Welcome to our Adventure!

Al and I are thrilled that you have found your way to our blog. We hope you enjoy reading our journal and viewing our photographs of the natural wonder of our United States of America. Let's hit the road together!
Homer, Alaska

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Guess What?

My personal Amazon adventure continues :-). My work week started Black Friday.  Our first inkling of the mayhem to come was the traffic backed up to enter the parking lot, the jockeying for a parking space, and the line to simply enter into the warehouse. I was a half hour early, having driven in with Al, and watched the day shift masses departing. Wow! There's a lot of people working here now.

I wasn't sure of where to report to, as I had ended my week working in receiving. A phone call to the CamperForce office manager informed me to report back to CrisPlant for packing. So that's where I went. Would it surprise anyone to hear that my name wasn't on the roster...and neither was Laura's name. We reported to our PA (Process Assistant), explained our situation, and he said "oh, you're supposed to be in Singles". Uh, no, we were transferred to Crisplant last week. "Oh, that's right, you went to Receiving. That's where you'll be from now on". Uh, no, that was just for the weekend. "Oh, ok, wait here". Finds the manager and finds yes, we belong to Crisplant now." Ok, well, you're extras tonight. Come with me. " Wow, this can't be good.

Well, we ended up working in SLAM that night. IF you want a mind-numbing, brain-cell killing job, this it it. For 10 hours, I stood at the beginning of the shipping conveyor, as the bar-coded packages came up from Crisplant, and made sure the boxes were straight and right side up so the bar code scanner could properly read the bar code in order to affix the shipping label to the box. I never say this, but...O..M...G!!! I would rather be back in ICQA again (and for a humorous view of that wonderful job, check out Darrell's blog here) than ever do that again! I was so frustrated at the end of that shift that I was thinking of going to HR and see if they would transfer me back to Receiving...at least I know that, I'm pretty good at it, and it occupies a few brain cells. But I decided to wait and see how Saturday went.

Saturday, again, no names on the roster. Again, check with the PA. A different PA. A PA who was truly wonderful! Finally! Heard our story, and talked to John the manager. He made sure we were assigned to CrisPlant, and then adopted us into his area. So Saturday we learned a new process, "buffering". This section of CrisPlant, "Rebins" is where orders are manually sorted rather than by the conveyor system. As the totes full of goodies come down the conveyor, we grab it, scan the tote with our scanner, and the scanner tells us what "buffer" to put it in. A buffer is a marked out space on the floor, and there's anywhere from 5 to 20 totes in a buffer. There's 40 buffers laid out. There's a total of 8 orders in each buffer. When a buffer is finished, it gets moved to the "rebin" area, where it is sorted into the 8 separate orders and then sent to a packager. So Laura and I buffered until the second break, and actually had a decent time. The people working there were fun, the work was fast so the time went quickly, and you used your brain cells to keep track of everything. The last 2 hours of the shift we worked on packaging the orders.

Sunday we were actually on the roster, and worked at Crisplant order packaging all night. And Monday we were on the roster again, but assigned to Rebin again. We buffered until the meal break, and the last half of the shift we were taught another new task, the rebinning sortation. This is the sorting of the buffers into the 8 individual orders.

So, in the 5 weeks I've worked here, let's see what I've done:
CrisPlant packaging

Am I versatile or what :-)? Al is still applying band-aids and ice packs, and knows everyone I think!

Thanksgiving was nice, with about 40 people from the campground gathering at the restaurant for dinner. The weather that day was beautiful, but has been lousy again, raining for the last 3 days. It doesn't really matter, as we've been doing not much besides working, sleeping and eating, but a glimpse of sunshine would make you feel better. We are still waiting for word on our holding tank, and I surely hope it will be a swift shipping and repair, as it does get old schlepping down to the bath house to use the restroom. Especially in the chilly rainy weather.

My mandatory overtime night this week of Wednesday has been changed to a voluntary overtime night, and I have elected to not take it. There's a couple of personal issues have cropped up that I need to be available for, so I won't be on again until Friday. We'll see what new adventures the new workweek will bring :-).

