In high school, I thought that a college graduate who worked at FedEx needed to get their act together. Five years later, I am that college graduate working at FedEx. Let me tell you why this is the best “retail” job I’ve ever had.
I’ve written about my dissatisfaction with retail work (Making It Work) and my lack of direction in my career before graduate school (The Question Mark). Once I got into grad school, I decided to work part-time while in school.
In my search for the perfect part-time role, FedEx came up. My boyfriend worked at FedEx for a while before we met, and he enjoyed it, but what really caught my attention was the reimbursement program. In exchange for working two short shifts a week, I can basically receive a scholarship for over five thousand dollars per year. All told, I got a 75% discount on my first semester of graduate school.
The financial benefits aren’t the only perk of this job. It’s really refreshing to see a company that actually takes care of its employees. Since most packages are too heavy to lift, my only job is to walk along the conveyor belts. scanning boxes and pushing them into the trailers. Most employers need their workers to fit the job, but FedEx can modify jobs to fit the workers. They truly understand accommodation and advocacy here. There is truly an atmosphere of teamwork here, and everyone does their part to get the job done.
My managers here are also lovely gentlemen. They recognize my work ethic and There’s a certain happy irony in being told I was “too slow” at my previous retail job, and now being consistently praised as a high performer.
There are frustrating parts of the job. When there are ten packages on every belt with 15 minutes left in a shift, I get frustrated. But this is an exercise in teamwork and patience. People work at different paces, and a successful shift has many metrics. And if all other pep talks fail, I’m still getting paid to be here and basically just listen to my books. It’s a pretty good gig.
I was so frustrated at my retail job, and I had no idea how good I would have it less than a year later. I didn’t realize how toxic my particular retail job was until I found a healthy environment. I’m grateful for the perspective shift and the tremendous benefits of FedEx.