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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

So you want to work in a Warehouse? Pros and cons lessons I have learned after working at Wet Noses and Stockpot

(working draft)
Hi Everyone.  I had a very busy and long week last week.  Have any of you ever wanted to work in a Warehouse (or distribution center) setting?  I got a pretty good taste of what it is like to work in a Warehouse last week at a company called Wet Noses in Monroe.  I had to sign a confidentiality agreement when working there so I can't talk too much about what they do, but long story short: they make treats for dogs (sometimes they can look like cookies and cupcakes too).  When I was there, I was working there through Pace Staffing / Allstarz Staffing as a temp worker (with the possibility of getting hired on full time in January), though sadly despite my best efforts, I was "let go" last Thursday night, so I no longer work for them.  When I was there, we were working with these cupcakes on a stick lollipops (not sure what they are called) that were wrapped, and shipped.  I did several different stations, including:

- Putting lollipop sticks in the cupcakes
- wrapping the cup cakes
- working with labels and price tags
- Prep work
- working on a station where you had to put together boxes, put cupcakes in the boxes and prepare them for shipping.

My strongest station was probably the one where you were working with labels and price tags, and my weakest one was probably the one where you had to wrap the cupcakes.  It was one of those types of stations where you had to do it several times to get better, but I think that one is one of the stations that lead to me getting let go (was tricky to get down).  Anyways, if you are looking to work in a Warehouse, here are some pros and cons of working at them (note that this does not mean every warehouse job out there, but these are baseed on my experiences with them):

Pros:
- Team environment
- Can be a good earner if you are good at it.  At my job, I was earning $11.50 per hour and the average shift went from 6:00 am to 2:30 pm (sometimes shifts went to 3:30 too and you get an extra $17 bonus when going the extra hour).  So that is about $109 per day ($92 per day if you don't go over time), which equates up to $545 per week before taxes or about $2000+ per month
- Lots of work to do during days
- You do get regular breaks.  At my job, we got 2 ten minute breaks, plus a 30 minute lunch each day.

Cons:
- Very fast paced environment.  Everything you are given to do has to be done quickly.  Pressure is on to get through tons of products.  I remember on the station I was on where I was putting together boxes under pressure to move very quickly, which can be tricky if you are new at making boxes.  I don't know about you, but speed can be a challenge for me (I have a condition called Aspergers, which is a condition that makes me a bit slower than others).  If you can't move really fast, then warehouse settings are probably not for you.
- Long hours.  I was usually working 8 hours, with the occasional 9 hour shift.  By the way, the shift I was working required me to get up about 4:00 am and working from 6:00 am to 2:30 pm (sometimes 3:30), and most of the time you are standing and working at the different stations your supervisers assigns you.  You do get breaks and lunches though.
- Poor job security.  If you want to work at a warehouse, know that you never know if or when you are going to wind up on the chopping block.  If you are not fast enough, make mistakes, have tasks you can't quite get down, prepare to find another job.  This can be challenging for people with disabilities or not used to working in a warehouse setting as there are many ways you can find yourself getting "let go" or worse, fired.  It might help to have a plan b in mind if the job you want doesn't work out.

Well, that is all for now.

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