Sun. Oct 20th, 2019

Loading Santa’s sleigh: Working the Holiday season

By Joseph Garcia —

As Black Friday fever ends and stores clean up the mess of tossed t-shirts and empty racks, for some, the Holiday season is just beginning.

During this time, shipping companies like Amazon and UPS see a drastic increase in deliveries. For workers, this means longer shifts in the cold to meet customer demand.

“It gets insanely busy during the holiday season,” sophomore UPS worker, Reece Farnsworth said.

“In a typical night, we run about 1.3 million packages for places around the world. During peak Holiday season, that number goes up to 2-3 million packages a night.”

Fernsworth said this sort of strenuous workload can take its toll on some workers.

“A lot of people use their paycheck as their therapy. Some go home and sleep literally until their next shift, while others spend time with their family,” Fernsworth said.

“But since it only lasts a short time, some of us aren’t affected if we can use our time wisely.”

Since school is out during peak season, Fernsworth said it’s easier for him not having to worry about both work and school.

“I can make pretty good money during the season, and right after Christmas, the amount of packages coming through our facilities drops significantly,” Fernsworth said.

UPS attempts to help ease the long shifts and frigid weather for its workers, but Fernsworth said there could be a bit more done.

“Every once in a while, they’ll hand out hot chocolate, sometimes they’ll sell tacos. I’ve been given a heat warmer or two, but those things go really fast and aren’t given out often. It’s mostly left to us,” Fernsworth said.

For anyone who has to work the Holiday season, be it in retail or for UPS, Fernsworth advises them to drink lots of coffee and not to work more than you can handle.

“If you need some advice, ask people that have been there a while. Don’t be nervous to ask questions, it just shows you’re trying to do the task right,” he said.

Graphic by Shayla Kerr / The Louisville Cardinal

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