Enter a not so fictional world of order pickers in giant warehouses to ensure shipment of the goods to you and me. In FulFillment : Diary of a Warehouse Picker, Paul Juhasz noted short entries of his 180 days in a warehouse, apparently Wal-Mart. He recollects bizarre order contents, mostly when adult products are involved, strict rules, dysfunctional managers, and odd colleagues.
As a reader, I wondered many times what were drivers for Paul to choose this employer, stay so long, and risk his physical and mental health? Of course, diary entries like “Why does The Never-Ending Story have a running time of 102 minutes?” or “I just read on the label of a men’s multi-vitamin bottle that I should consult with a doctor before taking if I am pregnant or nursing a baby. Tears of rage blinded me the rest of the day.” funny to read. Yet, the frequent labeling of colleagues and managers as ghosts and dicks, repeating that “this place sucks”, while trying to mask the real nature of the warehouse and the inner processes doesn’t contribute to an entertaining, informative insider’s view. What if this is a single person’s frustration or bad luck? I’ve read more relatable personal insider stories from Uber drivers in Amsterdam to Günter Wallraff’s classic Ich, Ali, where he played a Turkish immigrant in the German industry.
About the author
Living what could be charitably called a nomadic life, Paul Juhasz was born in western New Jersey, grew up just outside of New Haven, Connecticut, and has spent appreciable chunks of life in the plains of central Illinois, in the upper hill country of Texas, and in the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania. Most recently seduced by the spirit of the red earth, he now lives in Oklahoma City. Believing visceral experience is the essential force behind imagination, he has worked at a warehouse fulfillment center, manned a junk truck, and driven for Uber, all to gather material and characters for his poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction. His debut book, Fulfillment: : Diary of a Warehouse Picker was published by Fine Dog Press.