Some of America's best-known bosses will be "Changing Places" and stepping out of their corporate offices to take a turn on the front lines.
The first victim or volunteer was Amazon.com's president and CEO Jeff Bezos. He spent an afternoon filing customer orders for the company's Fulfillment Center in Fernley, Nev.
There are five Fulfillment Centers across the country. It is here that Amazon's products are married with customer orders and mailed out.
Lisa Bombard, an operations manager at Amazon.com, was the lucky worker to give her boss orders without the fear of losing her job.
"We're gonna have him chuting," said Bombard. "He's going to, we call it scanning, and complete orders, put them in boxes and so basically complete customer shipments."
"They kicked me out of gift wrap in about five minutes one time," laughed Bezos. "I just didn't meet our quality standards."
"The most important thing is looking for the quality," Bombard explained to Bezos
"It'll be OK. There are plenty of cross checks for quality," replied Bezos. "So even when I make a mistake, which I probably will, it'll be OK."
Bombard warned Bezos to not play with the toys because it hurts productivity. She then proceeded to tell him to log into his scanner and scan the chute. The two counted the number of boxes to be scanned and enter the product information into the computer.
"What went wrong is that Lisa very cruelly gave me a multi-shipment order, a big order to be split into many boxes," said Bezos laughing. "What went right is I resisted the temptation to open the Giuliani book and actually read it."
"He did excellent but we haven't done a toy yet, so now we're gonna do a toy shipment," said Bombard.
Bezos is probably not as fast as an associate because he has a comment for every product he handles. "In goes the bowl, it's a very beautiful bowl, by the way. You guys should all buy one of these. Hurry, Amazon.com," said Bezos to the television camera as he stuffed the product into a carton.
By the end of the day, Bombard says Bezos was a quick learner.
"Yeah, next time I come back I'm gonna try to resist the temptation to, like, read the table of contents of every book," joked Bezos. "I'm educable. She could work with me. Thanks, Lisa."
Bezos is not a stranger to packing products. He says when Amazon.com first started, the Fulfillment Center was the size of a two-car garage. Every employee, from Bezos on down, was on his or her hands and knees to pack orders. It was a complete contrast to the Amazon.com's facility today.
The CEO does say that working on the floor was beneficial. Bezos says he learned ways to improve efficiency and package products better so that Amazon.com can improve prices for customers and ship products more effectively.