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Webvan employees reflect

Stunned Webvan employees--many of whom were meat packers, grocery clerks, truckers, delivery agents and florists--discuss their disappointment and plans for their futures.

Webvan employees reflect

By CNET News.com Staff
July 9, 2001, 6:45 p.m. PT

Stunned Webvan employees--many of whom were meat packers, grocery clerks, truckers, delivery agents and florists--discuss their disappointment and plans for their futures.

Traylynn Wilson, 19, spent the last year and a half at Webvan as a freezer associate. She says she's disappointed the company didn't listen to her and other employees during its formative years, opting instead to pay top dollar for outside consultants to make recommendations. Though she was disappointed to learn bad news from the press, she remains optimistic. "I'm young and have plenty of time to find another job. I passed on a couple of other offers because I really wanted things to work out here."
Two faces of Webvan: The company's old and new vans side by side inside the Oakland distribution center.
 

Gary Burch, 34, worked as an inbound associate for two years. When he was hired, Burch said he felt as though he'd been "hired on by Microsoft or something." He says the free lunches and pay increases soon disappeared as the company suffered through tough economic times. "I was playing PlayStation at home and paused the game when I heard the news. I should be fine. For now, I'll just chill out and look at all my options, you know, be a bum for a while."
Webvan's fleet lined up inside the company's Oakland distribution center.
 

Colleen Beck, 39, worked at Webvan for 18 months and says the company's bankruptcy filing and closure brought her to tears. "I'm really going to miss my job. I told people from day one that I would be here until the end. Well, I did." She says that management waited too long to enact policies and standards that might have helped the company keep its doors open.
A guard stands at the parking-lot gate at Webvan's Oakland distribution center.
 

Levi Edges, a research associate at the company for 18 months, says Webvan's abrupt closure is especially hard to take considering CEO Robert Swan told him and other employees that the company had enough cash to keep the doors open through year's end. Although he worked only 24 hours a week to support himself through college, Edges said, "Anytime you lose a job, it's a serious issue."
Employees stand outside Webvan's Oakland, Calif., distribution center.
 

Photos by Chip Buchanan