A Day in the Life of a Furniture Warehouse Worker
I still remember my first day like yesterday. I arrived at 8.30 a.m. with a couple of newbies and got ourselves safety outfits in no time. Our supervisor just told us that there won't be any briefings in any mornings and we will learn by doing (not by trials-and-errors because it was a high-risk environment so we had to be aware of dangers).
Our working schedule was pretty flexible. We needed to be at work between 7 to 9 a.m. and do the job for eight hours. We can choose to eat lunch any time, some even ate a few times a day. Drinking beverages was allowed so there were empty cans all over the warehouse.
The first task every morning was unloading parts of furnitures from containers, using a forklift truck. After an hour of two of unloading, I needed to do some calculations and provide reports to my supervisor. Simple numbers represented a huge role in our jobs, for example - losing a bag of special screws might require a 2-weeks-of-waiting for an importer to deliver new ones.
Sometimes, we had to unload stuffs by hands if stevedores have loaded them too high or if the forklift truck was too wide for containers. There was great heatwaves inside containers so we had to hydrate frequently if everything needed to be done without machines.
Typically, the first break was a lunch break because we drank coffee throughout the day, even while running errands so there were no coffee breaks separately. As far as I can recollect, everyone of us brought lunch to work because the closest restaurant was kilometers away.
After lunch and a great chitchat with work buddies, it was usually a stocktaking time. I had to again check on things that I have received in the morning, search for exact requirements for different distributors and then decide whether the stuffs would be sent out or stock up. The entire process usually took up to a couple of hours then the rest of the day was transporting parts of furnitures to their specified locations, either to shelves or dispatch zones.
The logic behind the warehouse industry is pretty simple because it's pure logistics. First receive goods, then either stock or deliver them to given destinations, but the real challenge is hidden in driving skills.
There were so many heavy machines that you could control and every each of them could accidentally do harm to stuffs, and even worse, to the colleagues. Some of them were easy handle like forklift trucks; some of them were excited because they reminded me of rollercoasters because I was controlling a hanging metal carriage in the air, 20 meters from the ground; and some of them needed special driving driving like moving sideways.
Nevertheless, working in a warehouse was a lot of fun because my co-workers were very relaxed folks. Sarcasm was the best flavoring for Mondays.
I would like to share some facts from my own experience:
- Bringing lunch to work was necessary
- Colleagues were laid-back and didn't care about your backgrounds
- Being precise with numbers played a more vital role than being fast at completing tasks
- Team work was not necessary because a lot of work could be done alone
- The monthly salary was above average
- Flexible working hours motivated people to keep their jobs
- Safe, durable and comfortable outfits created a convenient working environment
In sum - This is a good job for anyone - from students to pensioners - due to the flexible working hours and freedom during the days. The casual atmosphere provided a happy working environment which made employees to be able to go home satisfied. It was normal to find a person who has worked his or her entire life in warehouses.
My advice for a more convenient working environment - Avoid meeting new colleagues with conclusions. Many of them that I have worked with were pretty introverted at first, but appeared to be warm and chatty after breaking the ice. Also remember to bring plenty of water to stay hydrated. Even though, there are a lot of machineries, the physical job is unavoidable.
Thanks for reading, see you next time!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Davie Chen