We worked our first 50 hour week at Amazon this week, with 10 hour days on Sun, Mon, Tues, Thurs, and Fri. Because there are now so many seasonal employees in the building, our shift also moved to a 6am start time, coinciding with the time change last weekend. So, we are actually getting up at exactly the same time that we always did, except now it’s called 4am, rather than 5am, and that is somehow very psychologically difficult!
JJ and I were also tapped to do some cross training this week. He worked with the water-spiders, who receive boxes off conveyers all over the building. Their job is to neatly and efficiently pack carts for stowers to put away. A good water-spider makes a stower very happy–if a cart is loaded correctly, we can just walk right up, scan all the barcodes we need, and be on our way in a minute or two. On the other hand, if a cart isn’t packed right, we have to move each box around to get to the barcodes, which can take 5 minutes. Since we process a cart about every 30-40 minutes, a good water-spider can save you an hour of work each day. JJ, of course, was very conscientious.
I learned Prep, where I created sets, bagged, bubble wrapped, taped and black wrapped. Most product comes from the manufacturer in huge cases that need to be broken down into either singles or doubles or more, for sale. In general, when you purchase something off Amazon that’s listed as “set of x”, it probably went through Prep to get that way. I also bubble wrapped and taped delicate items, and black wrapped “adult novelties.” (I actually had quite a run of “novelties”, much to the amusement of the other campers who had worked on that line for years. The highlight of the day was when one prim looking camper in her 70s held up a ginormous male prosthetique, waved it at me and laughed while yelling “are you having fun yet!?”)
We both really enjoyed the different jobs, but later in the week, stowing was really backed up, and we had to help get product on the shelves. (I’m not quite sure how bad it can get, but I know the ideal backlog is about .25 days. On Thursday, we were at 1.1 days backlog, and at 1.2 on Friday. I can only assume it might get worse.) I’m happy to report that we are (as many of you predicted) getting faster at stowing. On Friday, I looked at my numbers. (I know, I know, I shouldn’t even look, but it’s a compulsion.) At 10 in the morning, I was at 108%. I though it was just a lucky fluke. When I checked at the next two posting times later in the day, I was at 102%, and then 99%. I’m really slow at large items, but zippy with the small stuff, so it evens out to a good overall number!
I keep meaning to post a picture of the shirt that JJ’s mom sent to us. It’s super soft, and fits me perfectly. Love it!
We went out for an ice cream date with our new Lazy Daze friends from our RV park, Mike and his daughter, Mary. Mike has been full-timing for years, and Mary decided to join him to make some money after graduating college recently. Mike is a real card, who always makes us laugh. And Mary is so our kind of people…at the ice cream shop, she had a junior sundae, finished it, and said, “I need more ice cream!” So she had another!
Much to our surprise, today, Sunday, is not an overtime day, although it was last weekend. So, we had time to do all our chores over 2 days. We made a run to Reno yesterday to stock up on dry goods. While the grocery in Fernley has everything we need, a lot is super expensive. We went to Winco (my new favorite grocery) and loaded up on all the paper products and pantry items that we will need for the next 6 weeks. I estimate that we saved about $200!
At first, I wanted to go to Lake Tahoe this weekend, but I’m slowly coming to grips with a reality about our time here: if we have time off, we need to be recuperating, not running around. Driving and hiking is fine for the times that we’re not working, but with this type of job, any kind of day-off exertion is distress, not eustress. I’m feeling pent-up and annoyed with this town with nothing to do, but it’s just not wise to make the 150 mile round trips to beautiful locations around us. I keep telling myself that it is only for 6 more weeks, and then I can enjoy all sorts of recreation.
And boy, do we need the rest! Friday night, I put in about 10 hours of sleep, and JJ got about 11. We are completely beat when we get home every night. (But doing better than a lot of our co-workers, who just take a shower and go to bed with no dinner!) We are both having carpal tunnel problems. I can’t even lay on one side at night, or I wake up with my hand completely numb. I know we need to be doing some active recovery, so we are meeting Mary today at the RV park rec center to do some yoga and stretching.
6 weeks and a few days to go!