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

It's Not All Fun and Games

It's been an interesting and not so fun past few days here in Green River Lake State Park. I knowt full-timers know this, but I am here to testify that even in of the relaxed world of  rv'ing there certainly are "those" kind of days.

About the first of the month I was detecting a whiff of unpleasant odors. Not a lot, and not all the time. I attributed it to the decaying leaves on the ground, especially as wet as it has been around here. Early last week, it became quite strong at times, and pervasive. We cleaned out the pantry, looking for spoiled food. We cleaned out the basement, looking for critters. Cleaned out all the closets and cabinets, looking for anything! I cleaned and disinfected the bathroom to an inch of its life, but still smelling that smell. Now, we have no sewer hookups here, but we do have the honey wagon once a week come and pump us out. I was thinking maybe he wasn't flushing it out good like Al does when he dumps the tanks, and there was a clog or build-up of nasty stuff. We asked around for suggestions, and decided that on Monday when the wagon came, he would completely fill the tanks with water in order to give it a good flushing out. So, on Monday, he was busy filling the holding tanks to the brim while the pump-out was getting ready to start. He went outside, and as the gentleman was getting ready to start, he says to Al. " there's water draining out of the bottom of the rig". Uh-oh.

Now, our rig has the enclosed underbelly, so you can't see  anything underneath. I wasn't sure if this was good or bad but I'm definitely leaning towards "bad" at this time. Al drills a small hole in the board underneath the black water holding tank, and the liquid just comes streaming out. This is NOT good.

The owner's manual is basically useless, as most RV'ers can testify, so I quickly looked up online the nearest CampingWorld, which is in Bowling Green. Why CampingWorld, inquiring minds? Well, we bought the rig from CampingWorld, in Syracuse, NY. We also purchased an extended warranty through CampingWorld, assuring us that work would be done and covered at "any CampingWorld or licensed repair facility" wherever we were. So we called Bowling Green, discussed the issue, and was told that if we could bring the rig in that day, Monday, they could take a look at it and see what they could do...otherwise, it would be after the weekend...holiday and all, you know.

Now, bear in mind, I worked Sunday night and had just gone to bed at 4:30AM; it's now 11:30AM. I work again on Monday night, and start at 5PM. Bowling Green is 1 1/2 hours drive from here, and we still have to prepare the trailer for travel and get hitched up. No way could we do this and get back for work on time. Sooo, I call the sick hotline and report us both as unable to come in Monday...like we were instructed to do. We got the trailer ready and hitched up, and headed for Bowling Green...oh, and also, its raining just to add to the fun.

I will give the Bowling Green CampingWorld credit where it is due. They did have a bay empty for us, and as soon as we backed in, they went to work on it. As I was in the office filling out the warranty information with the manager, the tech came in with the bad news: we need to replace the black water holding tank. Apparently, where the pipe and flange come together at the tank, the glue was either not done properly and has come undone, and the liquids have been leaking out of the tank and into the belly of the trailer. Man, I'm telling you, all I was envisioning was this massive mess of paper, liquids and you know what under there! Thank goodness, it wasn't that bad, but the crack is big enough for liquid to come through, and can't be fixed because of the way it is built, it doesn't come apart. The whole thing needs replacing. Ok, so how long is this going to take? Now, we get to the really fun part.

Bowling Green CampingWorld is only a store; it's not a dealership, it doesn't sell rv's, sooo, Keystone will not ship them parts. I need to take the trailer to a Keystone dealer. Oh, joy. And where is a Keystone dealer? The manager calls Keystone and they give him the names of the two nearest dealers...both an hour and a half in the OTHER direction from the campground. Ok. So we go back out to the trailer, and the tech tapes the cut-out back in place while I call the first dealer, RightStop RV in Lebanon Junction. They weren't very helpful. He told us to take pictures of the damage, email it to him, and he'll see what he could do, but it would be a month before he could "work us into the schedule". NOT acceptable. We then called Keystone directly, and talked to Jamie, a customer service representative. Explained the situation, that we are on extended travel, can't return to the selling dealership, and not receiving much help on this end from their closest dealer. Jamie was very nice, and actually got in touch with the next closest dealer, Sunrise RV in Shepardsville

