Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Worky McWorky

I thought I would tell you a bit about my seasonal job but Google failed me in the quest for an image of the carts we use in the warehouse. There are dozens of them lining the main aisle when we come in at 5 AM, but they soon disappear in the stacks only to come back to be emptied down conveyor belts. (They don't do this on their own- if they did, there would be no use for such as I to be hired!)

Ameranth and I are up to a full 8 hour day now in our work-hardening process. Thank goodness they have the progression they do, I think most of us would have quit the first day if we started off at 8! My feet are not complaining as much and I hope my back shuts up pretty soon too.

Getting back to the carts, I am forced to draw one myself, which I did in a hurry and not in hopes of praise for my abilities, as you can see.
(I did take some artistic license in that I really don't move fast enough to leave little dust whirls behind me. And I don't smile that much.) 

But the cart does have that nifty little ladder that you use to get to the 4th and 5th shelves. When you step on it, it goes down a few inches and little rubber feet hold everything still. When it's full you line it up with the conveyor belt and release a latch and shove the whole top part out over the chute. There is no bottom in the moving part so the items drop out- unless the belt isn't moving then you have to leave the cart there to empty on it's own and find another one to start all over again.

This is me with a full hopper, and overflow on the bottom shelf and pushing empty cartons in front of me down the aisle. (I really don't get that annoyed though, at least not since I mastered the art of turning a corner with the boxes)

I find the whole warehouse operation to be fascinating. Who thought this stuff up? The belts circling the building, bringing items to be packed; the other belts taking cardboard boxes to be recycled; and the location system. There is no fixed place for each item- the stacks are numbered and when a carton is placed on a shelf and scanned the computer knows where it is and creates assignments. We get a list of locations and the item that is supposed to be there. They are listed sequentially so you could find all of your 120 items within a single 35 foot row, with someone in front of or behind you. Or there could be no one in sight until you climb up to the 3rd little step and you see someone else popping their head up too, 2 aisles over. It's like being a prairie dog. 

Twice a day we have stretch breaks where we all meet in the center and do group stretches. (Not like Twister, but all at the same time) All these people come out of the aisles, stretch, then melt away again in every direction. It gives me a little "Children of the Corn" feeling.

It's after 4 now and I only have two hours left to shower, eat and go to bed, so this educational post is now done.I must say though that I am enjoying this experience so far- I've never worked in a warehouse environment before and the time does pass quickly when you are busy, busy and moving all day.


In Real Life said...

I love your drawings! The warehouse does sound fascinating. I hope that your back is feeling better!

Anonymous said...

Lin - think we have your work day down pat! Keep up the good work!! (And Ameranth, too)!!