Category Archives: Team Playing Sucks

Taking One for the Team

I believe I’ve mentioned before that the parent company of my employer requires us to pitch in and help out from time to time. We are required to work at two warehouse sales per year (if we travel for the company, otherwise, we are on for all three sales). In addition to this, we are required to assist in the warehouse or call center in December. Since I have not had previous call center training, I’m on warehouse duty.

Until yesterday my warehouse duty consisted of checking packages before they were shipped out to customers. While it can be physically taxing (some of the boxes are full of heavy books), and I pretty much hurt my back every year, I’ve resigned myself to it. Yesterday, though, I was required to do “picking” (no, not noses or wedgies). This involved waiting for boxes to come off a conveyer belt, checking the slip, retrieving the item, plunking in the box, and shoving the box back onto the conveyer belt. Not terribly complicated, but not exactly what I went to university for either.

The first three hours were pretty slow. I was just about to pat myself on the back when the onslaught began. All of the sudden, large boxes were flying at me. The last hour I think we had about 150 large boxes come off the conveyer belt. Unfortunately the conveyer belt does not handle the large boxes very well, and so the line kept jamming. Boxes crashed into each other, and one or two even fell off the line. People were telling me to reset the line constantly, which would have been fine, if I’d known how to do it. Then the guy who was opening up the boxes of stuff went on break without leaving me with enough stinky ugly doormats to put in the boxes. So for ten minutes or so, until some people who actually work in the warehouse realized that something was going wrong came to help me, boxes were just piling up, and the conveyer belt was jamming ,and I was saying the “eff” word a lot.

Even though three people wound up helping me, and we were rushing around like proverbial headless chickens, we were still backed up when it was time for me to go. The bell dinged, I said, “Bye,” and then I went to leave. There was just one problem. I could barely walk. It took me forever to get back to my desk, and when I got there I couldn’t sit down. My back was one big zone of pain. I had two more hours to work, but there was no way I could sit for two hours to do it. Before I could drive home, I had to take four Advil to loosen my back up enough to make the trip (I would apologize for the reckless driving, but see post on Hummers below). Once home, I took a forty-five minute hot shower, used the shiatsu massager I got last year after warehouse duty, and then applied a hot water bottle. I fell asleep in my comfy chair at 7:30 and was in bed at 8:00 (not normal). When the alarm went off at 7:00 this morning, I was stunned. I slept for another hour before hauling my sorry ass out of bed.

I feel like an old lady today. I’m sitting up ramrod straight, and it hurts to turn my head. I got myself put back on checking for next week, and if I feel so much as a twinge, I’m going home. The team does not get my back.