I started working for Amazon. This is a factory sort of job in a gigantic and windowless warehouse. I have never seen or worked in a space like this. I am miles away from all that I have known or that is familiar. I am now an AMAZONIAN!
The entirety of this operation blows my mind. The logistics and coordination, the details of each package and how it starts and how it gets to where it is supposed to go are dizzying. The sheer volume and organization makes my brain hurt. Word of advice – do not order anything fragile from Amazon. These packages to through hell!
Anyway, I had my own personal trainer for my first day. There was supposed to be three of us, but two did not show. Better for me. Given the current health situation, Amazon has changed how they do business and every aspect is about safety and health. I applaud their efforts. I do not have one job, I have several little jobs that are all part of this huge process. I was provided information on every aspect of what happens in my building and each step of the packages life. I will not perform all these functions, yet, and may never perform some. There are so many to know!
My initial role, during my two week period as a trainee, is varied. I help scan and sort the prepared items. I pack them on a pallet or in a box. I wrap the full pallet in plastic to prepare for loading. As the evening shift passes, the wrapped pallets are moved in preparation for shipping. This is the pallet jack parade, or some such term I now forget. There are multiple signs and pieces of paper and ways to track what you are doing so that each item goes where it is supposed to go. Again, mind boggling.
My trainer was a former teacher and she did a great job. I, of course, am a good student. I am eager and wiling and excited to learn. This quarantine has taken a toll on me and I am happy to be out of the house, moving around and using my brain. It was a lot of information to learn and remember. It was way too much information, but those things I did will be easier to retain than those I just hear about. I do best when I can do that thing and not just read or hear about it. I am truly an experiential learner.
I realized I had two days off so I immediately signed up for another shift. I could not let two whole days pass and expect to remember everything I was taught. That is not how I operate. I will take one day off, but the rest will be filled with anywhere from four to eight to ten hours of work. My schedule is 20 hours per week and I can sign up for as much as 59.5 hours per week. It literally is up to me how much and when I work.
At this point, I want to work. The money will be great, but because I am stuck in limbo, I have nothing else meaningful to do. I have all the time in the world and no way to spend it. I am so fucking bored. This will be good. This will keep me busy, moving and off my ever increasing butt. It gets me out of the house. I still have choices to my work, and I like that. I still have little responsibility, and I like that, too.
These are stressful and challenging times. There are times of change and fear and community and togetherness. These are times we shall not soon forget.
I am doing the best that I can with what I have. I think that I am helping, as I know some of these packages are necessary items for folks who cannot or should not leave their homes. I like to think I am helping my community, my neighbors, my world. I like to think the package I scan and pack and wrap and line up is going to someone who needs that thing and has no other way to get it. I feel like I am making a contribution and that is important to me.
I am still learning the aspects of my job. I am still learning the rules of the environment and the safety that is demanded and expected. It feels good to push my body again and engage my brain. Once the paychecks start, that will feel good, too. Mostly, I am happy to have something to do and the feeling of helping, contributing, making a difference. Sure, there are folks who are buying more shoes or clothes or something. But, there are also diapers and latex gloves and hands-free wastebaskets.
I am grateful for the job, for the opportunity and for my ability to contribute. Cheers to helping in and around our communities.
Cheers to doing what we can!