We arrived at Big Chief RV Park across the street from Amazon in Coffeyville, Kansas on Tuesday afternoon. I had made a reservation back in April, and called the week before we arrived to confirm. I was told there was no problem, they had a site for us.
When we arrived, we were told that there were over 70 sites occupied by pipeline workers and Amazon campers under 40 feet would have to double up on sites. We weren’t happy with that, but went with the managers on the golf cart to take a look. They wanted us to double up with another 5th wheel that was about the same size as ours. There was no way we could fit on that site. Plus, they were already plugged into the 50 amp plug. We were not going to accept a 30 amp plug in the same box as the 50 amp.
Eventually, they put us in our own site, but had us pull forward so they could fit a smaller camper behind us if needed. We have a full hookup site with 50 amp. If someone else gets parked behind us, they would have to plug into the same box as us, in the 30 amp plug, share the same sewer hole and water spigot.
A few Amazon workers have left this campground and gone to another park in town because they were not willing to share their site. Hopefully, this will leave enough open sites so we won’t have to share. The only reason we stay here is the proximity to Amazon. We ride our bikes to work most every day which saves on fuel and time. Amazon is not happy that the campground is doing this.
Training was on Thursday and Friday from 1 pm to 5:30 pm. It was the same stuff we’ve done each year so rather boring, but everyone has to do it. There have been some changes at Amazon this year.
They are stocking much more product than ever before. There will be over 1 million items coming in each week for seven weeks. That’s a lot of stuff. For that reason, all campers have been assigned to inbound up to this point. Inbound is getting the stuff into the plant and stocked on the shelves.
We have been assigned to be stowers on the night donut shift. That’s the shift we requested, but not the job. We had asked to be pickers like last year. Stowers put the items on the shelves, pickers take them off. I think stowing will be okay. You don’t move around as much, but its not standing in one spot all the time, and that’s what we definitely didn’t want to do. There is the possibility that once the Christmas rush begins, we may be able to move to the picker job, but no promises.
Another change is that there is no mandatory overtime for campers this year. The maximum you have to work is four ten hour days. Once overtime becomes available, you can volunteer. They think this will work out okay, because the only reason campers are here is to make money, so they will still work the overtime. For me, I’ll maybe work some overtime, but I’m thrilled that I don’t have to if I don’t feel up to it.
We start work on Monday. The first week is a “hardening” week where you only work a half shift each day. Then the next week we start the four ten hour days. We work Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 5:30 pm to 4:00 am. Another adventure begins. It’s only eight weeks, so not so bad.
Our son Korey and his wife Cathryn were on their honeymoon this week. They went on a Disney cruise and return today. I can’t wait to hear all about it. It was Cathryn’s first cruise. I hope she enjoyed cruising as much as we do.
Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!