Stitch Fix has instituted observations for their workers and tonight at the Bizzy Hizzy I experienced my first one. It was supposed to be in pick, but I was moved to QC as my shift supervisor came looking for me.
She decided to come see me in QC. This was nerve-wracking experience as I really respect this supervisor.
After so many bad bosses, it’s hard to feel out my position in the warehouse.
In part, because the feedback has been so positive. I often wonder if I am still in the “honeymoon” phase of this warehouse job.
So my first observation, in a department I really don’t even like, happened about 10:30 pm on a Friday when I was already exhausted.
I’d been in pick all week— averaging 144 fixes a night with a couple nights almost hitting 152. The goal (DME or “daily minimum expectation) is 160. So I am consistently at 87.5%. I start every night strong, often hitting 72 or 80 before our mid-shift meal.
But by 9:30, I fall apart. The carts that normally take 20 minutes are now taking 25. And that makes a big difference. This is so frustrating.
I so love pick, and I want to stay in pick, and honestly, I don’t even mind when they move me to QC at the end of the night because I see the carts backing up in the garage and I think I would be more useful over there. And it keeps me from beating myself up too much about the numbers.
Last night I did 112 fixes before getting moved to QC at 10. I wasn’t going to surpass 144 with that number. But almost every cart I did was out in the far side of the warehouse— which meant 750 steps out and back just to reach the garage. A full shift in pick, at the pace I am moving now, gives me 25,000 steps in a night.
Then the software had be zigzagging in a strange pattern. That might be because large portions of the warehouse are unbinned (empty). Stitch Fix had a massive shipment of flat pack holders that they plan to install.
Plus on Monday, they will be switching our software and as of right now, no one is really sure how it will work.
What is hindering my performance?
- Am I tired? It is Friday after all, and my weekday sleep patterns are erratic.
- Is it the number of fixes in the far end of the warehouse?
- Is it the emptiness of the warehouse?
- Is it stamina and fortitude?
- Do I always fall apart at the end of the night due to fatigue-induced lack of motor control caused by my cerebral palsy?
All of this is going through my head when this shift supervisor that I really respect turns up for my first observation.
By the numbers, I was only at 69% DME in part because of performance anxiety. We discussed what she saw and then she emailed me the same feedback we discussed. That was a really nice touch. It’s often annoying that our superiors in the warehouse hierarchy email us communication as we are warehouse workers without time to find computers.
Granted with apps and what not we can do it on our phones, but that just feels like a lot of personal effort for a unskilled job.
But on days like this, it sure makes me feel like a person instead of one little piece in this big machine.
Here’s what really surprised me—-
I am good at folding clothes.
Yup, they said so. Officially. And apparently even though my job is brainless and feels like the work of an automaton, I have developed my own strategies that, according to this supervisor, have both efficiency and the client experience in mind.
I will share her exact words with you, “Angel’s folds are great! I can really tell she cares about her work and what her end product looks like to the client. Love how she recognizes the clothing she has in front of her and how she plans in her head how she will build her stack. She folds her clothes in the order of how she stacks them and stacks as she folds.”
Seems like common sense to me.
And to be fair, if you want to see the criticism, here it is, “By scanning all the items first and then taking the items out of bags, this will help to ensure that she scans all the items prior to folding and minimize the amount of rescans she may need to do. It will also serve to see if she’s missing something right away instead of spending time to unwrap and realize something is missing. I’d also recommend trying to do a fluid motion when scanning the box prior to putting it on the line. It will be a bit more ergonomic and create less touches of the scanner and the box.”
That boosted my spirits.