In honour of April fools day I thought I would write about warehouse pranksters. I’m sure every warehouse has one; certainly every large-scale warehouse operation I’ve worked in has had somebody incumbent in that role.
A manager or supervisor’s nightmare at times but given that much warehouse work is long and arduous you need these characters to lighten the mood every once in a while.
I can think of one guy in particular who would play all sorts of tricks on the warehouse team, from sneaking tomato ketchup into flasks of piping-hot tea to grabbing a screwdriver and turning people’s number plates upside down.
And if you ever caught him sneaking into the car-park with a roll of shrink-wrap it was wise to check your car was not the target as at the end of your shift you’d end up spending a good few minutes ‘unwrapping’ your vehicle before you can head home.
Maybe you’re reading this and are disappointed that such behaviour could go on in a warehouse when people should be concentrating on their work but actually when you find yourself working at times when most of the world is tucked up in bed, doing hard manual labour, it can be a real boost to have somebody like that in your team who can lighten the mood every so often.
I was the target of these pranks on more than one occasion but was able to laugh it off and it was one of those things that made it that little bit easier to get up at 3 in the morning to get myself ready for an early shift. Some were targeted more than others and admittedly some of the pranks – like locking somebody in a storage cage and then trying to knock it over – were actually downright dangerous but sensibly and in the right measure it’s a great tool to increase morale and ultimately productivity.
Warehousing is all about teamwork and somebody who can unite the team – even if it is inevitably at the expense of somebody else – is an absolute godsend and although you probably won’t read it suggested in any team-building manuals be careful not to stifle this kind of behaviour too much.
If you’ve got a character like this in your warehouse team then perhaps give him a bit of room to operate although you should certainly keep a close eye on his antics – even if just to make sure he’s not shrink-wrapping your car.
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