Well, it's temporary. Three days. Building and stuffing cardboard boxes. For $7.50/hr. With several of my former coworkers from DTVBB. At least two of whom had better-paying positions than I did.
Apparently this Christmas, WalMart will be selling brown paper shopping bags with twine handles on them decorated to look like 1) Santa Claus or 2) a snowman, for $1.97 each. They will come in brown cardboard boxes of 24 bags (12 of each style), which will have been taped together with packaging tape.
These bags arrive from the manufacturer in boxes of 200 (only one style in each box). The smaller boxes that hold 24 bags come as flat sheets of pre-cut (and glued) cardboard. Our job is to open them into boxes, stuff them with 12 bags of each style, tape them up, and load them back onto a palette to be shipped out. I really have no idea why we're doing this - it doesn't look like WalMart will be selling the whole box of 24; they'll be selling the individual bags - and WalMart does enough volume that surely it would not be unreasonable for them to use boxes of 200 rather than boxes of 24. At the rate we've been going, in three days our team of around 10 people will have processed approximately 100,000 bags. That is not an exaggeration.
It was a little reassuring to know I'm not the only one in this situation. As we looked around the room at familiar faces this morning, the general reaction was, "Wow, it really is this bad." This is the first job most of us have had in six months.