Taking a break at Amazon is hard work! But if you follow these 12 steps precisely, then with a little practice, you can achieve your goal of successfully taking the allotted 15 minute break without going over and having the dreaded “Time off task”, which you’d likely have to explain to one of those clip board people. It may seem a nearly insurmountable task to achieve all of these things within 15 minutes and have any time at all to actually, ya know, take a break, but these steps will help you to succeed at the Amazon break.
- When you are about 3-4 minutes from the time you start your break, you should find an easy item to scan, but don’t scan it yet! When you get to your next bin, make sure the item is there, and be absolutely sure. Then, scan the bin, and take the item, but do not scan the item.
- Then proceed with the unscanned item in your tote towards the conveyor belt, and go as close along the conveyor as you can to the break room.
- Carefully monitor the time, and when it is the exact minute when your break begins, scan that last item, finish out your tote, and send it on the conveyor. Note that your break officially began when you scanned that last item, and everything you do after that is on your time, even finishing out the tote.
- Leave your cart in an out of the way place, but take your scanner and water bottle (if applicable).
- Now log out of your scanner as you approach the scanner station and place the scanner in its proper place. And then walk as fast as you can towards the break room. Pump those legs! You can rest them a little when you’re picking again, but right now, its break time! So get to it!
- As you approach security, be sure to take anything out of your pockets that would set off the metal detectors and take off your belt if your buckle normally sets it off. Get through security.
- Now enter the breakroom very quickly. Pass anyone who is walking slowly, but do not bump in to anyone. Amazon is serious about safety in their warehouse.
- You have likely already used up 4-5 minutes of the allotted 15 by now, so quickly find your snack and take any seat you can find. DO NOT FILL YOUR WATER BOTTLE WHILE ON BREAK! That eats up precious break time, and there are water coolers in the pick aisles. Instead, take a seat and devour your snack. If you are prone to heart burn, you may want to have Tums available.
- After devouring your snack, be sure to leave yourself at least 5 minutes to get back and scan that first item. As you pass the security desk on your way back, chew those Tums if you have them and pump those legs again! Don’t worry, I know this is hard, but break will soon be over. So hang in there!
- Grab a scanner, don’t worry about the battery yet. If the battery is low, you’ll be able to change it at one of the help stations AFTER you’ve made your first scan, to avoid time off task. For now, log in quickly, and pray that your first scan is near. If it is on the third floor at the opposite end, then it’s time to pump those legs like never before. You can relax after your break, but you must get to that first scan within 15 minutes of your last scan before break!
- Find a cart on the proper floor. Any cart will do. After making your first scan, you can change to a better cart if you don’t like the first one you find. That way, you don’t get time off task. Now, after finding any cart you can find on the proper floor, take only one tote. Taking two totes may be more efficient, but it wastes precious break time! Take only one, scan it, get that first scanned pick, and now, take a deep breath.
- If you’ve accomplished steps 3 – 11 in 15 minutes, you have succeeded in your goal! Now, find a second tote, no hurry. Fill your water bottle if you need it. If your battery is low, change it the next time you pass a help desk. Try not to take more than 5 minutes between scans while doing these things, but otherwise, you can relax a little as you make these final steps outside of the precious 15 minute break, so that you can actually get back to work. The first few scans after break are just “token” scans, to show that you are officially “on task”.
I hope the above tips are helpful. Note that if you are over by 1-3 minutes or so, they are unlikely to make an issue of it. But if you are 20 minutes between scans, you’ll likely need to explain it to one of those clip board people.
Good luck to you at Amazon! Seriously, the place has its quirks, but canning the sarcasm now, I liked my peak season experience overall. I made some good bonuses, lost about 10 pounds, and I find working with my hands very rewarding. Lastly, I must say, and I’m being completely honest here, that Amazon really values safety in the work place. It is a warehouse with lots of equipment and people working very hard physically. All of the safety regulations are in place for a reason, so please follow them.