Personal Safety

I work in an Amazon warehouse. Stowing and picking are not fun jobs, for sure. Rate is always there – but it’s usually pretty doable. You do always have to work at a reasonable pace. I never got a writeup for rate, and I never skipped bathroom breaks, or normal breaks.
Of course, I quickly became a problem solver, looking at problems with items, and made significant enough call-outs that effected large scale problems to get a promotion, so of the offered jobs I took a role as a Process Assistant for a Fresh (something like an assistant manager, but in my case since Fresh is so tiny we did a lot of problem-solver-y stuff as well), and now a Non-Inventory Receiver, a support role where I track and receive virtually/physically and handle shipping issues with the items used to run the warehouse (think boxes/paper/tape, also think Bob in learning wants a whiteboard, also think of us as the “everything else” support department, a lot of random problems get dropped on our head). Non-Inventory is so laid back that in the <1 year there I have learned SQL Excel and Access and a little Python/Tableau, given much advice and learned much about personal finance, read all of the FIRE blogs I could care to, perfected a side hustle that earns about 20k a year, and researched and begun to start an FBA business. Nearly half my time is my own. And at the same time, I have the authority to effect changes and make minor decisions. I'm happy with it, and it will probably be the final W-2 job I have, if all goes well with my business.
I don't recommend being a stower or a picker for the entire course of your life. Certainly its a low-level job that requires repetitive motions and very little decision making, and a lot of walking (especially pickers, for sure!). Certainly the pay could be better.
But is a warehouse so bad? I also have (had? put in my 2 weeks notice) a job doing part-time delivery for Domino's. Between stowing and Domino's, I'll take stowing from a quality of life perspective (although I'd certainly prefer and am glad I soon will do neither). Not only is your safety at risk when you're delivering at midnight to the ghetto or just driving a ton, but in my case the AC is kept low inside the store so its nearly a sweatshop this summer and small mistakes are harped on inside the store — and as a driver, since you spend half your time outside the store, it can be difficult to learn all the minutiae as quickly. Domino's pays better, because of tips — but not inside the store! In-store employees and fast food employees elsewhere typically make minimum wage, slightly worse than Amazon.
I guess what I'm saying is that low-level jobs typically suck, wherever you find them, but if you apply yourself in Amazon, you can at least get to reasonable spots where you can make an impact which is satisfying, even if the pay doesn't become amazing (there is a pretty significant paywall between tier 3 – which I'm on, and makes ~$2 better than tier 1, and tier 4, which makes ~$10/hr better than t3 if hourly, similar if salaried).

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