another 50 hours done…

Another  50 hour week DONE!  ONE to go!  Each individual hour seems to go so slow, but when looking back, it’s more like “where did the week go?

Today we got our chores done, well, except vacuuming, haven’t done that, but laundry is done and food shopping is done.  Bill just put a whole 5lb chicken in the InstaPot – should take about 25 minutes til fully cooked!  After that we plan to make a pot of soup!  YUM!

I had told you last week I would give a brief description of all jobs available to CamperForce at Amazon.  Here goes:

In Bound:

Receiving – these people get the items off the truck and get them ready to be stowed.  Since this facility will soon be ALL clothes, they put clothes (that aren’t already) in bags and label them with ASIN (bar codes) numbers.  There may be more to it, but I’ve only met one person doing this job and it was a short conversation.

Stowers – these people get carts full of items that need to be stowed in bins/drawers so Pickers can pick them.  They are sent to an area and stow the items.  Not too much to it.  They have scanners, so they scan the bin/drawer, then the item, then put the item into the bin/drawer.

IC/QA – Intentory Control/Quality Assurance, basically people who have this job count items in bins.  We have friends in the TN location doing this.  Sounds boring to me, but I guess no more boring than the other jobs become over time.

Out Bound:

Pickers – this is what I did when we first arrived and Bill is still doing it.  He gets a cart, puts an empty tote on it, takes a scanner and (after logging in) gets told where to go to “pick” an item.  When he gets there, there will be more than the item he is looking for in the bin/drawer, so sometimes he has to dig through it to find the exact item.  This can be complicated, especially in clothes b/c there can be a lot of black items, or more than one size of an item and obviously, he has to pick the exact item.  After he finds, it, he scans the bar code and if the scanner agrees it is the correct item, it goes in the tote.  After getting several items, he “fills” the tote and puts it on the conveyor.  Things that can effect a Pickers day toward the good or bad:  when it is slow – there is more walking to do.  Bill has been averaging 15 miles a day, about 30,000 steps!  So, when picking is good, there are lots of items in the nearby area, so you tend to feel more efficient.  When picking is bad – you get lots of one item totes and get moved to different areas a lot.  That used to make me crazy.  Bill says nothing much bothers him anymore, not even when stowers are in the way, he just goes around.

Packing – this is what I am doing.  Packing has a lot more to it than picking.  There are different jobs within packing.   First, you can be just plain old pack singles – totes come down the conveyor, you get one, scan items, build the box, box the item, when it’s clothes, most of the time they get bagged, then send it down the other conveyor (there are two – totes come in on the top one, packages/bags go out on the bottom one.  Sounds easy enough – the screen we look at tells you which bag/box the items should go in, but most of the time it is wrong, so you have to decide which box/bag on your own.  No biggie, you gets used to it pretty quick.  Another way to pack is when you pack off a cart – this is multi’s or when more than one item is getting sent to the same place.  You get a cart, and scan it and bin by bin, you build boxes/fill bags and put them on the conveyor.  So, before you get a cart, there are people who “re-bin” which means they get a bunch of totes and fill the cart from those bins.  I have no idea how it works (if any fellow Amazonians do know how it works – feel free to comment), but it looks like they are filling a puzzle when they are doing it.   Then there are tote wranglers – they just go from station to station and collect empty totes.  Pretty straight-forward and looks to be boring, but some people really like it.  They (supervisors) don’t make you do it all day, just one “quarter”, so it isn’t too bad.  There are also “waterspiders” – they go around and make sure everyone has a full supply of boxes, bags, tape (including filling the water on the tape machine), spoo’s (the bar codes that tell the labeler machine who’s box that is so it labels it correctly), PSLIP tape (this is the machine that prints any receipts that go into some boxes, or gift slips.  They also will take any problem totes/items to the problem solvers (CamperForce doesn’t do that job).  Waterspiders are only made to do this job one quarter of the day also.  This time of year there are also gift wrappers – who – guess what?  wrap gifts!  It is an extra step to the packing process.  I’ve been trained for it, but not called on to do it yet. Things that effect the day in the life of a packer is – how much work is there?  Are the conveyors working properly?  If conveyors aren’t working, work can pretty much stop – making for a long day!  The conveyor issue is such a big one that this time of year there are people (not sure if they have an official title or not) who are assigned to just go around and pick up packages from stations when the lines go down!  They just recently got in these HUGE blue carts that hold a lot of packages!  Crazy, but true!  Other things that effect packing is that different people were taught different way to do certain things and that can become annoying when they feel the need to correct you at every turn.  Now, if the person is my supervisor I can say – OK – this is how I will do it (for now anway) but usually it is just a nosybody who wants to tell you their way – not always the latest way.  I learned (eventually) to just say “thanks” and ignore them!

Not to totally change the subject – but I did see the very scientific Amazon method of dealing with a jammed up tote on the conveyor the other day.  Our PA (production assistant) took a big, long pole and just jabbed at it until it came loose!  Couldn’t believe it!  But it worked!

Shipping – these job involves getting the packages ready for shipment on the trucks.  I’m not very familiar with this job, I did know a few people who were doing it, but they all left before I really had a chance to ask them about it.  Again, any Amazonians who have more info – please comment!

I think that about wraps it up!  If anyone has any questions, I will be sure to answer and/or find out the answer if I can for you!

So, I have one weird item for you this week – I didn’t see it, but hubby did!  Its called a “Kitty Carpet” and is a “toupee” for ladies to use “down there” – I’ve said it before, but seriously – I cannot make this up!   If anyone out there feels like this is an item for them, it comes in a variety of colors!

