After the Fall: When the Work Place Treats You as a Person

Last night, after my fall on Monday, I returned to work at the Stitch Fix Bizzy Hizzy. I was assigned to receiving NAP (non-apparel), specifically binning shoes.

I’ve come to the conclusion that most jobs at the Bizzy Hizzy are mind-numbingly boring when you first do them, until you develop a rhythm and master the task.

Shoes go on the bottom shelves in NAP so you get a little stool on wheels and get to scoot around on that, getting up every 30 minutes or so to refill a cloth tote/cart (like you see in a laundry facility) with more shoes.

Sitting on the stool kills me— my back doesn’t like it and by the end of the night by butt hurts. But like anything, eventually you find ways to get used to it.

I get so sick of the same old tank tops last night I wanted to wear my Goth troll doll t-shirt. It comes exactly to the waist of my Stitch Fix Gaiam yoga pants, so it should be fine when measured against the no crop top rule. But to be safe I layered a longer shirt under it.

I think I binned almost 800 pairs of shoes. The section was packed pretty tight.

The first thing I had to do upon arrival was grab a pallet jack and move a cardboard gaylord of processed shoes across the warehouse from inbound receiving to NAP. Now the teenager’s father spent most of his career as a shipper/receiver so I’ve heard a lot about the utility of pallet jacks but I’ve never used one.

And Stitch Fix uses primarily plastic pallets so they are lighter than wooden ones.

And I did it. And texted my family excitedly. To which I received this text from the teenager:

“Oh my, that’s cool. And who TF let your beat up ass use a pallet jack? ‘“She can’t handle her own two feet… here’s a pallet.’”

The 17-year-old

I cackled in the middle of the warehouse as Siri read that one to me.

Somewhere in the second half of the night, I had the opportunity to relay this to my shift supervisor who stopped by to check on me. I respect this woman, did almost instantly. Not sure why— probably mostly because of how she dresses and carries herself.

(And she is a Stitch Fix client and wears a lot of Stitch Fix clothes.) Personally, I like when people visibly support the company’s that employ them. I feel it’s good for morale.

We had a chuckle about the pallet Jack comment. I showed her the damage on my shoulder (and she winced). I shrugged it off as no big deal and told her it was part of my life. Then she said something that touched me:

I’m sorry that you have to experience that.

Some of my wounds

She talked about her struggles getting her mom to advocate for her health as she gets older, and that she hopes I’m a good advocate for myself and that as I grow older I listen to my daughter.

I hope so, too.

After final break, my immediate supervisor stopped to see me. She also asked how I was and winced when I showed her some of my scabs.

These exchanges made me feel valued as a person. While Stitch Fix as a company is driven by metrics, which they have to be, I’ve found that at least in my nine months at the Bizzy Hizzy, the culture tries to make people feel respected and appreciated as individuals and part of the team.

Speaking of the team, the Bizzy Hizzy has frozen hiring on day shift so growth will now focus on second shift (“midnight society”). My supervisor and I discussed this briefly and I said I hope this doesn’t change the culture of our shift. We’re closer, more versatile and have more fun than day shift.

Because the team is cross-trained and understands each other’s jobs, I feel like that improves our ability to work together efficiently. Because we’re a fraction of the size of day shift, we know each other and really focus on goals.

I don’t want that to change.

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