Amazon – has it been 4 weeks already??!!

Wow, we can’t believe we have just finished our fourth week at Amazon.  What a difference a year makes!

Last year, our first at Amazon, was so frustrating at the beginning.  The physical part of walking all day was not so much a problem.  But the confusion of learning where everything was in the building, as well as the mind-numbing tedious nature to our jobs made for a difficult first month.  This year was truly a ‘piece of cake’!

The two hardest parts of Picking is learning the buildings, as you will be all over the place, and you must do so in a very timely manner.  The second part is just accepting the fact that Picking is a very, very boring job.  You will spend most of the day talking to yourself, as that is who you will be working with!  Breaks and lunch are the only time you really have to talk with anyone, other than a quick ‘hi’ when you are passing people in the building.

You can prepare for the physical nature of the job, but the mental part was truly an adjustment.  This year, knowing full well what we were getting into, made for a much easier transition.  You have to give yourself 4 weeks to not only condition your body, but your mind as well.  Most of the folks who quit, usually do so before their fourth week.  But if you can stick it out, you will meet a lot of nice people, learn about good/bad places to work, and get in shape as well.

Heartland Campground

This year we decided to stay at the campground that is technically across the street from Amazon in Campbellsville, KY, Heartland Campground.  Most people here refer to it as the ‘rockpile’, as it is really nothing more than a gravel parking lot, with white paint outlining your site.  But it has 50 amp, water and sewer, and Amazon pays 100% of the cost.  Although the Green River State Park where we stayed last year is beautiful, we decided to save time and gas money by walking to work.  The parking lot at Amazon gets very congested after Thanksgiving, and we spent a lot of time waiting in long lines.

Heartland Camground

Heartland Campground

If you look closely at the right center of the picture, you can see Amazon.  Not exactly ‘across the street’.  From our door to Amazon, it takes us 8 minutes to walk (a little quicker on those 45 degree mornings!)

Amazon in the distance

Amazon in the distance

Here is a zoomed in photograph of Amazon from the roof of our fifth wheel.

Amazon

Amazon

This campground has space for 100 RV’s, of all sizes and shapes.  We opted for the farthest row from Amazon, as it overlooks some green space.  We chose our spot so Makena would be looking into trees, and not other people. It also is a good area to walk Makena and play some football (it’s always about the pets, you know!)

view out back window

view out back window

Amazon Updates

This week we attended the ‘all hands on deck’ meeting for the month of October.  It is the last all staff meeting for the year.  The first thing the general manager emphasized, was that this facility was not going to close.  Last month, it was announced the center in Coffeysville, Kansas will be closing in February.  (this is one of four sites they hire workcampers at).  All the employees at that location can transfer to any facility of their choosing.  Apparently since that announcement, the rumors were flying that this location would be next.  The GM emphasized they have just signed a new long-term lease here, and they were making many improvements to the facility, including the repaving of the parking lot, which has already begun.  That seemed to make a lot of people happy.

They also talked about the projections for peak season, as well as overtime.  It looks like we will be able to get the same amount of overtime as last year, for outbound (picking and packing).  Inbound (stowing and receiving), will have even more overtime opportunities.  They will be hiring another 1500 people for the peak season, so the building will be getting pretty full, as it was last year.

The employees celebrating their 15 years at this location were also announced to the group.  The GM said this location has the most employees with the longest tenure at Amazon.  In  addition to receiving an additional grant of $2000.00 in stock options, they received a $100 Visa gift card, and a nice jacket.  One of the gals wore an orange shirt with the words “15 years of hard time” on the back!  That got a laugh out of the group.  She said in 4 years she will be ‘paroled’!

The GM also talked about the bonus for the regular employees for October.  Apparently, every month that you have perfect attendance at Amazon, you get a 4% bonus.  During the months of October thru December, it is doubled.  And if the facility meets their production goal, there is a 6% bonus for the employees.  The GM said they are on track to meeting the production bonus, which means the employees with perfect attendance will receive a bonus of 14% for the month, based on their base pay.  That made a lot of people happy.

We haven’t been doing too much on our days off.  Just resting and getting caught up on some things we neglected this summer.

Quote for the day:  “All things are difficult, before they are easy.” – Thomas Fuller

 

 

 

8 thoughts on “Amazon – has it been 4 weeks already??!!

  1. Good to hear the 10 miles per day is a piece of cake this year.. .I think… hum…. I’ll just have the piece of cake. 🙂
    Never stop exploring ~ nancy 🙂

  2. Are you able to listed to an iPod while you pick, or a radio? That might make it go faster ( for me). Also, is there a rumor an Amazon plant might open in Wisconsin? Glad you guys feel acclimated this year. – Cheryl

    • No, we cannot listen to an iPod, for safety reasons. You always need to be aware of your surroundings, especially when peak season starts, and the building gets very crowded. I believe they are building a center in Kenosha.

  3. Glad to hear your experience has been better. I had a stressful event today. Last Thursday I purchased 3 twenty gallon propane tanks and one of them had a faulty knob that would not turn. I took the tank back without a receipt and of course the clerk was bound and determined I needed my receipt because how would she know I bought the tank there. After a run around she went into her computer and found my purchase and then of course she had to call her boss and eventually she gave me a different tank. I then thanked her and said I would like to exchange another tank I had and of course she made me go inside and pay for it before she would pull another tank out even though I had the exchange tank right there. So then we had to go back outside, she had to unlock the cage, and then she got out a tank. I politely thanked her and she did not respond. I said to her you know when a customer thanks you it would be nice to say your welcome. She said if I did not argue with her when she kept telling me I needed a receipt…I responded about buying a product in good faith and did she expect that I was going to accept losing $20.00 dollars? I told her I would look for my receipt and if I find it…which I have found…I will bring it and show her. Wow! She kept saying how do I know I did not buy it somewhere else. I told her if I was trying to pull off a scam I would take it somewhere else where they charge more for a tank. Whew…am I glad I made it through that experience (pretty calmly). I think when I said “you mean your boss is willing to lose my business over exchanging a tank I purchased here” etc etc etc…

    Peace to you three!

  4. You are in full swing. I am just now thinking of Christmas shopping but I have really been super cleaning but having a lot of fun, movies, plays, books, friends and just plain staying at home.
    I am so glad that you write these interesting info. You are both great and enthusiastic friends. Happy Thanksgiving. Those bonuses sure are encouraging aren’t they. Perfect attendance etc.
    Take care >Hills look really nice today. Love Margaret (Tretheway)

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