I almost forgot to tell you!  Last Saturday, Bill surprised me with a “for me” birthday present, since the InstaPot was more of a “for us” item.  I took an official horseback riding lesson!  For those who’ve been reading for a while, you might remember, last year in Clearwater, I went on a trail ride for my birthday.  This was a nice change from that b/c I actually was told how to do some things and I got to trot – which is in between walking and a gallop or run.  I really had a good time!  Bill got some pics and a couple of videos – I’m going to try to upload one!

the horses name is Sugar - and she was a sweetie!

the horses name is Sugar – and she was a sweetie!

all saddled up and working on my helmet hair!

all saddled up and working on my helmet hair!

I got my lesson in this huge indoor arena

I got my lesson in this huge indoor arena

If anyone visiting the Campbellsville KY area wants to take a horseback riding lesson, check out Beta-Rock Stables, it is right near the state park.  The owner, Jennifer was very nice!  The ranch has been in her family for 3 generations.  Its a great facility!

That’s all for today!  We have (at most) 8  10 hour days at Amazon, but Kelly (the HR guy in  charge of CamperForce) said the other day “IF the current workload trend continues, it COULD possibly be sooner” – I am still hoping for the 21st at the latest!

20 thoughts on “another 50 hours done…

  1. Thanks for the job descriptions! I did IC/QA last year, but I didn’t know what all the jobs were. I always wondered what “water spider” was! Enjoy the countdown!

  2. Question for you…do you get to choose which area you would like to work? Is that maybe more of a chance of requesting if you are a returning camper force worker?

    1. Im happy to answer a question!
      When you are interviewed they will ask you, after brief descriptions, which job you prefer. They will ask from the point of view of “how physical” do you want to be – walking all day – or not so much. They will also ask you your preferred shift (days, nights or mid-shift (which is what we are one)) then they tell you that they will note those preferences but they will put you where they need you. However – if you say you can’t handle all the walking – they won’t put you in picking, and honor your limitations. I started in picking b/c I didn’t realize how hard it would be on my knees and it was a huge big deal to get switched – so – choose carefully!

  3. Oh boy oh boy oh boy! We all can’t wait to get here, but not too long we’re all asking when our release dates are 🙂 Hoping to leave early too! I picked a kitty carpet too the other day, I laughed hysterically.

  4. On the home stretch. I know you have to be excited. What a pretty horse. I used to ride a horse growing up called Sugar. Had so much fun horse back riding. Enjoy your week and just think 8 days or less and you will be on the road headed to warmer weather. If is going to be 70 in Maryland today. WOW I never remember it being this warm in December but I am loving it. Hope the knees continue to be good. Take care.

    1. We are finally allowing ourselves to start feeling excited! Didn’t want to too early!
      I had “rode” (more like lead around) on a pony at my Uncles when I was a kid – never learned how to ride. My older cousins knew and I always wanted to be like them! Not sure I’ll fully get there – but it was fun!
      It’s very warm here also – 70! Doesn’t feel like Christmas weather – but FL won’t either and I’m ok with that!

  5. Abosolutely wonderful post! LOL about the shipping department! I still miss everyone and the friendship we all shared! Wished we could have stayed…but all is well here! Hang tough!

    1. We miss you too! I have a tough week coming up (with Andrew and all) but since you aren’t here – I told Judi so someone would know what was up if I wig-out a little Wednesday. Don’t want them thinking I’m a total nut case!
      Hope we can catch up in FL, even just for a lunch or dinner!

    1. I’m sure you will love the InstaPot! It comes with a few yummy sounding recipes (I’m totally making the lamb for me and my Dad!) but there are TONS online – and a lot – you will love this – with videos!
      Be sure to check out Mandy’s more detailed description of IC/QA.

  6. Kelly, Morris and I enjoyed this blog, as always. The whole CamperForce experience sounds massive in one way, in that there is so much to do, and in another way, like you said, time flies and makes the daily process more tolerable.
    Glad you like your Instapot…thinking about looking that up.
    Morris is definitely retiring in 2016. We have already reserved six months next winter in our favorite spot in MB, SC. So, we’re just getting our ‘feet wet’ next winter, so to speak. Having a stackable washer/dryer installed before next October.
    You have been such an inspiration to us with the information shared, the consequences and processes involved in your current experiences there at Amazon.
    Prayers for a quick departure from Amazon, and wishing you both Sunny, Warm days in FL, very soon.
    Love to you and Bill.

    1. So happy for you guys! I know how much you LOVE Myrtle Beach! We have never been – but look forward to going at some point as we have heard good things!
      We hope to have our end date by Wednesday the latest! I am still hoping for the 21st at the latest!

  7. Here is a little more on how ICQA works. Step 1. Count all the items in a bin. If your count agrees with the computer you move on. If not you must take everything out and count it one by one back into the bin. It will either be correct or not but you won’t know. You just move on to the next one. Step 2. Cycle count. All the bins that were not correct are worked on now. You take everything out and then scan each item back in. This will help reset the bin. Step 3. Cycle count again to double check. Then there is something called Simple Record Count. You have to go to bins looking for specific items and scanning them. There is also Amnesty. These people gather all the things that have fallen out and find a new bin for it. You don’t always do the same job. It depends on what you are trained for and what step needs to be accomplished.

    1. Thanks Mandy! I really don’t know anyone doing that job – except you – so I appreciate the additional details!
      Trust all is well with you guys! I KNOW you must be counting down – just like we are!
      Keep in touch!

      1. We are definitely counting down!
        Another thing we do during cycle count is look for errors. Like damage, incorrect titles, multiple bar codes, etc. Because what is in a bin is directly linked to what the customer sees on the website. So if they order it and it’s not right it slows down the process.

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