Warehouse Days and Nights, Part Two: The Secret Break Room

closed_area_poster-p228868388143288493tdar_210Part Two of Two

My job at Amalgamated Whatever & Co. was to tell a team of three or four hourlies what truck to unload, make sure they worked quickly (which they always did, with no urging from me), and then forklift out the pallets of boxes they heaped up. For some reason, packages arrived at the warehouse in trucks without pallets. Sometimes they arrived strewn all over the floor of the truck, as if they had been pitched in from a distance; sometimes they were packed so tightly floor to ceiling that they had to be pried loose with great effort.

I asked the floor manager once, “Why doesn’t this stuff arrive on pallets?”

“Because it doesn’t,” he replied.

The boxes had to be separated by type and destination, then stacked onto pallets to be transported to the warehouse floor. Later, those palleted boxes could be moved to other trucks for delivery to stores. There was no other way to do it. It was brute, stupid, back-breaking work. In the short time I was employed there, a matter of several weeks, I don’t believe I ever heard anybody complain about it.
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