We survived our first week, nine to go.
As I said, it’s not as bad as I thought it would be. For me, the worst is adjusting to the night shift. I’m able to sleep between five and six hours before waking up. I normally am not one to take naps, but I did nap for about 30 minutes yesterday. We don’t plan on keeping this crazy sleep schedule on our days off. I hope to get a very good night’s sleep tonight :)
The second hardest thing is being on your feet for 10 hours. Packing on the line does give you the opportunity to move around a bit, so you’re not completely standing in one spot all the time. But, after the first 8 hours, my feet are pretty sore. However, the next morning I’m feeling fine again, just tired.
Time does go pretty fast. There’s always another order to pack. Last night we found out that two of the lines are for big orders. That involves preparing larger boxes and filling those orders. A lot of diapers, formula, and bulk food items. These lines seem to have the most problems. Because of the size of the items, they sometimes get stuck in a chute or go down the wrong one. So, you spend a lot of time looking for your items or getting help from the problem solving desk.
Each shift you work the first half of the shift on one line, and then they switch you to another one for the second half. It’s supposed to help keep everyone from doing the same repetitive motions. I definitely like the smaller order lines better. Working the big order lines involves much more bending and lifting.
It’s quite interesting to see some of the products Amazon sells. I’m surprised by the amount of food products, things like boxes of cereal, peanut butter and coffee are popular items. Also, lots of baby and electronic items. Many of the orders are for books. I noticed lots of religious books, maybe it’s a sign of the times. Some of the most unusual items have been some adult rated items. I packed a book called “Tickle His Pickle”. And yes, it’s what you’re thinking :) I also packed a box of adult playing cards. Kevin had an order for powdered peanut butter. We’ve never heard of that.
I’ve had quite a few comments on my last few posts with questions, so I’m going to try to answer them all. Our shifts are ten hours. Amazon is paying the full cost of our site. I was surprised to learn that quite a few of the couples here only have one of them working at the plant. Amazon still pays for the full site.
The first two nights I wore tennis shoes. Last night I wore my Merrell hiking shoes. They were a bit more comfortable because the soles are thicker. You are not allowed to wear toning shoes. They have been deemed to be a trip hazard. I have a pair of Avia toning tennis shoes, and they are the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever had. So, I was bummed that I couldn’t wear them. Kevin says his back and feet have not been hurting.
There are no pads on the floor on the lines because you have to roll your cart up and down the line to the chutes that have orders ready. There is an area called singles where you stand at a station and pack single items. There are mats in that area. We’ll probably have to work there at some point, as well. I think standing in one spot, even with a mat, would be harder. We’ll see.
Amazon has hired some returning workampers to be Seasonal Camper Coaches. There is a lady (I forgot her name) who has come around the last two nights and asked us how things are going. I told her about our problem of not getting the shift and job we thought we had signed up for. She said many people have the same complaint. She heard there was an HR meeting last week where it was decided the only way to get anything changed would be with a doctor’s excuse. So, I’m thinking we’re stuck with this shift. Of course, we could just leave. But, let’s face it. Everyone is here for the same reason, for the money. Between the two of us, we will make about $10,000 in 10 weeks. We feel the pay-off is worth it. So, we’re staying and will deal with it. After all, only 9 weeks to go :)
I’d like to welcome several new followers. It seems this Amazon topic is of interest to quite a few of you. I’ll keep giving you as much information as I can. Keep asking questions, so I know what you want to hear about.
Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!