11. Take It Slow

The aisles aren’t quite wide enough to fit two carts, so when we need to cross in a hurry I lift the trolley above my head. Like a party trick. Today my colleague isn’t so quick. He’s taking his time. I can’t get past him and spend a lot of time waiting. Usually I’m more than happy to wait in a queue to have a moment to stand and think. But in this environment, I’m just frustrated. I feel itchy. The noises around me are saying GO and the situation I’m stuck in forces me to slow down. In these times I have to reassert my politics to myself. I am not a machine and should not be treated like one. My colleague is not a machine and should not be treated like one. The job was still done, maybe more accurately than usual — no missing products, broken bags, or concussions.

While it’s usually busy, there are times where orders stop coming. Where the Dark Store atmosphere relaxes and we can chat, smoke, read and eat, before the picker phone starts ringing and we activate again.

A project by affect lab. 2022