Ever wonder what it would be like to be one of the 80,000 seasonal workers Amazon hired this year to handle the spike in Christmas orders?
Gawker has posted a stream of consciousness narrative by one of these temps, relaying what it was like to work 60-hour weeks for at least two week. All told, he pocketed “a damn hard earned $2,000.”
The takeaway from the rambling account is that working inside the Amazon machine is like an ant farm: it doesn’t take a lot of intelligence to find the correct item and place it in the right box, but it’s physically exhausting, a bit lonely at times and absolutely buzzing with human activity.
As evidence of the stamina required to do the job, the unnamed worker said: “My knees creak and pop, my ankles too. Not normal! This must be why they have mandatory stretching.” In the morning, he was required to do “22 picks in 15 minutes,” adding “I don’t mind the running around. I can handle it. But, it’s go go go. You have to have stamina.”
When he doesn’t provide Gawker with any updates for eight days, he blames fatigue. “Sorry for a break in the updates, but the 60 hour weeks take their toll!…I don’t talk with too many people, but this seems to be the shared story. Work, go home, eat, shower, sleep. Repeat.”
Other telling parts of the account revealed the flow of business. Two days before Christmas, it was “weirdly” quiet, with many people leaving at lunch. But the day after Christmas was mandatory overtime, with Amazon expecting “a huge number of people to be using their gift cards.”
It’s a job that not many can withstand. According to his superior, of the 2,000 temps hired this season at his location, they were down to 400 by Dec. 29.
The worker, who clearly was able to make light of the situation, lamented: “And to think I may never see this beautiful red haired woman again!”