The past couple of days we have been busy training for our positions. Al has been thrown straight into the fire, working days from 6:30AM to 5PM. He did find his first day very interesting, as he was assigned the "shadow" someone from each department for an hour or so, in order to see what different positions do and what kind of injuries may arise. So he got to see it all, from receiving docks, inbound receiving, stowing, picking, sorting, packaging, shipping distribution and shipping docks. He was amazed at how much "stuff" goes in and out in one day...he says its actually unimaginable until you actually witness it! He was off yesterday, but will now be on every day through Tuesday. I hope today, now that he will be in the AmCare office, that his supervisor will be able to give him his permanent schedule.
I have done two nights of training in "receiving". My mind is in a complete whirl, as they throw a lot of information at you in a short amount of time. Unlike "stowing" or "picking" which involve miles of walking, we are stationary at a computer terminal next to a conveyor belt, which has the boxes off the shipping trucks coming down the belt. We need to grab a box, slide it onto our station, enter the contents into the system, and load them onto carts for the stowers to take back into the warehouse. Thank goodness there are good anti-fatigue mats to stand on while working! The actual process is easy-peasy, but it's all the "weird" things that happen that complicate the process. Damages, no PO's on the boxes, items needing prep work before receiving, and there are some items that are high-value that we are not allowed to received, and must be removed to a different area for receiving. But we do have trainers working with us this week and next week, before throwing us out on the main lines, and even then, there are "problem solvers" working each line during shifts to assist with the oddities that come your way.
The one thing I find really confusing is the shifts. This week I'm working Wed. Thu. and Fri. Next week is the regular "H" shift of Sun. Mon. Thu. and Fri. Then, starting Nov. 6., my regular "H" shift hours of 5PM-(supposedly) 4AM start Sun. Mon. Thu. Fri. But THEN, starting Nov. 12, Saturday night shifts start, and "H" shift switches to Fri. Sat. Sun. Mon. So, I'm not sure if that Thu. I still go in, as the Sat. would put me at overtime. I have to find out about that, and who we need to ask. I also say supposedly 4AM, because that would actually give to a half hour of overtime each shift. I've been told that "inboard" hours are 5PM-3:30AM (ten hour day plus 1/2 hour meal break) and "outboard" hours are 5:30PM-4:00AM. So I need to clarify that as well.
So far, I am rating the overall experience an "ok". I've never dealt with this kind of a work experience before...that is, inside a warehouse with no views to the outside, rigid adherence to a time clock, and the overall "sheep being herded" mentality. But, for a workamping gig, it does pay well, they go out of their way to see your needs are met ( they do pay for your site in full, they've provided honey wagon service once a week here at the state park, they've given us free wireless internet passes to use here, we are allowed to receive mail directly at the park, the camp host delivers it to your site), so no complaints about that. I'm not happy with the fact that we were both given night shifts, but hopefully we won't have the exact same nights each week and the dogs will only be alone for a couple of nights. We have started to meet others in the park, and there are several more coming in the next wave of workers coming next week. I think we'll do all right, and I just need to remember, it's a job, not a career, its fulfilling a need that we have (make some money!) and each day gets me closer to being back in my flip-flops in Florida for the winter!