The End is Near!!!

Monday night we received an e-mail from Amazon with our end dates, by shift, for the workcampers.  The end dates are spread over 3 days, depending on your shift.  Our final day is Saturday, December 21.  We are the last of the groups to go, and we are happy that we will work until Saturday, as it will give us 20 hours of overtime this week.

Tomorrow (Thursday) is our off day.  We plan on getting everything ready for our departure on Sunday.  Amazon pays for 1 extra day on your campsite, so people do not have to leave right after working 10 hours.   As to where we will end up Sunday night, we are leaving our options open.  We can’t get in to the campground in Cedar Key, FL until January 2, so we have a week or so to wander around down south.  We have several campgrounds picked out in Alabama.  It will just depend on the weather and how tired we are.  We are even hoping we can watch a bit of the Packers game on Sunday.

It has been a pretty busy week at work, and they are always having contests every day in picking.  We have both won multiple gift cards for Kroger grocery store, Subway and Domino’s.  In addition, the vending service had prepared a chili and bake potato lunch for us on Sunday.  Candy canes were handed out on Monday, and yesterday Amazon had soft pretzels and cheese for the afternoon break.  They also had an attendance drawing for the workcampers.  One person won a Kindle Fire HD, and 9 others won Amazon gift cards.

Only 20 more hours of work!!  (My feet will be happy, as they are getting a little worn out from all the walking).  Actually 18 hours, as we have a “release party” on our last day starting at 3:00pm.  But we will be paid for the full shift.  Not really sure what they will do at the release party, so I will let you know.  We have already submitted our exit interview.  This was the first year they gave the questionnaire ahead of time to the campers.  I am sure they will get more thoughtful comments as a result.

Makena keeps running towards the truck when we let her outside.  I think she is getting anxious to move on as well!!

Quote for the day:  “My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was sixty. She’s  ninety-seven now, and we don’t know where the hell she is.” Ellen DeGeneres

 

 

Odds and Ends

After 6 days in a row, and about 75 miles of walking, we had a day off on Thursday. We were expecting to go back to work today (Friday) for mandatory overtime, but it was cancelled. At first we were disappointed, but we appreciated another day of rest. And we made sure it was a day of excitement, with laundry, defrosting the freezer, clipping Makena’s nails, and making a big pot of chili to go with another Columbo movie!!

On Monday, we did get together with Karen and Al, whose blog I have been following for awhile now. (http://wishuponanrvstar.blogspot.com/) It has been fun getting to meet all the folks who have helped to inspire us to live our dreams.

This week we did have a telephone job interview, for Crazy Horse Memorial. We did accept the jobs, and we are both looking forward to spending May thru September of 2014 in the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota. We will be working in the gift shop. You can check it out at: http://crazyhorsememorial.org So if you are out that way, please let us know so we can get together. They do have a campground right at the memorial, so we can walk or bicycle to work.

There is one thing this time a year that I will miss…and no it isn’t snow and bitter cold!! My sister Margie and I have been having a “cookie bake-a-thon” for over 25 years. We spend 3 days doing nothing but making Christmas cookies. Day 1 is planning and mixing the dough. Day 2 is baking, and Day 3 is decorating/frosting and boxing up the cookies for gifts for family and friends. And of course at the end of each night, we would have a tasty Tom and Jerry!!!

When we were at the grocery store the other day, I just felt very sad when I looked at the display of baking ingredients….

Here are some past photos:

Margie and I

Margie and I

 

The supplies

The supplies

 

The finished product!

The finished product!

 

Chief cookie inspector

Chief cookie inspector

 

end of the night!

end of the night!

 

Quote for the day: “Think what a better world it would be if we all, the whole world, had cookies  and milk about three o’clock every afternoon and then lay down on our blankets  for a nap.” – Barbara Jordan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Still plugging along….

The internet at the park has been down for several days, so I had to wait to make a new post.  We had been using our phones as a hotspot, but then we received a message from Verizon that we used 1.9 of our 2 GB, so we had to shut that down as well!

We are just strictly in work mode for now, no more playing tourist until we are done at Amazon.  If all goes well, we will be working 16 of the next 18 days.  We should find out in the next week what our tentative end date is for our workcamping job at Amazon.

Black Friday was a busy day for us, as well as Cyber Monday.  I had been averaging 11 miles of walking per day at work. On those 2 days, I hit 15 miles.  In our welcome packet that we received when we started, we had a sample of BioFreeze pain relieving gel.  Well that got used up in a hurry after this week!  We worked 5 days in a row, and had a restful Wednesday and Thursday off.  Our highlight of the week was getting propane, as we completely ran out.  (lesson learned:  running the furnace really sucks up the propane!).  We have since purchased a space heater from Amazon!

