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Warehouse Wage Slave Reading Review

In: Social Issues

Submitted By cokeandcatie
Words 8617
Pages 35
I Was a Warehouse Wage Slave
Read the story that was nominated for a 2013 National Magazine Award.
By Mac McClelland | Mon Feb. 27, 2012 7:00 AM EST

"Don't take anything that happens to you there personally," the woman at the local chamber of commerce says when I tell her that tomorrow I start working at "Amalgamated Product Giant Shipping Worldwide Inc." She winks at me. I stare at her for a second.
"What?" I ask. "Why, is somebody going to be mean to me [1] or something?"
She smiles. "Oh, yeah." This town somewhere west of the Mississippi is not big; everyone knows someone or is someone who's worked for Amalgamated. "But look at it from their perspective. They need you to work as fast as possible to push out as much as they can as fast as they can. So they're gonna give you goals, and then you know what? If you make those goals, they're gonna increase the goals. But they'll be yelling at you all the time. It's like the military. They have to break you down so they can turn you into what they want you to be. So they're going to tell you, 'You're not good enough, you're not good enough, you're not good enough,' to make you work harder. Don't say, 'This is the best I can do.' Say, 'I'll try,' even if you know you can't do it. Because if you say, 'This is the best I can do,' they'll let you go. They hire and fire constantly, every day. You'll see people dropping all around you. But don't take it personally and break down or start crying when they yell at you."
Several months prior, I'd reported on an Ohio warehouse [2] where workers shipped products for online retailers under conditions that were surprisingly demoralizing and dehumanizing, even to someone who's spent a lot of time working in warehouses, which I have. And then my editors sat me down. "We want you to go work for Amalgamated Product Giant Shipping Worldwide Inc.," they said. I'd have to give my real...

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