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:
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.
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!
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!