Sunday, May 4, 2014

Charley and the.....

Oompa Loompas aren't really that color.  They just think they are because of all the drugs they're on.  Wonka's factory may be a marvel of efficiency and a wonder of technology, but that doesn't mean you should drink the chocolate.  He said so himself.

All those cute song and dance routines?  Just part of the beginning of shift cheer leading, company morals, and pre-work stretch routines.  Seriously, it imparts company values and is supposed to build team work and loyalty while preventing workplace injury from repetitive motion stress.

You didn't see any repetitive assembly line work in the factory?  Of course not.  Shift change is the best time for a tour!  All you see is the brief shift change routines, chants, and meetings--and none of the lonely exhausting work that results in your wonderful chocolates.  You don't really want to know what's happening behind the scenes.

It's mind numbing, exhausting work for low pay, but of course they are going to tow the company line--Wonka provides them with their addictions--chocolate--but only just enough.  Besides who else will protect them from the Vernicious Knnits?  It's not like they could learn to stand up to them on their own.  Keep them dependent and they'll act happy because they don't think they have a choice but to do so.

I mean the man can't get along with adults and doesn't really like kids.  Equal relationships are not his thing.  Why else does he need a kid--one someone else has bothered to raise?  Because an adult would never do it 'his way'--would never buy his stories.  What he needs--to keep control--while ensuring his way continues is a ready made kid--one that is pliable, good, and gullible--a kid who never had much and so will be so wowed and enthralled by the wonder of it all that he'll take in the whole story without so much as a blink.  Which is exactly what Charley did.. Believe what you will, that's the real lesson from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

And how do I know? You ask.  Because I work there.

Yes.  I AM an Oompa Loompa.

Well, not exactly at Wonka's Factory, but....

What online store provides our modern society with every good thing?  Where do you buy your books, your toy helicopters, jewelry, car parts, your cat food, detergent, Alcatraz Ball and Chains, your butt bootie enhancers?


Seriously rarer things like books, helicopters, jewelry, balls and chains, and bootie enhancers I can understand buying online. They can be harder to find.  But really if you buy your cat food, peanut butter, and laundry detergent from a place that pays someone to box them individually and charges you to mail them out, you have problems.  There's this thing called sustainability.  Have you heard of it?

If you are ordering butt bootie enhancers you may have problems too.  But they are of an entirely different sort.  And honestly there are a surprising number of you.  I do understand why you would choose to order them online though.

Anyway as I was saying:  Amazon is Wonka.  They are one and the same.

Amazon prides itself on making the customer happy.  It also prides itself on technology and loyalty.  Above all you will do it the Amazon way.

You enter through bright turnstiles that require individual ID card swipes to get through.  Next you go through an entry screening that would make the TSA proud.  Then you pass the drugs.  Yes, free drugs.  Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Naproxin Sodium, Sudafed, Benadryl, and on and on.  If it is over the counter and available in generic all you have to do is turn a knob.

They have delivery cars that drive themselves.  Stay out of their driving lanes--that's the 'orange crush zone'.  Orange is the color of vest people wear in the factory--and the cars don't stop for people.  I told you it was Wonka.  You didn't believe me?

My gloves and tools come from computerized vending machine that recognizes my ID card and spits out only what I'm authorized to use.  Yes, I wear nice pretty gloves.  Sound familiar?  After our song and dance routine comes my station work--that's the part you'll never see--even though the tape machine is a wonder.  It tells me what size box I should use and spits out exactly the right amount of tape for it.  It works great--except when it doesn't.

On occasion I'm told to pack a printer into a cell phone box.  Doesn't fit so well.  That's why they need people instead of just machines.  The machine would try to make it fit in.  Well, some of the people that work here would too for that matter.  The other day the thing malfunction and started spitting out tape at random sizes indiscriminately.  Talk about Wonkaesque.  They couldn't fix it, so I had to figure out how to deal with random tape spitting while keeping up my rate.

I'm a packer.  I pack at least 85 boxes an hour.  That's my rate.  This includes making the right sized box, putting the items in, printing out the packing slip, taping it up, putting on the shipping label, dropping it on the line and reaching for the next item while reading the computer screen.  Twist, bend, stretch, fold, fold, place, pack, tape, tape tape, twist, toss, twist, bend, stretch, fold fold...  85 boxes an hour also includes breaks--during which my box packing rate is zero.  So I better hurry up and pack faster because I think that may mean that I really have to pack more than 85 an hour with my zero's averaged in.

The first day I noticed the drug dispenser and walked right past it.  Same on the second day.  I mean I was SORE, but really?  By lunch on the second day I succumbed.  The pain was too much.  I read the sign as I turned the knob:  "NOT FOR WORK RELATED INJURIES.  FOR NON WORK RELATED ILLNESSES ONLY."  Really?  Wonka must have been here.  That is exactly his sense of humor.  At break I popped another two.

The next morning I hit up the dispenser on the way in.  I was taking the advice they give cancer patients.  Stay ahead of the pain.  It's easier to manage that way.

Cancer patients?  Really?  Who am I kidding?  They got me hooked.  Amazon the drug pushers.  Just like Wonka--and they both dodge all the responsibility....

Now you know how the chocolate is made.  Anyone want a bite?

1 comment:

  1. Coming next week: a less fanciful explanation (not that this one was in any way inaccurate--just incomplete) of the inside of an Amazon Fulfillment Center.