Week #6 at Amazon
Disclaimer: We are in no way affiliated with or representing Amazon. We are simply detailing our workamping experiences for those interested during our time as Amazon Camperforce associates.
Oh Cyber Monday! A day that never had much meaning for us, but this year it was the focus day of our time at Amazon. It is their biggest day of the year - their Michael Jordan day of sales. While we don’t typically work on Mondays or Tuesdays, we were scheduled to work both of these days as it was an all-hands on deck type of situation. We had one day off (Sunday) before it was time for our feet to hit the concrete again at the Amazon facility - believe me our feet weren’t happy with this news. We also would be working 11.75 hours rather than or usual 10. While 1.75 hours goes quickly while napping, reading, and Facebook browsing, we were a little concerned how quickly it would go at the end of our shift. The facility was all a-buzz with the hustle and bustle of the Cyber Monday “holiday”. Just like Black Friday, the most noticeable difference was the amount of outbound employees at the facility. Every picker who worked at night, regardless of their regular shift, was working that night. All managers were present making our startup much more lively than normal. Raffle tickets, power hours, and giveaways kept things interesting and exciting. Other than that, the evening progressed just as any other evening with Russ and I starting in our usual place “E-Mod”. However to throw us for a loop shortly after, we received messages regularly moving us to mods we had never picked in before. That made the evening roll by quickly as we moved from mod to mod throughout the entire facility. It was literally the first time we had ever been on floors other than the ground floor, so we will be adding flight climbed to our weekly steps data that you will find at the end of the post. While it might not always be fun to climb stairs, it certainly was nice moving around a bit more rather than just staying in the same section all-night. An added bonus of being above ground level is the floors are no longer concrete. Not like walking on pillows, but still does add a little more give to your step.
When 4:00 AM rolled around, it was strange not heading to the time clock as that is our usual time to head home for the night. Rather, we had a short 10 minute break, before finishing out the last segment of our shift. The time actually passed fairly quickly and before long, it was time to punch-out for the day at 5:45 AM. While leaving the facility it was odd to be among the people who were just arriving to work the day-shift. They were saying “Good Morning” and we were saying “Good Night”!
We slept extra well and repeated the process again on Tuesday with another nearly 12 hour shift. Again the day passed as quickly as a day as a picker can, but our legs were feeling legitimately tired after only having one day to recover between our weeks. However it was encouraging that evening to realize, we had one more day off before we had to finish out our week. On Wednesday, we got the call canceling the extra hours so we finished the week with three regular 10 hour shifts. So while we were scheduled to work 60 hours this week, we ended with 53.5 hours. While our wallets might be disappointed, our bodies most certainly were not.
On Friday afternoon an email was sent to all CamperForce associates about a possible opportunity for a limited number of associates to end their assignment early. It was strictly voluntary and those who volunteer would still receive their end of contract bonus. You had to email by 10 AM the next morning and then release dates would be decided by leadership with the release dates being as early as this past Sunday. Russ and I decided that we were already here and while it is tempting to head South a little early as the mercury continues to drop here in Kentucky, we would pass on the offer. So you can imagine this email was the talk of the town when we arrived at work on Friday. There are quite a few people who signed up and already we have heard and seen a few people heading out, including our neighbors on both sides. We promise we really do shower and our black tank doesn't stink that much. As people accept the offer and leave, this might provide an opportunity for us to work a little more overtime. Don’t tell our feet, but we’ll take it.
The mindless walking for 10 - 12 hours a day does take its toll on our bodies, but also our minds. It provides hours to think about things and ponder who actually orders all this stuff. We have pulled some strange things off the shelves - WOW, really America? We are beyond amazed that so many people order the following from the beloved Amazon:
Ugly Christmas & Hanukkah Sweaters: We know that Ugly Christmas Parties are a fad these days, but honestly never realized how big the craze had become. Are we missing out on something good?
Pet Food: Not sure if the pets are doing the ordering themselves or what! You’re welcome, we are doing the heavy lifting for you. Meow & Woof!
Intimate Apparel: We will leave it at that to be politically correct, but let your imagination wander.
Creams & Gels: They make one for everything and every body part you could possibly think of, from butt enhancement gel to back-acne cream.
Hanes Brand everything: So many pairs of socks, underwear, t-shirts, sweats. We are considering buying stock.
Minecraft figurines: Can someone please let us know what these are all about before I throw another little box of them across the facility?
Lucky for us, they continued a little of the excitement from the Black Friday / Cyber Monday craziness with occasional raffles and power hours the rest of the week. Russ and I cleaned up winning SEVEN $5 gift cards to local establishments, including Kroger, Dairy Queen, and Little Caesars. Thank you Amazon.
To keep with tradition, our weekly Amazon update wouldn’t be complete without the quotes, mileage, and favorite “pick/stow” items from Week #6….
“Just think all of these people ordering are comfortably sitting in front of their computers and phones and here we are working.”
“I miss multiple days off!”
“Would we feel worse if they called it 12 hours?”
“We’re getting rich one $5 gift card at a time!”
“It will be good to get home, but it will feel like someone is driving nails into the bottom of my feet.” ---Quote from a fellow Amazon temp worker. This is one of our favorites as it is a fairly accurate description of the feeling in your feet after finishing a shift.
If you are curious about the world of Workamping, checkout Workamper® News the company that coined the term Workamper® back in 1987. They offer a free membership that allows you to search for jobs and receive the digital version of their magazine. If you do opt for the gold membership which includes additional features like a resume builder & printed magaizine, we would love if you would mention that you were referred by Russ & Betsy simply by using the code AMB103.
RUSS & BETSY'S WORKAMPING REVIEWS / UPDATES:
- - - Texas Lakeside RV Resort in Port Lavaca, Texas (November 2017 - November 2018):
- - - Acadia Bike & Coastal Kayaking in Bar Harbor, Maine (June - October 2017):
- - - Amazon Camperforce in Campbellsville, Kentucky (October - December 2016):