Tuesday morning, still raining, with some thunderstorms thrown in for good measure, and we re-hitched and set off for Shepardsville. Debbie at Sunrise RV was great, getting all the paperwork ready for the extended warranty. She's even putting it through on the manufacturer's warranty, being that its only two weeks after the warranty expired...can you believe it?? It's fairly evident, though, that its been leaking for awhile, so she's hopeful, which is good, as I'll explain in a bit.

It had stopped raining, thank goodness, as the tech had to work on it outside. He almost thought he would be able to fix it, but as he investigated it further, reached the same conclusion as the tech at CampingWorld; the way it is built, it can't be fixed, it has to be replaced. So he and Al went into the office to work up an estimate  which came to almost a thousand dollars between the tank, parts, shipping and labor. Debbie submitted the estimate to the extended warranty company. Soon, Al came back to the truck with steam pouring out his ears. The extended warranty company will only cover the tank, not the parts or shipping, and only half of the labor costs. About $300 out of the $1K. He was ready to call them himself and cancel the whole policy, we kind of feel that its useless at this point. But Debbie told him not to call, YET, while she works on it more, and works on Keystone as well. So that is where we're at, waiting for parts now. We can still use the shower and galley sink, we we purchased a port-a-pot for the "middle of night and its cold out" nature calls.

As for work, they are still bouncing me around. Last Wednesday I did training in Crisplant, which is the order packaging facility. We do orders with multiple items there; orders with only one item go someplace else. Its very interesting, and I enjoyed it. I have a rolling cart, with a scanner, a computer monitor, a tape dispensing machine, and about 10 different sizes of boxes. The cart goes up and down the order aisle, where items are deposited down chutes into separate orders. When an order is complete, a light flashes on the chute, and I go to that chute with my cart. I scan the code on the chute, it tells me on the computer monitor what should be in the order, and what size box to make. I make my box, the tape dispenser shoots out the exact size piece of tape I need, and then I scan each item as I place it in the box. I fill in empty space with the air bags, then seal the box, slap a barcode on the package, and put it on the conveyer, where it goes down to shipping. Its pretty easy, and kind of interesting to see what items are actually being bought, and what is ordered together.

So Friday I did my regular shift in Crisplant. Saturday, they rotated me back to Receiving for the rest of the weekend...they are training a ton of new temps ( from temp agencies, not camperforce folks) and needed the space in Crisplant for training, whereas they needed help in receiving and I'm already trained on that. Sunday
I went in and looked for my name on the receiving roster, couldn't find it. Then I saw I was doing Prep for the night. Prep is anything breakable that needs bubblewrap, anything that could get soiled that needs to be bagged, new barcodes on anything...stuff like that. So, I worked on Prep for awhile, then they came and put me back into Receiving, then after the second break I finished the night in Prep again. I can't even guess what I'll be doing when I start again Friday :-).

Most of the camperforce workers here in the state park are having Thanksgiving dinner together tomorrow. There's a restaurant in town that sets aside a room for us and serves a buffet style dinner. It sounds nice, and whereas its not family, at least someone is thinking about it being a holiday! I will let you know how it is.

That's it for this time. Hopefully, everything will work out in due time. I hope everyone has a great holiday. Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

More Rain and More Changes

The weather here has been abysmal lately. We've had at least 3 inches of rain since Monday, and some pretty good thunderstorms early this morning. I have a hurricane candle holder on our picnic table and it looks about 5 inches full of water from here! At least its not too cold, but over the weekend we had some howling winds. White caps in the lake anyone?

