Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Not All Who Wander Are Lost
June, 2019 - Mount Denali, Alaska

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Madness Is Upon Us

Well, they weren’t kidding when they told us that the “peak” season at Amazon would be crazy. The madness and frenzy are now in full force! Based on the amount of orders, I’m having a hard time believing our economy is in trouble.

When we started our job in mid-October, the backlog each night was around 30,000. The backlog is the number of orders that need to be filled. The last few shifts we’ve worked, the backlog is over 200,000.

With that increased business comes increased work hours. The last 3 out of 4 days were mandatory 11 hour shifts for us. We’re also now on the mandatory 5 shifts per week. That means over 50 hours a week. In addition to all of those hours, there is voluntary overtime available. You are allowed to work a maximum of 60 hours a week.

Kevin worked a voluntary half shift of overtime last night, so he will have a total of 59 hours this week. I said “no thanks” to voluntary overtime, so I’ll ONLY have 54 hours this week.

As you can imagine, we pretty much are just working and sleeping. I have adjusted a little better to working nights. I’m now able to sleep about 6 hours after work. On days off, I’m sleeping 10 or 11 hours in a row. I’m very much looking forward to a regular sleep schedule again!

It’s hard being on your feet for so long. By the end of a shift, my feet and back are quite sore. I can honestly say this is the most physical job I’ve ever had, even more than the waitressing I did in high school and college. And, I was a lot younger then. Kevin spent much more time on his feet in his career, so he is not having as much trouble adjusting.

Last week we were moved from packing on the multi-item lines to the single items section. Now, we’re only packing single item orders. This means even less moving and pretty much standing in one spot. Kevin is sometimes assigned the job of “water spider” which means he brings supplies to the single packing stations to make sure no one runs out of boxes, tape, etc. He likes that job because he gets to move around more.

I’ve been working half of each shift as a “jackpot”. I stand between two conveyors and move the small boxes in the correct position to go through the shipping label machine. It’s boring, but I’m moving back and forth between the conveyors so my back doesn’t get as sore from standing in one spot. It’s good to have a little variety in the work assignment.

The good news is we’ve both lost a little weight. Not as much as we had hoped when we thought we would be “pickers” and walking the whole time, but still a little, which is a good thing.

At most we have 17 days of work left. I’m sure looking forward to the end. As hard as it’s been, the pay-off is excellent, and the income will allow us to take the winter off.

We are seriously considering working for Amazon again next year. Now that we’ve done it, we know better which questions to ask before making the commitment. If they give us day shift and a better job assignment, we’ll probably do it again. Many of the workampers have left or say they will never come back. We’ll have to see what happens.

I sure have had a lot of Blogsvertise ads all of a sudden. Sometimes, they only send me an ad opportunity every couple of months. Now, I’ve had three ads in two weeks. They pay an average of about $10 per ad, so I’m happy to publish them. Every little bit helps. Remember, the ads have a star * at the beginning and end of the title, so you can easily tell if a post is an ad. It’s up to you whether you want to read them or not :)

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!