Final thoughts on Amazon

Now that the dust has settled, and our final checks have been received, including the retention bonus, I will have one last post on our fall work camping jobs with Amazon.  If you want to read more posts on our time at Amazon, you can go to our home page and click on tabs for Amazon.

This was an unusual year for us, as we began our 12 weeks at the center in Campbellsville, KY, where we worked in 2013 as well.  Our second year was going well, and we renewed old friendships, and made new ones as well.  Our final 4 weeks were spent at the center in Jeffersonville, IN (SDF-8).  I have previously blogged about how we ended up there.

Overall, we had a good time up in Jeffersonville, IN.  It was very crazy when we started, as they had just hired on 1400 temporary employees over the last 10 days before we started.  Clearly, management had too many people to watch over, and it was a bit entertaining, and frustrating, watching so many people stand around and not work.  But over the next 10 days, management seemed to catch up, and many of the temps were no longer employed.  Amazon does not tolerate people who have no desire to work.

As far as the work, we enjoyed picking apparel, jewelry and watches compared to some of the heavier items we picked in Campbellsville.  SDF-8 is clean, climate-controlled, and well-organized for picking.  Our managers were very pleased with the performance on the Camperforce team.  Several of them commented that our “numbers” (production) were equal to or even better than their veteran full-timers were doing.  They were hoping that our work ethic would rub off on the “younger” employees!  Over and over we heard how they want to have a full Camperforce team next year, because they would not have to hire so many temporary employees.

HOW MUCH CAN YOU MAKE IN A SEASON?

The center in Kentucky (SDF-1) pays $10.00/hour and includes your campground.  If you work 2nd shift, or the weekend day shift, you will receive an additional $0.60/hour as a shift differential.  If you complete your season, you will receive an additional $1.00/hour for every hour that you work.  In addition, you receive time and a half for all hours worked over 40 in a week.   SDF-1 hires about 500 Camperforce, starting at the end of August, going through the middle of November.  We like working 12 weeks, so we start at the end of September.  The pay rate in Indiana was $10.75/hour.  We have not heard what the pay rate will be for this fall.

Our total gross pay for the 12 weeks at KY/IN was $12,983.61.  This amount does not include the additional bonus money that we received for going to Indiana.  Amazon paid us $1,000.00 each (net) for going up to IN.  This was a one-time deal.  We also each made additional money in gift cards for working there.  Indiana was very generous with gift cards.

For working 59 1/2 hours, we each received a $100.00 VISA gift card (we did this for 2 weeks), and we received another $100.00 in gift cards from Target, Subway, Panera Bread, Applebee’s, and Texas Roadhouse for various contests they held for picking.  Another workcamper won over $400.00 in gift cards for these contests.  From talking with other Camperforce, the IN facility was the most generous facility in perks.  We also had three free pizza lunches, cupcakes, fruit, Panera treats, and several Krispy Crème donut days in Indiana.

WILL WE GO BACK? 

Yes, we will go back for our 3rd peak season!  Amazon is not an easy job, but it pays well for a workcamping job, provides a free campsite, has some nice perks (gift cards), and gets us in good shape!  But the best part of the job, is all the wonderful people that we meet.  There is something about making it through a season that brings people together.  Your co-workers become an extended family, and you can make some wonderful friendships if you want.

Amazon is also a great place to work if you are a single, or have a spouse that does not want or need to work at Amazon.  They just want people who are willing to show up and work for the season.  As long as you realize you are just there to work, and not change the culture of how Amazon does things, you will do just fine.

Also, Amazon is a great way to network about other work camping jobs.  All of our other jobs have come from talking with co-workers about jobs.  In addition, the KY location has an annual job fair in December that is well attended by employers.

WHAT LOCATIONS ARE AVAILABLE?

The program will be changing this year, as the centers in Coffeysville, Kansas and Fernley, Nevada have closed (Amazon has opened newer centers near those locations).  According to Amazon’s Camperforce website, they will have programs in place in KY, TN, IN and Haslet, TX (which is a new site).  The site does state to check after January 15, 2015 for more details.

We have not heard any details on what the pay or campgrounds will be for IN.  We would consider going back to KY or IN, depending on the terms.  We will wait to decide on the location until we have more details.

THE BIGGEST LOSER!

And a drum roll please…..the one thing our families have been waiting for! The final weight loss numbers from our 12 week fitness program. For the first time since the 1980’s Dan weighs under 200 lbs. He lost 14 1/2  pounds this year after losing 27 last year, as well as 5% body fat.  I lost 6 pounds (too many dinners out!) but 6% body fat!

If you have any questions regarding Amazon, please let us know.

Quote for the day:  “I used to work at a movie theater and sold hams at Honey Baked Hams during the holidays.  I sold a ton of hams and they offered me a regular job there, which I turned down.  I feel like anything you do, just do it 100% because then that work ethic will bleed through when it’s time to work on your dreams.”  – Tika Sumpter

 

 

 

15 thoughts on “Final thoughts on Amazon

  1. y’all have such a wonderful writing style! Did Jonelle, Dan or Makena write this one?

    Hope you stay warm and happy, You certainly are right on about the friendships formed during peak!

    love you both ml

    • Hi MaryLloyd! Good to hear from you. Jonell does the writing, Dan does the proof reading. Makena has her own blog – she will probably be posting soon! It’s a little cool in FL, but not as bad as elsewhere. Should be back to 80 on Monday! Take Care

  2. I enjoyed your run down on Amazon – loved your quote “As long as you don’t want to change the culture of Amazon” It has been great working along with you (without the weight loss LOL) All the way from Australia. ..the only connect I have with Amazon is downloading books – and that is super efficient – cheers….lesalp.blogspot.com.au

    • Interesting recap on Amazon. Now it’s playtime for you guys! Have fun!
      We made it back to Lake Mead and start back to work on Monday.

    • Thanks for following along Leslie! Cheers to you as well. We met a lot of great folks from Australia this past summer working at Crazy Horse Memorial in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Your country is on our ‘bucket list’ of places to visit!

    • Thanks for following our adventures. Amazon is not “fun”, but certainly do-able. It’s the fellow campers that keep us coming back. (well, and the paychecks!). Good luck to you on your plans.

  3. Good recap on your 12 weeks. We decided we will be back as well, but not until the first week of October. We need to spend some time in PA to see George’s kids and granddaughters!

  4. Dear Makena,
    I have found the 14.5 lbs that Dan shed. It evidently travelled to Minnesota this winter and I’ve been wearing it. It doesn’t look good on me. I think the key is not playing enough FOOTBALL. When your parents read this to you, they will hopefully emphasize the word FOOTBALL as I put it in capital letters. Looking forward to seeing you in a couple of weeks. I’m sure your getting in FOOTBALL shape since your parents now have plenty of time play catch. See you in a couple weeks…….

  5. Pingback: Blog Post 100 – again stolen by the dog | Liv2RV

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