An eerie blue light appears on the early morning horizon, and eight legs twitch with anticipation. The Water Spider is captivated by the glow and changes course. A woman with white hair has illuminated the beacon and she stands under it holding a dildo the size of 3 eggplants. She whacks the supple mass on a baker cart, and as the impact reverberates through its realistic flesh, she dispassionately wonders, “What do people even do with this thing?”
My job as Water Spider is to bring the woman with the white hair more black plastic to wrap her thousands of sex toys in, because she has exhausted her supply. There are others like her, selflessly black-wrapping fist-shaped butt plugs in order to protect the modest, heaving buckets of protein powder from a conveyor onto a cart, feverishly separating hundreds of similar shades of eyeshadows into perfect rows, all chasing arbitrary productivity goals set by the managers. The Water Spider speed-walks about a marathon by the end of the day while dodging Tokyo-drifting forklifts, keeping the area in order, and making sure everyone has what they need to do their job. The Fernley warehouse is one of the “legacy” (oldest) facilities, and is almost completely devoid of robots. Conveyors snake around much of the airspace, which gives the facility its warehouse feel, but almost all of the work is done by humans holding scanners.