Amazon sure does like to keep me on my toes :-). Friday was all receiving, Saturday was receiving until the meal break, then VTO...they shut the lines down at 9:30PM. Sunday was all ACQI work. Up and down, kneeling and stretching for 10 hours...I got my workout that night! Monday was all receiving again. I'm getting pretty good at both jobs now. So guess what? Yes, I'm switching departments again. I stay on my same H night shift, but I'm moving to outbound Crisplant. I will now be packing orders to be shipped out. I go in tonight for training, and believe I start regular shift on Friday, so I will have a night of overtime this week. Now I will have a new process to describe for you :-).

A few people have commented and are watching to see how it is, as they are interested in doing it themselves next year. Will we do it again? Yes, probably. It isn't hard work, per se, but it is physically demanding on your body. The processes are fairly easy to pick up, and after a few nights nights become habit. The work is repetitive, and can definitely cause aches and pains in spots you didn't know you had :-). As our liaison Phil told us, pick your analgesic of choice, and use it! The hardening process did help, I think, in that you had a few nights of half shift work to become accustomed to it before starting the 10 hour shifts. I am finding the hardest thing to get used to is the night shift hours and eating. We pretty much go to bed between 4 and 4:30AM, rising at noon. We have some breakfast, then a hot meal at 4 before going in, and our meal break is at 9:30PM, when I usually have a sandwich. I am also hungry when I get home, so I'll have a small snack before going to bed. But I still have a hard time deciding what I want to eat and when...nothing feels quite "right" yet.

The folks here at Amazon in Campbellsville are also very nice and helpful. The girls in HR are very nice, and are actually giving those of us who ask last year's seasonal camper t-shirts :-). This past Monday Amazon had a catered Thanksgiving dinner for us at our meal break. Monday night was also "DJ" night, where we could hand in requests for songs to be played, and all during our shift we heard quite a variety of music :-). Supposedly there will be a pizza night coming up, and BINGO games at various times. They do seem to be trying to make it as much fun as possible. The managers have all been great in both departments I've worked in, and whereas we do have our production numbers posted after each break, there has been no pressure from anyone to get those numbers up, at least not from what I've heard. I have had some of the PAs that I've talked with tell me that they really appreciate the seasonal campers, and that we do a great job. Nice to hear!

That's about it for now. We haven't done anything interesting the past few days, but there isn't much free time for it anyway. I'll start Christmas shopping soon, from, where else, Amazon :-). We'll be busy in Florida after this, and will try to see and photograph some of the great areas on the "Nature Coast". So, until next time, have a great day!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Amazon Life Goes On

I really apologize; there just isn't much to write about! With our schedules seemingly set, we have one day/night off together: Tuesday. And most of Tuesday morning will be spent sleeping :-). I have returned to receiving work as I started my week on Friday. Last night, however, most of the shift was sent home at the meal break as they closed down receiving and stowing. We could stay and be re-assigned to ICQA, but I was car-pooling with two ladies that didn't wish to stay, so we all went home early last night. Its 5 miles from this campground to Amazon, too far for me to walk, at 3:30AM, after working 10 hours! I may take our truck in tonight, as it may happen again tonight. The managers say that starting the end of next week, peak season should be kicking in, and then there's no down time or VTO (voluntary time off) offered. In fact, an email was sent around asking for volunteers from inbound (which is where I am) to move to outbound, but I decided to stick to what I'm doing. With Al making the extra $$$s as an EMT, I don't really have to kill myself with overtime if I don't have to. Plus, I feel settled in with receiving. My manager came by Friday night with my first week's audit, and I had worked at 95%, which is great, and earned my first Amazon vending coin reward...worth $1.00 in the vending machines. Woohoo :-). Hey, a buck is a buck, and my competitive nature was pleased that I am doing a good job. Last night I felt a bit stuffy, almost like I was catching a cold, and didn't feel like I was moving as fast, but my meal break stats showed I was doing 103%. So I must be "getting it".

Al has settled into the clinic, although he finds it a bit boring...there is so much emphasis on safety and safe procedures here, that he hadn't seen any patients at all on his first 3 night shifts. I'm sure as peak arrives and the warehouse fills, there will be incidents to fill his time :-) .He did find out some interesting facts I can pass on:

How big is the Campbellsville Fulfillment Center?

