She has curly hair and wears a shirt with blue flamingos and a pink sweater. Liliana Tovegni-Nurisso, at 87 years-old, has prepared with care for this special day. "She’s very caring", says her grandson Alessio Taglia, who is 29 years old and SSPA Manager in Amazon.
He is responsible for the self-service advertising team for the vendors of the Amazon.it site. Alessio walks holding Liliana's arm, like a gentleman. "I took the train alone this morning," she explains with a smile. "I would not miss this moment for anything in the world." Liliana came to Milan from Turin to attend the 'Nonni Day', as it is called in an irresistible mix of Italian and English, on the 2 of October, the Grandparents National Holiday. On this day, Amazon employees have the opportunity to invite their loved ones to visit the Amazon centres, as a way to share a piece of their life and thank those who, many years ago, played with them, told them stories, hugged them when they needed support and secretly gave them candies, hiding from mum and dad.
"I was really touched when I was invited, and who would have expected such a place? There is a modern space for the lunch break with a microwave, coffee machine and herbal teas, and fresh fruit baskets are at everyone’s disposal. We would have dreamed of such a place in the old days".
"My grandmother's first purchase? Wireless headphones for the TV"
"When I was born in 1930, one could not imagine these things here in Italy," says Liliana, looking around with curiosity at the Prime Now Distribution Centre, the first stop of the day. "In fact, it's not like my grandma knows exactly what I do," says Alessio. "She knows it has to do with the parcels. She thinks it’s kind of a small factory with computers. She is very proud of me, especially since her supermarket has an Amazon Locker, a pickup point, so that she can boast about me in front of her friends: 'My grandson works there.'
Alessio continues: "Now she has also become an Amazon customer. Her first purchase was a couple of wireless headphones for the TV, I helped her buy them. Liliana and Alessio have a very close relationship: "She brought me up: my mom worked, so every day after school I went to her house to eat and do the homework. During summer I went to Val di Susa in the mountains, and we would spend the day cooking exquisite jam".
However, university and work brought Alessio abroad. "My grandmother was miserable when I was abroad, so she was really excited when they hired me at Amazon, so that I could come back to Italy. She calls me every evening at seven: 'Alessio, have you eaten? Eat!'. And I go visit her as often as I can....”
Nothing better than spending time with your grandchildren
Liliana does not miss a word of the explanation during the tour at the urban Distribution Centre. Sometimes, however, she misses something: "I'm a bit deaf," she explains. So she asks some of the other grandparents to repeat what the guide said. It is an attentive and lively group. They are so grateful to spend time with their grandchildren and to see what they do. "They are almost grownups now, they have their lives, but not today, today it’s like being back to when they were young and we all had time with them”.
“So… I can receive the spaghetti at home?", asks Mariarosa Passeri, 74 years old and the grandmother of Marianna Baldini, who is 29 and an Amazon Vendor Manager. Mariarosa is listening to the explanation of the Dash Button, the device that allows you to buy your favourite products by simply pressing a button. "I always finish the pasta and when I realise, it's too late to go buy more. I'm messy, like my Marianna." "You’re also as crazy as I am, grandma," replies Marianna amused. "My granddaughter and I spent a lot of time together," explains Mariarosa. "When Marianna was little, both her parents worked and she was with me often.
I had headaches and she would sit on the carpet and play quietly with buttons and postcards. Then she would give me a massage, until the headache passed. She was good as a kid and she is good as a woman: she graduated with the highest marks, with people applauding her thesis." says Mariarosa proudly even though she is a bit shy at the offices of the headquarter, the second stop of the tour.
"She was so touched when I invited her," explains Marianna. "It was a beautiful gift," adds Mariarosa. "Who would have expected such a place? There is a modern space for the lunch break with a microwave, coffee machine and herbal teas, and fresh fruit baskets are at everyone’s disposal. Not to mention the carpet in a different colour on each floor. I wonder how long it takes them to clean it. Is it ok if I ask them, Marianna?" Try to stop a grandmother!