Surviving Day 2: First Day Shift with Day Shift

The teenager got up a little before 6 a.m. to drive me to the Bizzy Hizzy. Her father had a car accident yesterday and she needed a ride to her therapist appointment after school.

For those who don’t know me, I am a former journalist and non-profit communications/development professional with mild cerebral palsy working at one of Stitch Fix’s warehouse. For the most part, I fold clothes for a living.

I like the concept, always have since I first read of it in Vogue a decade ago. The company itself has what I refer to as a California culture, which can be a little ridiculous but makes me feel like a person at my job in addition to being a cog in the wheel.

Why am I working at Stitch Fix instead of in a “nice professional job”?

  1. I make as much money at Stitch Fix as I did in my professional jobs, with better benefits and paid time off and proper holidays.
  2. I have less stress.
  3. Although the job can be monotonous at times, it allows me to think throughout the day. I plot my novels. I plan for my business. I guess in a way I meditate.
  4. Although with my health issues, the job can tax my body but it also keeps me more active than an office job.
  5. Until recently, the convenience of second shift hours allowed me to live my own life during the day and work at night. This allowed me to launch my publishing company, Parisian Phoenix Publishing Company. (Please consider purchasing my novels Manipulations and Courting Apparitions. New titles in other genres coming soon. Titles not by me.)

Which brings me full circle. Stitch Fix started second shift (3:30 p.m. to midnight) to split the number of workers in the warehouse during Covid. But now, thanks to the success of experiments with what was “Direct Buy” and is now Stitch Fix Freestyle, the company has transitioned from operating Monday through Friday 6 a.m. to midnight to seven days a week, 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.

From a transportation logistics standpoint it makes total sense. The business model was originally set up to provide customers with a custom-curated box of five items based on their selections on a computerized survey and the input of a personal stylist.

The idea was to combine items selected with your preferences in mind with the element of surprise, making it like receiving a gift in the mail.

But now people can also order whatever they want. And when people order it, we can ship it and have it to them within, in most cases, a day or two.

On the Monday to Friday model, which the employees loved, the person who ordered a shirt Friday at lunch time might not receive it until the following Wednesday.

I respect the company for adjusting its behavior to capitalize on current trends.

Stitch Fix has truly gone above and beyond to make the transition as comfortable as possible for second shift employees. For instance, we got priority for new shift assignments— we got to pick what shift we wanted to work. And we could request our preferred roles, too.

I wanted Sunday to Wednesday, 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Well, actually I wanted Wednesday to Saturday, because having Saturday night through Tuesday night off seems like a cool weekend. But my commitments made that impossible.) And I opted to stay in Women’s Outbound.

Today was our second day of this new schedule and our first day overlapping with “traditional” day shift. There were only about 35 of us, and a couple hundred of them.

Day shift is way different from Midnight Society. They have so many people that the jobs get very specific and everyone has an assigned location.

Things I normally have to do for myself, like gathering extra supplies, now get delivered to me.

And the day shift people, who, in the past were rather particular about everything and could be quite mean, now seem curious and even helpful— just like we would be on Midnight Society when someone new joined the team.

The day went just as quickly as yesterday but one BIG thing needs to be addressed.

Someone needs to tell the cleaning crew to adjust their schedules as old cleaning routine has them cleaning the ladies room at our first break and at end of day.

It made sense to clean the bathroom at 5 when we had our first evening break at 5:30, but now? It’s a little cruel.