It was also nice to see the sun on Wednesday.  It is dark when we leave at 6am, and dark when we arrive back at the camper at 5:30pm.  We didn’t realize how much we missed seeing daylight, until we had our off days. Makena also enjoyed having us home during the daylight hours as she was able to get some extra play time outside.

We are now working 6 days in a row, as we have 1 day of mandatory overtime, and 1 day of voluntary overtime (for the workcampers).  The regular Amazon employees must do the 60 hours of overtime.  But it is only for 2 weeks, and we have a full jar of Icy/Hot, and a full bottle of ibuprofen ready for the task!!!

Another highlight for us this week was the arrival of Columbo: The Complete Series!  We have picked so many of that set, that we decided to order one.  The only problem we have with it, is that we are so tired when we get home we fall asleep while watching it.  It takes us about 3 days to get through one episode!  The set consists of 35 DVD’s of all 7 seasons of the tv show, as well as 23 made for tv movies!

Amazon had a job fair last Monday for the workcampers.  It was nice meeting with some employers such as Yellowstone Park and Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  Things to keep in mind for future years!

We hope all is going well for everyone!

 

Quote for the day:  “Just one more thing…..”  Peter Falk

 

Happy Thanksgiving

We hope everyone has a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

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This afternoon we are going out for a Thanksgiving dinner with a group of our neighbors at the campground who also work at Amazon. We are looking forward to a good meal and great conversations. Hopefully the Packers can get a win today…? Unfortunately we won’t be able to watch the game today, but at least we should be able to stream the audio.

Tomorrow begins the official start of the Christmas shopping season, and all shifts will be working at Amazon.  Should be an interesting day.  We may, depending on the volume of orders, start mandatory overtime next week.  We are hoping for it.  We have  already had 3 voluntary overtime days so far this season.  We could potentially have mandatory plus voluntary overtime for 2 weeks, which would mean 60 hour weeks ( we may need to buy another pair of tennis shoes!)

This week the managers handed out fresh fruit during our afternoon break, which was a pleasant surprise.  I guess they will be providing occasional treats for us.

They have also been having picking contests one day a week.  Dan has won both times now!!  The first time he won two tokens which can be used in the vending machines.  This week he won $10 in “Campbellsville cash”.  The ‘cash’ can be used to purchase Amazon branded items such as t-shirts, chip clips, glassware, etc.

Quote for the day –  “Be thankful for what you have, you’ll end up having more.  If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”  Oprah Winfrey

4 more Saturdays!

The end is near, as we only have to get up early on Saturdays for 4 more weeks!  The volume is picking up at work, and there are so many people in the building now.  When we started on September 30, you could pick for several hours without seeing anyone.  Now there are people all over, and another group of 20 or so temporary employees started today in picking.  We had over 130 pickers this morning.  When we started, there was about 30 in the morning.

The last 2 Saturdays Dan and I, along with a few other pickers, have volunteered to work in ICQA, which is the inventory control/quality assurance department.  With this job, we take our scanner, go to the bin on the scanner, count all the items in the bin, enter it on the scanner, and move on to the next bin it assigns us to.  Unlike picking, there is very little walking around.  It is a pretty easy job, although you have a lot of bending/squatting to look into the bins closer to the ground.  And there is no time required to do this job.  With picking, your scanner tells you what item to get, and where it is located, and it will have a little timer telling you that you how many seconds you have to pick that item.  ICQA is very laid back, and you get to browse more at the merchandise.  But we both prefer picking, as we like to keep moving.

We only get one tv channel here, the CW, which plays endless episodes of The Peoples Court.  But they are constantly running commercials advertising the live broadcast on NBC of The Sound of Music with Carrie Underwood on December 5.  Today I noticed a bin full of the audio CD’s of the “music from the live event”.  So I’m not sure how live it is!  It is available now as a pre- order.

I also had time today to look at the Susan Boyle “Home for Christmas” CD.  I have picked a lot of these, and it looks like a pretty good Christmas album.

Originally, we were to have off next Tuesday, and work Black Friday instead.  That way, Amazon didn’t have to pay is overtime.  But now they are offering voluntary overtime on Tuesday, so we signed up for that.  In December, we will have mandatory overtime on Fridays.  There are 2 weeks that we may be able to get additional overtime, so we could be doing six 10 hour days each week….ka-ching!!$$$

Quote for the Day:  “The best preparation for good work tomorrow is to do good work today” – Elbert Hubbard