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Amazon Hiring Fair $14.25/hour

Discussion in 'Employment and Students' started by Bill, Aug 26, 2018.

  1. Bill

    Bill Full Member

    Edited. Not supposed to post this without permission.

    Here's an article about working at Amazon warehouse.


    The Hiring Process
    I just sold my business at the end of 2016 so I have a lot of free time. So I applied just before Christmas for a job in their warehouse (surprise surprise – Amazon hires A LOT of people from Black Friday to Christmas). The “interview” took place in a portable parked inside the parking lot of the FBA warehouse. When I say interview, I use this term in the loosest sense – me and a bunch of other people (the interviewees were disproportionately made up with a lot of Syrian refugees who had just arrived in Vancouver) basically filled in a sheet with our contact information, gave some ID and were told “welcome to Amazon”.

    For some odd reason they hired me after the Christmas rush in January, which was probably a good thing as working during the holidays means working a mandatory 60 hour work week. Amazon has basically five positions:

    • There are stockers who receive inventory off the trucks and put it in trucks
    • There are pickers who find the products that need to be shipped
    • There are packers who box up the products and label them
    • There are shippers who load everything onto trucks
    • There are problem solvers who resolve things like missing stock and damaged items
    I got chosen to be a picker for their YVR3 warehouse in Vancouver. It’s their largest warehouse in all of North America in terms of cubic footage.

    My Observations
    I only worked there for a week (I planned on making it two weeks but ran into some childcare issues) but it was more than enough time to get a good feel for things. Here’s some of my observations over my few days working for Amazon.

    What a Work Day Looked Like and the Overall Working Environment
    The first day consisted mostly of safety and corporate culture training. The most surprising thing from all of the training though was the lack of indoctrination of overall Amazon culture into warehouse staff. I fully expected for at least one of the videos to include a welcome message from Jeff Bezos. Instead we got a a poorly edited welcome message from one of the ex-vice presidents. I’ll bet the tech support in Bangalore even get a welcome message from Jeff! It sort of felt like warehouse employees were treated as second class citizens within Amazon. With that being said, the overall morale at the warehouse seemed pretty positive.

    After the initial training day we were basically thrown to the wolves and worked a regular day of work. Every day began with a short 5 minute group stretch. After that, everyone picked up a bar code scanning gun and went to work. The bar code scanner was everyone’s life line. You would get all of your tasks for the day through this scanner, i.e. “Today you’ll be picking multiple item orders in section C of the warehouse” and the bar code scanner would give you a list of all the items you were required to pick. It was such a fool-proof process that my 1.5 year old daughter could probably be as effective as me if she could walk just a little bit faster.

    Once you had your scanner, you would take a cart (a glorified shopping cart basically), and walk around the warehouse picking items as your scanner guided you until your cart was full. Once your cart was full, you would drop it off to a parking area for all of the full carts. The packers would then take these carts and pack everything. One of the most baffling things was how there was a complete lack of carts. I would wait around 5 or 10 minutes sometimes to get a cart and many others would do the same thing. And on top of this, many of the carts were in horrible shape with missing or broken wheels. Really Amazon? What would it take to have an excess of carts in excellent shape?

    Throughout the day we would actually “run out of work”, in other words, there would be no more items to pick. The warehouse was clearly overstaffed. But showing just how much order volume gets pushed through Amazon, all you would have to do is wait a few minutes and wait for people to order some more stuff on Amazon and you would get assigned another 50 or so items to pick.

    Overall, the morale of the warehouse was quite good, at least given the fact everyone was working pretty grueling 10-hour days. I expected to be working with a bunch of societal delinquents who hated their lives. I was prepared to be on guard about being attacked by a disgruntled employee with a box cutter at any time. Surprisingly though, the job seemed to attract a lot of younger, very normal and social people – either those funding their backpacking trips abroad or university students taking a semester off. The overall positive morale of the warehouse probably had a lot to do with the pay. Amazon seems to have a bit of a recruitment issue and subsequently they tend to overpay. They start you off at $13.75 and there’s a lot of opportunity for mandatory overtime and voluntary overtime. One can easily earn $40,000+ working at their warehouse. It’s a tough job, but you get paid well and you work with good people.

    More at: https://www.ecomcrew.com/i-worked-at-an-amazon-fba-warehouse/
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2018

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