come in, when the girl who’s in charge of Send Outs sidled up to me. She’s quiet, and I’m quiet, so we’ve probably only exchanged about three sentences since I started working there. “Don’t tell anyone,” she murmured, just above the noise of the blowers, “but during our meeting just now, the boss was bragging about you.”


“Don’t tell anyone!”

“I won’t, but what was he bragging about?”

“About how good you are with the college kids.”

Well, duh, I think. I’m a natural leader. But I grinned and thanked her.

“Don’t tell anyone!” she repeated.

Hell is where the prideful go.

State Troopers out in force

27 May 2005 at 7:12 pm
by Jonah

We’re trying to figure out what to do for my three-day weekend. Berck announced last night that we were going somewhere, and I had to figure out where. I was exhausted last night, so I told him we’d go to Colorado…where, specifically, I’d figure out when I got home from work.

I was so exhausted because I’d just worked an eleven-plus hour day starting at 6 that morning. See, when Barry told us all to go home on Wednesday because of the fire, he instructed us to plan on everyone coming in at 7 a.m. and pulling orders like crazy. But we were to call his voicemail beforehand to make sure the warehouse was actually open. So I called at 10, right before I would have headed to bed if I had to be at work at 7. The voicemail told everyone to come in at SIX. Six?? So I went straight to bed after setting my alarm for 5 a.m. Berck took forever coming to bed even though he said he would be right there, and then I couldn’t fall asleep until long after midnight.

As it was, half the people didn’t show up till 7… they’d called right before the time they were leaving for work to make sure to come in, but by then it was too late to get the message. The voicemail also told the college kids to come in at 10:30 or as early as they could. But Barry had told all of them the day before to take Thursday off and call to find out what time to come in Friday.

Even so, we got several store orders pulled in record time. The couple of college kids who called early enough to know they could come in on Thursday stocked all day. I finally went home at quarter-to-six. I was tired.

I got more sleep last night, heading to bed before it was even dark yet. Worked from 6 to 4:45. Got home and hit the Internet right away to tell Berck where we were going.

“San Isabel National Forest,” I announced. “The Spanish Peaks. It’s the nearest interesting part of Colorado.”

That was when Berck said he didn’t want to go anywhere. He was too tired.

I’m thinking a weekend staying off the roads, relaxing and watching movies, maybe using our new grill that Berck’s mom bought us, would be really nice.

Actual Fact: About 70 percent of the earth’s fresh water is made up of glacial ice. And if you had to replace it all, you’d need 60 years of the entire globe’s rainfall, and then you’d have to figure out a way to freeze it all.