Freaks And Misfits: Dispatches From Santa’s Amazon Warehouse

Santa is not real, and neither are his elves. If you’re old enough to be on the Internet unsupervised, you probably already knew that. However, there are real-life people who fill in for the toy-manufacturing elves, the North Pole, and the flying reindeer. One part of that supply chain is at the Amazon warehouses where our stuff resides. Working there is not fun or easy.

Our semi-estranged ex-sibling site Gawker regularly puts out calls for people to talk about their jobs, and one reader who spent the holidays temping in an Amazon warehouse answered the call. You can read his surprisingly cheerful dispatches that began on December 3rd and ended yesterday over at Gawker. Here are a few quick takes on what is allegedly Amazon’s second-largest warehouse.

On scheduling: “Mandatory 60 hour weeks for the next two weeks. I forget, I think you have to work a minimum number of shifts before you can even THINK about asking for a day off.”

On the carrot of Amazon employment: “This man hints at saying that some people may have a chance at becoming an Amazon hire. He doesn’t really even say that. It’s well worded. But ultimately if we want to become a ‘success story,’ we have to really get out there and ‘give it our all!’ It’s like I’m in some elimination reality show all of sudden.”

On family: “I hate that I’m leaving my dog for 12-14 hours a day.”

On co-workers: “[T]hey do hire just about anyone…It’s all freaks and misfits, again, myself included.”

In all, the warehouse worker declares, it’s “a damn hard-earned $2,000.”

Christmas at Amazon: One Man’s Story [Gawker]

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