Library Gazette

Off-site Survival Guide

Saturday, December 11, 2010 9:22 am

After a week of off-site storage warehouse work, the following are my tips & tricks for survival. These did much to help me throughout the week, but great credit for my own survival must go to my fab teammates: Mary Beth, Susan, Erik, Scott and Jean-Paul. You guys ROCK!!

1. Wear layers, preferably with the lightest being a long-sleeve t-shirt; temps vary and breaking a sweat is common, so you might find yourself pushing up those sleeves, but when it comes time to fold trays, you’ll want the protection for your arms

2. If you have more than one pair of comfortable supportive, sturdy, closed-toe shoes, switch between them each day to keep your feet from getting overly tired

3. Invest in hand lotion to use at home in the mornings and evenings, and mind your cuticles

4. Bring a refillable water bottle and cough drops, as the air is very dry

5. Bring painkillers and band-aids just in case

6. Try not to work the same station all day, and especially not multiple days in a row

7. If you have wrist or elbow issues, be warned that the sizing station is taxing on those parts (knees too)

8. If you have back issues or cannot lift heavy loads, avoid the verification station; that said, use the back braces – they really help!

9. Get out at lunch: sunshine, fresh air, and a break from the warehouse are great

10. Your teammates will appreciate any snacks you bring to share!

11. The mental aspect is in some ways more challenging than the physical

12. Pause to glance at funny or interesting items, and share with your teammates; short breaks to share a laugh are valuable

13. Hot water in the bathrooms (well, at least the ladies) is hit or miss

14. Tray folding is a great stress reliever (and Erik can tell you how to hug them into being)

15. Whichever tray supply you build up the day before probably won’t be the tray size you’ll need most the next day

16. Scholarly publishing truly is out of control: no single issue of a journal should be 5″ thick!

17. Keep your cell phone in your pocket at all times; you do NOT want to get locked out in the cold

18. Program Scott’s number and your teammates’ numbers in your cell phone just in case you do get locked out

19. Find your rhythm and stick to it

20. The wooden book trucks generally roll better if a certain side is facing forward, so figure that out before you load ‘em up

21. Don’t use the plastic handles to pull or lift full trays

22. Don’t put little books at the back end of the trays

23. Don’t walk away from stations with pens still in hand

24. Don’t make evening plans on warehouse workdays

25. Friday afternoon celebratory happy hour is encouraged!

26. Schedule a mani/pedi or massage for the day after your last warehouse day, especially if you work a full week

27. Be forewarned: the warehouse brings out interesting persona

28. When you start dreaming about your warehouse teammates and accidentally find yourself in compromising positions with them, it’s time to get out of the warehouse!!

4 Responses to “Off-site Survival Guide”

  1. Good stuff — I’m gonna re-read this before my shift comes up!

  2. Re: number 27, Warehouse Molly was a blast. I hope I get to see her again someday. Seriously, this is all good stuff, Molly. I’m so happy you managed to share it. Its testament to the fact that when you work at the storage facility, you won’t use your usual skill set, but even though it is hard work, it is survivable. And keeping your head and your sense of humor with you at all times makes it even enjoyable.

  3. Molly is right on with every Point! And Warehouse Molly is quite worth knowing :-)

  4. I need to find a way to bring Warehouse Molly out without needing to be in the warehouse…

    And MB, you are spot on: keeping your sense of humor is vital!

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