I'm an Amazon delivery driver. It's a great workout, but I'm ready for the holidays to be over.

 In July, I was browsing Indeed and found a job listing for an Amazon-delivery-driver position. I'm a surf photographer in San Diego and figured I'd look for more steady work. I'm not an office person — I don't like sitting down all day at a desk — so I wanted a job where I could be on the go and active.

I had no experience being a delivery driver or handling packages, but the job description didn't require any of that — just a driver's license. I sent in a job application and had an interview the very same day. I was hired on the spot and started the training process a few days later. 

My shifts are usually between eight and 10 hours long, and I work four days a week. During each shift, I get a 30-minute lunch break and two 15-minute breaks. The work is nonstop. 

My day starts off at the warehouse

I'm handed a bag with a phone (to use the Amazon package-delivery app) and keys for the van that I'm going to drive that day. From there, I'm given my route, the number of packages I have to deliver, and how many stops I'll make.

I usually do a quick stretch to loosen my body and then head to the pickup station to load my van. Each person has their own process for organizing packages inside the van. I usually load the packages based on which ones will be delivered last (those go in the back) and which ones will be dropped off first (those go in the front).

One thing nobody loves about this job are the overflow packages, which are the bigger ones that fit inside the delivery bags, called totes, or on the shelves of the van. These take more time to load. It's really important for me to stay organized when I load the van so I don't create a mess in the truck and waste any time.

I'm honestly ready for the holiday season to be over

It's more exhausting than I imagined. One of the biggest changes about working this job during the holiday season is the influx of packages. Usually, I have to deliver around 200 packages a day, but starting at the beginning of December I'm delivering around 300 a day. It's extra challenging because the sun goes down earlier and some rural streets don't have lights, so I have to deliver in the complete dark and it's hard to find street names and addresses. 

Just because the number of packages increases doesn't mean we have more time or help. While we're not on any time limit to finish delivering all our packages for the day, the company hopes we're as efficient as we can be. If the day ends and a person still has a lot of packages, they'll likely send another delivery driver to help relieve them, but that's not really something you want to happen often because it can be looked down upon. I've never seen anyone get fired for not keeping up with the delivery pace, but it seems like everyone's motivated to make sure they don't slack off or require help from another driver. 

I get it all done within my shift by walking quicker to deliver packages and trying my best to stay focused and make smart delivery decisions.

Other than sometimes having food at the warehouse for us, the job stays the same during the holiday season

I haven't gotten any extra perks or incentives. The positive side is that this job also doubles as my workout, and I get even more exercise because of the busy season.

Plus, some customers are even more appreciative of us during the holiday season, and they'll leave snacks or drinks at the front door. It's really uplifting to feel that kind of support because, throughout the year, customers don't oftentimes say thank you or even look at you at all. It's always such a nice surprise that I never take for granted this time of year. 

Nobody prepares you for unusual or stressful situations like if you can't find an address or someone doesn't want to accept a package

If you can't find an address, I've learned that you have to try to call or text the customer. If they don't answer, you have to take the package back to the warehouse. It gets tricky, though, because some residences require an access code. It's frustrating when we have to deliver to these places and don't have that code. It really holds up my delivery pace.

The challenging parts of the job are the things we can't control, like traffic or rude customers. In those moments, I try to take a deep breath and calm myself down. I'm in such a rush the whole day that it doesn't really get me too down when someone's mean or I'm stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic — I have to just go with the flow.

One time, I was in a rural area with no sidewalks or driveways. I went to a customer's house and she instructed me to just throw the package over the gate. I tossed the small envelope over and two seconds later, she threw it right back to me. Her dog had chewed through the package and she didn't want it anymore. You see a lot of odd and unusual things like that on the job. 

One thing customers can do to make our job easier during this busy season is order packages at the same time

That way, we can limit how often we have to deliver to their residence — it's easier to deliver three packages at the same time than go back three days in a row.

Also, try not to buy fragile gifts or presents online — there's more of a chance they'll get broken since items can roll off shelves in the van. We do our best to keep each package safe, but if you're worried about buying something that could break, buy it at a store instead. 

At the end of the day, my body's a mess

When my work day ends, I'm ready for a nap. I'm really sweaty, my legs are super sore, and my eyes hurt because I'm looking down at the phone a lot or looking for packages. In one day, I can easily walk 15 to 20 miles. I try to keep myself in good shape by stretching on my days off and eating healthily. 

Once the holiday season ends, I'll continue working this job for at least another year, and perhaps even another holiday season. After that, I'll see how my body feels.

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