A Day in the Life of Greater Olean

'Day in the Life' Follows Warehouse Selector Justus Elliot

Justus Elliot works as a warehouse selector for Olean Wholesale Grocery Co-Op. Credits: Lucas Sperduti

OLEAN, NY -- For Justus Elliot, time and pace are essential. As a warehouse selector for Olean Wholesale Grocery Co-Op, most of the 21-year-old’s job calls for efficiency.

“Everything is time-based," Elliot explained. "One hundred percent is the norm, and it’s what we work for every day. If our score is less, then we are moving too slow, and we kick it into gear. “

Elliot works from 1:30 p.m. until 12:30 a.m., and is tasked with completing orders and moving the merchandise onto crates to be delivered in the morning. Olean Wholesale Grocery Co-Op sells wholesale groceries to privately owned stores including the Olean area Park & Shop Service Stores and Ried’s Food Barn and the Buffalo area Dash’s Market locations.

Sign Up for E-News

All co-op employees wear headsets during their shifts, so they hear directly each item needed for an order. Every task is assigned an average completion time to keep employees on pace throughout their shifts.

Orders also are printed out, but for each order Elliot’s headset tells him where to go. And when he gets to a correct spot, a pair of numbers visible on the microphone on his headset confirm the item.

“Just like when you go to Walmart and see the bar codes, I am looking for two certain numbers on that code to make sure I have the correct item. We call that check-digit,” Elliot explained. “One hundred percent would be the time expected for that order. It is basically just an efficiency formula.” 

Produce, dairy, meat and frozen are the four different departments Elliot works in. The produce is stored at approximately 32 degrees, making it the “warmest” of all the departments. The freezer is set around zero.

“We are provided with freezer suits, bibs, vests and a coat. I dress warm but the stuff they supply us with do a nice job,” Elliot said.

Elliot and his co-workers work under an incentive program. They are paid until 12:30 a.m. no matter what. And that means that if they work efficiently and complete all of their orders for the night by 9 p.m., they can go home having earned full pay for the shift.

“I like the incentive because it keeps everyone moving. Everyone has to work as a team if we want to go home early,” Elliot said.

“We are given three breaks. The last one is a 15-minute break at 10 p.m. but we never take that one if it looks like we can get out early,” he added.

A native of Portville, Elliot has worked at Olean Wholesale Grocery Co-Op for two years. He has been  accepted by Jamestown Community College and will begin taking classes as a business major in January. 

“I like my job because it’s not dull. But it’s not what I want to do my whole life. I’m not sure what I want to do with a business degree yet, but I see this as my best opportunity,” Elliot said.

Elliot, who plans to try out for the golf team at JCC, recently became certified by Uber to make some money on the side.


The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Greater Olean

Sights and Sounds: The First Four of the NCAA Tournament

Traffic is a common occurrence, but for fans of the Dayton Flyers, it’s a usual event every gameday. A trip across the Great Miami River leads to the Flyers’ athletic complex. It became the same ritual for Bonnies fans heading to the University of Dayton Arena for the team's first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2012.

Snow, sleet and hail pounded down on the car as we ...

My Experience: What Almost Was Not

DAYTON, OHIO -- I almost didn’t get to shoot the game.

My media credential got all messed up because I neglected to go through one minor process (I’m an idiot lol and didn’t check my email). Luckily, some amazing people and friends helped push my name through, and I was granted media access to Tuesday's match against UCLA. For them, I am truly grateful and beyond ...

Bonnies Fan Finds Retribution in Trip to NCAA Tournament

Sunday, March 13, 2016. 

A day that doesn't sit well with Bonnies fans. The Atlantic 10 Tournament in Brooklyn had already left a sour taste in the mouths of Bona fans with an overtime loss in the quarterfinals to the Davidson Wildcats 90-86. Many students including myself took the chance to take an opportunity the day after to take a day to sightsee in New York City.

Sunday ...

Upcoming Events

Mon, March 19, 10:00 AM

Olean Public Library, Olean

Mother Goose Story Time


Mon, March 19, 12:00 PM

Olean Public Library, Olean

Simply Stories


Mon, March 19, 1:30 PM

Olean Public Library, Olean

Craft Class: Nifty Knitter

Home & Garden

CRCF Community Fund Grant Applications Are Due April 21

March 16, 2018

Grant applications for the next funding cycle of the Community Fund at the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation are due April 21.

“The Community Fund is an unrestricted fund that allows the foundation’s board to approve grants responsive to the changing needs of the community,” said CRCF Executive Director Karen Niemic Buchheit. “The grants, typically between $100 ...

Archbishop Walsh Academy to Host St. Patrick's Day Party and Raffle

OLEAN, NY -- Archbishop Walsh Academy and the Walsh Sports Boosters Club will host their annual St. Patrick’s Day Party and Raffle on Saturday, March 24, from 7 to 11 p.m. at Archbishop Walsh, 208 N. 24th St. The event welcomes over 700 guests and raises nearly $100,000 each year. It has become one of the school’s largest fundraisers, supporting ...

'A Day in the Life': One Transportation Supervisor Serves Portville and Olean

PORTVILLE, NY – A whiteboard with dozens of destinations and vehicle numbers written in various colors sits inside the Portville bus garage, ready to be changed at any moment. David Youngs, the transportation supervisor of the Portville and Olean School Districts, knows that before 2 almost every afternoon, he is likely to receive an email changing the entire meticulously planned ...

'A Day in the Life' Follows Della Moore of the African American Center for Cultural Development

OLEAN, NY – When Della Moore walks down the street, she greets everyone she passes and makes sure to ask, “How are you doing?” 

From the moment I joined her at the 7-Eleven on a cloudy, cold December morning until we finished making our stops along State and North Union streets, she remained ...

'Day in the Life' Follows Warehouse Selector Justus Elliot

OLEAN, NY -- For Justus Elliot, time and pace are essential. As a warehouse selector for Olean Wholesale Grocery Co-Op, most of the 21-year-old’s job calls for efficiency.

“Everything is time-based," Elliot explained. "One hundred percent is the norm, and it’s what we work for every day. If our score is less, then we are moving too slow, and we kick it into ...

Happy Veterans Day, Mom

What began as an attempt to boost her GPA soon turned into a 22-year career for my mom, Ramona Lee Discavage.

On the first day of her freshman year at St. Bonaventure University in 1989, members of the Army ROTC Seneca Battalion helped incoming freshmen move their stuff into their dorm rooms.  Afterward, they invited all of the freshmen to a lunch.

“When they described the ...

Lynn Kemp: ‘Best Soldier I Could Be’

Lynn Kemp is nearing 95 and knows he has lived a good life.

“The good Lord has been awful good to me,” recalled the lifelong resident of Shinglehouse, Pennsylvania. “I never refused an order. I tried to be the best soldier I could be. I don’t know what your relationship is with God, but mine is pretty close.”

Born Oct. 29, 1920, Lynn grew up in a home on Turkey ...

WW II museum provides role models for young people

When Steve Appleby asks area students if they know Snoop Dog, Eminem, Kanye West, the Kardashians, Parris Hilton or Miley Cyrus, they answer yes. Then Appleby will ask which of them knows Jason Dunham is, and the students will not have a clue.

Appleby will explain that Jason Dunham was a Marine from Scio, in Allegany County, New York, who was killed in Iraq in 2006 after jumping on a grenade ...