Christmas is always a busy time. During a fleeting moment between eating and socializing I had some free time. I decided to make the least of it and pulled out my phone. After a few minutes, I stumbled upon a very interesting read: “What it’s like to Deliver Packages for Amazon.”
My curiosity was piqued for a number of reasons. How much does an Amazon employee get paid? How many packages do they deliver in a given day? When do they go to the bathroom? All the really burning questions enquiring minds are dying to know. To my relief, the author, Austin Murphy, addresses all of these questions and more. But what really resonated with me was how he views his work.
For 33 years, Austin was feature writer for Sports Illustrated. But at 57 years old he found himself without a job. Though his wife still earns a steady income, a number of factors pushed Austin back into the workforce. He applied for and accepted a position with one of Amazon’s package delivery subcontractors.
Austin shares a few of his experiences and insights—everything from the training and onboarding process, to the real value of Amazon swag. Also interspersed throughout the article are a number of interesting anecdotes from his time with Sports Illustrated. This included the five US presidents he interviewed, the books he wrote, the professional athletes he met, and the exotic locales he was flown to. While sharing these stories, he writes with energy, excitement, and honesty. Amazingly enough, he uses the same feeling and emotion when sharing stories about parcel delivery.
I’m going to make a couple assumptions about the author. He has spent most of his time in the San Francisco Bay area, so I’ll bet that he has no idea what CLAC is, nor does he know what we are “about.” I doubt he has had a meaningful conversation about CLAC with any one of our members or staff. (Maybe one exception—looking at you Bell Arena!) But the way that he writes about his work today, and how he writes about his former work, is very reassuring.
Mr. Murphy sees value in all the work he has done. He takes no less pride in his current tasks over his former, and instead he finds joy and humour in his current profession. Whether navigating a confusing apartment complex, or the satisfaction of a 35-second delivery, the work and what it means to him are both important.
Perhaps Austin Murphy and I are both romanticizing his situation, but this man’s message is the same as ours. There is meaning in all work. The revelation that is shared in the article is proof to me that CLAC’s vision, and the way we view work, is something that is rooted deep inside each and every one of us.