Wanna look ready for summer? Become an Amazon picker!

Work Hard – Have Fun – Make History

Few days ago I was watching the famous spanish TV program “El Intermedio” meanwhile I was having the dinner, as I do every night, when suddenly they started talking about Amazon. We have all heard about Amazon logistics: enormous warehouses, almost infinite SKUs, deliveries all over the world… It is simply impresive. But what I heard about them in the TV was not that impresive.

An average picker walks around 24 km a day. They are expected to collect a customer order every 33 seconds, or 50 and 60 items per hour at the Amazon plant. You are bound to get, to the point of exhaustion, up to 130 items per hour. This way you will be a model picker. Physical fatigue forces you to not think and provokes a void in your mind. Walk, pick, come back, walk, pick, come back.


Nichole Gracely, which was one of Amazon’s best order pickers in the UK warehouses, describes her work in amazon as the following:

As an ordinary order picker, I was toiling in some remote corner of the warehouse, alone for 10 hours, with my every move being monitored by management on a computer screen.

As she says in the follwong interview, they are subjected to ‘unbelievable’ pressure to meet efficiency targets. They even have the toilet breaks timed.

This information makes me question where is the balance between efficiency and workers health. The best and most efficient arrangment may be in conflict with the workers needs. This, sometimes, may be forgoten by the managers.

One thought on “Wanna look ready for summer? Become an Amazon picker!”

  1. For what it’s worth, I’ve been with Amazon for over 3 years now, and I’ve driven the OP (Order Picker) truck for about a year and a half.

    First and foremost, our Area Managers are always drilling into our heads that if we have a complaint, concern or suggestion for improvement, their doors are always open. And over the years, I’ve found this policy to be true. We’re reminded of it at our Stand-Up meetings (which take place twice a day).

    Secondly, our case-picking expectation is 100 units per hour. I personally can pick anywhere between 90 and 200 per hour, depending on the day. Managers give you lots of leeway on the off-days, provided that you adhere to their break rules (two 15 minute breaks and 1/2 hour for lunch. That’s just warehouse standard, and I’ve been doing warehouse for a long time.)

    Third, if you’re not a self-motivated individual who doesn’t like to work alone, then don’t take the job. I personally enjoy the freedom of driving myself to always get better- and I’m never lonely, because I ride with a great crew.

    And finally… If you’re allergic to actual workforce activities, don’t like sweating, and have an aversion to cement walls and cold steel rack systems, then you’re obviously too delicate (and too Enlightened) to perform the exact same duties that our ancestors managed to handle (quite gracefully, I might add) for the past 150 years.

    Long and short… If you can’t handle physical labor on a daily basis (and all of the aches & pains that come with it), then utilize your Masters to the fullest and drive a desk instead.


    Us Slovenly Unedumacated Manual Labor Folk

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