The Bizzy Hizzy Shift Decision

As a writer and now a publisher, I often refer to my job at the Stitch Fix Bizzy Hizzy as part of the second shift (Midnight Society) as the “day job.”

And now, next month, the day job is really becoming a day job.

The head of our warehouse announced last night at 5 p.m. that second shift would be eliminated hopefully by December 5.

Second shift was a Covid-inspired experiment in the Stitch Fix universe and not every warehouse had one. I’m not going to say we were the first or the only, but we might have been. I joined the shift in November and it started when the warehouse reopened after the initial shut down.

We just earned a $1 shift differential a couple months ago.

The concept worked really well— a smaller, cross-trained team that could be moved to different needs in the warehouse to support day shift or function autonomously.

If day shift broke it, we fixed it. And I believe, and this is totally my opinion, that our flexibility allowed us to understand the entire operation and fostered a spirit of teamwork that achieved more than hitting individual metrics.

There is a distinct cultural difference between the two shifts, especially since we all know each other and move around so much.

So, here comes the interesting part, they are eliminating the second shift in favor of moving the warehouse to seven-days-a-week operations, just like our literal neighbors Chewy and Amazon. As the business grows in what the now call “Freestyle,” or people directly ordering what they want from custom-curated offerings based on the results of the algorithm (eliminating the stylist), Stitch Fix wants to be able to ship out orders so quickly they arrive in a day or two.

The Lehigh Valley is conveniently located within one to two shipping days of most of the country. I was aware of this because of my work with anti-human trafficking nonprofit ASPIRE to Autonomy.

I commend the company for adapting to the needs and desires of the marketplace especially since supply chain issues, the pandemic at large and internet retail remains a “Wild Wild West” landscape.

But this… is hard to digest.

Most of us have our reasons for working second shift and this complicates our lives. Supervisors were passing out information on child care resources and they told us that we would be emailed paperwork to rank our preferences for what day shift we want to join.

During the coming days, our shift supervisors will be pulling us aside to discuss our individual transitions. And we were told we would have first pick of the new shifts. And it almost sounded like preferential treatment in work centers, too.

The choices are:

  1. Traditional day shift: 6 am to 2:30 pm or 6:30 am to 3 pm Monday through Friday
  2. The four tens option: 6:30 am to 5 pm Sunday through Wednesday or Wednesday through Saturday.

I am leaning toward option 2, Wednesday through Saturday. Many of my friends have already expressed concern that I can’t physically handle ten hour days. I have done it before during mandatory overtime.

What’s the difference? Once pain and difficulty start, what’s the difference between eight hours and ten? I believe, if I can physically complete the ten hours, the extra day off would actually give my body more rest time. But perhaps I am naive.

If I do the traditional work week, I have to give up my personal training sessions, which would also have a negative impact on my health. I also would have five days where the animals in my house are left unattended for long stretches. The weekend shift lowers this to three days.

If I work Sunday through Wednesday, I can still hit the gym Tuesday and Saturday. And I would be available for FURR related events on Saturday. I can also keep a regular Friday chiropractor appointment.

My medical care will get more complicated— because even though Stitch Fix would still allow me to go, I will have to find minimally disruptive appointments. For example, I have a doctor appointment every morning this week and I need a pile of x-rays.

I’m going to have to go to bed 4-5 hours earlier than I’m used to, and get up at 5 a.m. That sounds brutal.

And I’m no longer going to be able to drive the teenager to work.

So even though a simple move, it’s really complicated. And a hard choice.

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