In this piece on Mother Jones, Mac McClelland talks about his "brief, backbreaking, rage-inducing, low-paying, dildo-packing time inside the online-shipping machine." The entire experience of working for large warehouses that handle the shipping of products from online retailers to customers sounds like a scene out of Terry Gilliam's Brasil.
In the center of the room, a video plays loudly and continuously on a big screen. Even more than you are hurting the company, a voice-over intones as animated people do things like accidentally oversleep, you are hurting yourself when you are late because you will be penalized on a point system, and when you get too many points, you're fired -- unless you're late at any point during your first week, in which case you are instantly fired. Also because when you're late or sick you miss the opportunity to maximize your overtime pay. And working more than eight hours is mandatory. Stretching is also mandatory, since you will either be standing still at a conveyor line for most of your minimum 10-hour shift or walking on concrete or metal stairs. And be careful, because you could seriously hurt yourself. And watch out, because some of your coworkers will be the kind of monsters who will file false workers' comp claims. If you know of someone doing this and you tell on him and he gets convicted, you will be rewarded with $500.
And it only gets worse from there. Will make me think twice about my online order next time.
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