Nearly 740,000 square feet
Roughly the size of Fenway Park or almost 4 Statue of Liberties
More than 16 acres or 13 football fields
Over twelve miles of conveyors
Capacity to ship 100’s of thousands of units/day

Kind of neat to know.

Anyway, we met some fellow blog writers today, Darrell and Judy Patterson who write Wandering America. They have arrived and are starting Monday with their training. We had a chance to chat for a short while yesterday before we had to get dinner ready and then I went in to work, or w*rk as Darrell writes it :-)! Once they get their schedules we'll be able to find time to have a longer visit. One of the things making the whole experience more pleasant is the great people we've been meeting here. Al works mostly with full-time Amazon employees, who have been really great and interesting...he met the overall building manager Friday night, who used to work for the CIA before retiring...bet he's got some cool stories! The folks on my shift that I work with are all great rv'ers...but I am really finding out that it is true...full-time rv'ers are wonderful folks! Its just something about the mindset. Even with the hard w*ork we are doing here for a few weeks, I am so happy, and have not got a single regret in making the leap to do this. Somewhere I saw a questionnaire and one of the questions was, what is your favorite, place/thing. I answered, I haven't found it yet, and I plan on searching my entire life until I can no longer move before I decide what it is :-)!!

If the weather isn't too rainy on Tuesday, we may try and find something of interest to do for the afternoon. Overall the weather is decent, but it is windy a lot of the time. I have no new wildlife sightings, except I don't know if I wrote about the huge flock of bluebirds that hang out in the fields. They are so pretty! And no run-ins with the polecats yet, thank goodness. Aiden is doing well walking the dogs at night, so that is good. Casey has a bit of a limp again, probably from running so much! He goes out and plays with Helo, a young golden retriever, most afternoons, in the big field next to the campground. They have a grand time playing ball. Chelsea spends her time investigating all the holes in the field...I don't know what lives in them, but she is quite obsessed with them. 

Well, thats all the news that is fit to print so far. We shall continue to trudge along, crossing off the days until its time to join the tail-light parade out of here at Christmas! Flip-flops, wait for me!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Amazon Adventures Continue

It's always an adventure, right?

Al went in Sunday morning at 6AM, and I reported at 5PM for my first 10 hour night. From the time I went to bed Saturday night, we only saw each other for about 1 1/2 hours while sleeping until Tuesday morning! The good news is, even though we can't bring our phones to work, he does have an email account and while he is in the clinic, I can send off a message. And yes, he is working in the clinic itself now. The paperwork was expedited through headquarters, and he is back working in the clinic and not in safety. Tonight, Wednesday, he starts his first night shift. He is working Wed., Thu., Fri., and Mon. nights. I work Fri., Sat., Sun., and Mon. nights. So we have Tuesdays off together, and work the same nights Fri. and Mon. We have a nice young man in the campground, Aiden, who is earning money by walking dogs for us workampers, and he is doing "test-walking" under our supervision last night and the next couple of nights. So the pups will still get their evening duty walk and milk and cookies on the two nights we work together.

I had my first 10 hour shift on Sunday. I was ready for it. I was "hardened", I felt pretty confident in that I remembered the skills I've learned for receiving, I was fairly well rested, and ready to go. You do sense that there is a "but" coming, don't you? When our shift arrived, and reported to our "start-up meeting", we found the receiving conveyors shut down and empty of activity. Seems there was no "receiving" to be done tonight. After what appeared to be alot of discussion on the part of our supervisors, our group was sent to a different department to work that night..we were going to do ICQA. Inventory Count Quality Assurance, I believe, is what the letters stand for. We were given hand scanners, a push cart, a footstool, and sent out into the warehouse (remember, 3 football fields long by 3 football fields wide) to find merchandise bins, and verify that the count of items in that bin was correct. Over and over and over  again. Scan a bin, remove its contents, count it all, verify the count, replace the contents in the bin, start over. The scanner tells you what bin to go to next, what "pick mod" its in(in other words, what section of the warehouse), which shelf its on (from kneeling on the floor, concrete by the way, to standing on the stepstool reaching over your head), and which floor to go to ( 4 floors). Over and over and over. Sounds great, doesn't it?

