Week #1 of our new adventure at Amazon in Jeffersonville, Indiana is under our belts (or should I say clear plastic fanny packs, as that is what security will allow you to wear?!). Three more weeks left to get your shopping done, and we will be off to warm (hopefully) and sunny Florida. This first week has flown by, and went relatively well for the 40 of us sent to Picking. The 60 folks sent to the Packing department had a few bumpy days, until the management figured out what to do with all of them. Part of the problem was due to having 1400 people start in 10 days. Just too many bodies for the staff to keep track of.
Picking apparel has been both easy and challenging. The easy part is not having to lift anything heavy, with the exception of some giant Ivanka Trump handbags that must have been a Black Friday special. You could knock a person out with one of those!
The challenging part comes from trying to figure out all the different words the manufacturers use to describe a specific color. Out is blue, red, green, purple. In is viridian, amaranth, harlequin and eminence. So when my scanner is telling me to pick a women’s sweater, medium, in cinereous, I just stare at the different grey sweaters for a while, looking for a medium. Each item has a bar code on it, and if it is the wrong shade of grey, the scanner will beep at you to let you know you are wrong.
When it comes to fashion, I would describe myself as “fashion illiterate”. I am a jeans and t-shirt person, but even t-shirts are not just “t-shirts”. There are ruched long sleeve shirts, princess shirts, popper hem shirts, open shoulder, off shoulder, etc. And then there are the purses! Clutches, shoulder bags, cross body bags, top-handle bags, etc. Fortunately, there are usually only two styles in one bin, so I can figure that one out pretty quickly. One of our fellow Camperforce associates, an older gentleman, stopped me to say he thought he had a missing item in the bin. His scanner told him to pick a “clutch”, and he did not see any automobile parts in the bin. So he started to scan all items, as required if you think the item is missing, and discovered a purse is also a clutch! He said he never heard that term used before.
This year, all Camperforce associates in all four facilities were given a purple t-shirt, which we have all been wearing at SDF-8.
I have been stopped multiple times by the regular full-time employees at SDF-8. They are very thankful we are here to help, and ask if we have any questions. Many are curious about our lifestyle, and think it is great that we are able to do this. One gal said this has been the worst she has ever seen it since the plant opened in 2012. She said it is not normally so chaotic, but they just cannot keep up with the demand, and have to hire anyone that comes through the door.
We have been enjoying picking at this facility. It is very well-organized, but huge. The pick mods start at aisle 100, and go up to 250. The bins (start of the row) begin at 20 and end at 980. Each floor is divided into three sections. To put that into perspective at Campbellsville, the biggest section (Q) would start at row 1 up to row 102. Each row would have bins 1 – 95.
Starting with Black Friday, we are now on 11 hour days. It is not mandatory for the Camperforce to do 11 hours, but we decided to try it, and was pleasantly surprised at how fast the time went by. We are just not as tired at this facility. The floors are not plywood, so the feet do not get as tired. And since the pick areas are so big, we do not have to walk up and down the stairs as often. Most of the people who have pedometers said they are walking about the same or less as they did in Campbellsville. We were laughing on break that if we don’t walk more than 10 miles in a day, it just doesn’t feel like we have been working very hard! Your body really does adapt to the walking after a few weeks.
Makena has been doing well. Her dog walker likes to jog, so she has been jogging in the park across the street with her. Every day we get a report card on how she is doing, and we really look forward to that. So far, she is “exceeding expectations”!!
Quote for the day: “Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don’t recognize them.” – Ann Landers