That is how our day starts. The sun does not slowly rise over the horizon, bathing the earth in a warm glow. Birds don't just start chirping a chorus of "Wake up sleepy heads". No, this is not a fairytale. In reality I roll over, slap the alarm off, wipe the drool from the corner of my month and get up out of our nice cozy bed and turn on the coffee pot. The cat's just gave us the stink eye, wondering why anyone would get up at this hour.
Our shift starts at 6:30 in the morning. We require 2 cups of coffee to start functioning at any productive level.
This is what it is like.
We enjoy our two cups, get the other things done that need doing. We trudge out of our RV at 6:10 to walk down the hill to our job. Our high visibility vests reflecting in the street lights as we dodge the Kentucky drivers racing down the street. No sidewalks here. "Car!" We keep telling each other and then we squeeze over to the side of the road. Stay out of the grass. Who knows how many doggy land mines are lying in wait to just smother your shoe in chocolaty goodness.
We go through the turnstiles, make 3-4 attempts at opening our locker, then say "screw it" and just hang up our jackets and put away our lunches.
6:25 we punch in. Grab a scanner and head over to the start up. Stretch, get told any important information we need to start our day and by 6:35 we are picking.
6:36 pick. 6:37 pick. 6:38 pick. 6;39 pick. On and on until 9:00 A.M. Breaktime! Depending on where you are in the warehouse, the walk to the break room can take you anywhere from 2-3 minutes, up to 5 minutes. Serious, you can get 5 minutes away and at the end of the day that walk gets to be very long. You finally get to the break room, sit down with a beverage and look up at the clock. Damn! it is 9:15. I just sat down.
9:15 we log into our scanner to see where in the warehouse we have to go to start again.
9:16 pick, 9:17 pick, 9:18 pick. 9:19 pick. So on and on it goes. 11:25 is never going to get here. Then all of a sudden it is lunch time. You didn't notice because your brain has gone numb. Again you start to head to the break room. Grab your lunch and jostle your way to a microwave. "Excuse me, excuse me". You wait your turn to finally get a microwave. However the person before you had their lunch blow up in it or you wait there because there is still time on it. So after a few moments you open it to find it empty and the person before you just never cleared it.
11:55 line up at the time clock and punch back in. Grab your scanner and head to the startup area to stretch again and start the second half of the day.
12:00 pick, 12:01 pick, 12:02 pick, 12:03 pick. Your body goes into auto mode. Look at the scanner, go to the location, scan the bin, look for the item you need, scan the item, look for the next location and the cycle just repeats itself over and over. Literally a couple hundred times a day. I have been picking at about 180 to 250 items in a session. So that could be 720 to 1000 items a day. Or as they want us to say instead of items, smiles.
2:30 break time! Back to the front of the building. Sit for 15 minutes and then back to the scanner.
2:45 pick, 2:46 pick, 2:47 pick, 2:48 pick. Your mind starts to wander, when you scan an item(smile), if it is correct it lets you know with a single beep. If it is wrong it goes BEE BOOP, BEE BOOP. I don't speak scanner but if I did I think that it is saying "F@#K YOU, F@#K YOU". Finally you look at the clock. Can it be?
5:00. Let the stampede begin. Mooooo, Moooo. One more 10 hour day finished. Trudge up the hill and fall into your recliner. Dinner and a little TV and then it is time to shower and go to bed to start it all over.
So that is it. The life of the rich and famous. Not. LSEP