Once I figured out a "system", I was going along pretty decently, but by the end of the night my knees were killing me from kneeling on the concrete, and my jeans were filthy from crawling around the floor.  I crawled into bed at 4AM, and fell sound asleep! Al was up an hour later, and gone by 6AM. The dogs, however, had some ideas about when the wanted to go out, and had me up at 8:30, even though I really could have slept some more. I did try taking a nap, but never really got to sleep good, and was back on the floor at 5PM Monday night. dearly hoping that there was receiving to be done! Alas, it was not to be, and our group did another round of wonderful ICQA work. This time, though, I went down to the clinic and got a pair of kneepads to use. It did help a lot in the beginning, but even so, by the end of the night I was still wincing as I knelt down to those bins on the floor.

Tuesday we were both off! It was a nice day, so we did some errands, grocery shopping and filling the propane tanks. Caught up on some of our TV shows we like. Made some grilled chicken taco pizzas for dinner which was excellent! Al took a couple of pictures of the sunset that I will leave you with, and we will continue the adventure. Wish me luck that I get back on receiving when I go back Friday night :-)!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Time for Sight-seeing

Yesterday, we both had the day off together! Yay! In looking around to see what there is interesting to do, we decided to visit Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park in Hodgenville, about a 45 minute drive from here. It was a nice day, and we headed off around 11AM after doing some morning chores.

The Historical Park is actually in two different areas. The birthplace is at Sinking Spring Farm, which Lincoln's parents had bought in 1808, paying $200.00 for 300 acres of stony land on Nolin Creek. On February 12, 1809, Abraham Lincoln was born in a cabin on this property.

In 1894 a NY businessman purchased the Lincoln farmland, and had a cabin presumed to be the Lincoln cabin moved to a site near Sinking Spring. It was soon dismantled and reassembled for a traveling exhibition. In 1905 Robert Collier, publisher of Collier's Weekly, purchased the farmland. Together with Mark Twain, William Jennings Bryant, Samuel Gompers, and others, he formed the Lincoln Farm Association in 1906 to preserve Lincoln's birthplace and establish a memorial to the nation's 16th president.

That same year, the group purchased the cabin and raised over $350,000 from 100,000 citizens to build a memorial to house the cabin. President Theodore Roosevelt laid the cornerstone in 1909. In 1911 President William Howard Taft dedicated the marble and granite memorial designed by John Russell Pope. The memorial and Sinking Spring Farm were established as a national park in 1916 and designated Abraham Lincoln Birthplace Historic Site in 1959.
This is the memorial building housing the cabin. It is all climate controlled to preserve the building. There are 59 steps leading to the memorial, symbolizing the 59 years of Lincoln's life. 

The cabin that was once thought to be the Lincoln cabin, but upon being researched by carbon dating, it was determined it could not be the actual cabin itself. It has still been placed in the memorial as old an typical of the area and time, and the National Park Service considers it a symbolic cabin.

Typical of Kentucky's karst topography and hydrologic systems, the spring is a significant natural resource. Its water drains through the subsurface and empties into a branch of the Nolin River a short distance from the park. Sinking Spring is a part of a network of springs and subsurface streams in and near the park. Because the spring's cave supports a variety of fragile cave biota, it is particularly sensitive to pollutants and encroachment. The National Park Service monitors those threats, which effect the cave and its environment. (NPS website)

The Sinking Spring was the most likely deciding factor of the placement for the cabin on the property. It was the primary source of daily water for the family, and most likely the source of Lincoln's first taste of water. The appearance has changed dramatically since the Lincoln era, but the rock formations on the back wall of the spring have been altered only by nature.

In the summer this is a small museum open with memorabilia, and you can also rent one of 4 small cabins to stay in overnight.

There are two walking trails here, the Boundary Oak Trail and Big Sink Trail. We did them both, and the dogs had a great time!

A newer addition to the park, Lincoln Boyhood Home at Knob Creek, is 10 miles north of the birthplace location. Due to a disputed land title, quite common at the time in the frontier, Lincoln's father was forced to give up the Sinking Spring farm. He leased 30 acres of farmland at Knob Creek, and moved his family and belongings ten miles to the new property. The family eventually lost the lease to this, and being disgruntled with the slave trade in Kentucky, Thomas Lincoln moved his family to Indiana, leaving Kentucky behind forever.

The Howard family, interested in memorializing Lincoln, purchased the property in 1931. A cabin was moved onto the property that is representative of the one Lincoln lived in as a child, and an adjacent building was constructed to supply refreshments and gas to travelers. The Boyhood Home became a successful tourist site and began to began to be recognized for its significance in Lincoln's life. It was listed on the national Register of Historic Places in 1988. Congress authorized the acquisition of the site in 1998, and the National Park Service officially assumed management on November 6, 2001. 
The Boyhood Home

The valley that the Lincoln family farmed in at the Boyhood Home

Close-up showing the construction of the cabin

It was a very interesting day, and I learned quite a few things about Lincoln that I didn't know. It makes me want to learn more! We also took this opportunity to purchase our National Parks Passport book, and start collecting the stamps and cancellations of the sites we visit. There are currently over 400 National Park Service historical sites, monuments, parks and memorials to visit. It will keep us quite busy for many years finding our way to all these places :-)!

Back to work tonight! See you soon.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Life at Amazon Continues

Training is continuing on. I am getting my work routine down...not the schedule, but at least what I am supposed to be doing :-). All you folks back on the East End should get a good chuckle, knowing the kind of work I left behind and what I am doing now!

As I said, my job is in the "inbound receiving" area. As the trucks delivering stuff unload. their packages are placed on conveyors coming into the warehouse. There are several lines of these conveyors, and the receiving area has rows of computer terminals lining the conveyor. My station is one of these terminals. As the packages come down the conveyor, you grab one, slide it onto your workstation, open it, unload the contents, scan it into the computer, counting the quantity and checking the UPC codes to make sure the items are all the same, then load it into your juicecart. Over and over and over again! We work 10 hour shifts, with a 30 minute meal break, and two 15 minute break. I have two more nights of the "hardening" 5 hour shifts, and Sunday is my first ten hour shift. And 7 weeks to go! Then the taillights hit Kentucky as we flee to Florida!

Al is having some issue with his position, although not of his making. The paperwork needed for the workampers in AmCare didn't get done properly, so until it makes it way through headquarters he is currently working safety. He is hoping to get back to his training soon, but in the meantime is still working full day shifts at his pay grade, so its not too bad. He still works with the same people, and in doing safety audits is getting to meet a lot of the workamper force here.

The State Park is now empty except for us Amazon workers and a couple of walk-ins, mostly fisherman from the looks of it. The camp store has closed for the season, but the park manager and rangers are still here at the office, as well as the camphosts. They are very nice, Barbara and Jim, and deliver our mail each day, if we have any. Jim also walks around with the honey wagon folks, making sure we all get pumped out each week. They are now also offering propane delivery to your site, which is really helpful.

I now have two co-workers staying here in the park, Nona and Laura, that work the same shift as me, so we can car-pool in together on the nights I don't work with Al, if he makes it to nights at all. So far he is remaining on days. I am also meeting other workers here as we go about doing our thing, and we all like staying here at the park rather than being crammed in at one of the other RV "resorts"...more like RV parking lots to me! We have a great big area to walk the dogs, and birds all over the place, and wildlife. I saw a gorgeous red fox at dusk a couple of days ago, beautiful red coat and the fluffy white tip on its tail. And each night when Al takes the dogs for their evening duty walk, they see a skunk...or "polecat" as they're called here. Lots of white-tailed deer along the road going out of the park, you really have to be careful driving at night. I haven't seen them yet, but Al saw a flock of bluebirds as well.

Today we both have off! I don't know what we'll do, but we'll see if we can find something interesting to get into. And maybe take a picture or two again! See you soon.