AMAZON – Second Time Around!

After traveling from southwest PA with our friends, Steven & Linda, (of The Chouters), we arrived back at Heartland RV Park in Campbellsville, KY, on Wednesday, October 11.

It was a very different drive for me, let me tell you why:  instead of my usual place as line-leader, I filed in at the caboose position! I had the GPS on, the route was set, but I was in the BACK!  I didn’t decide on the route, didn’t double or triple check the route, (like my usual self), I just followed the leader – Linda!

At first I was just a little concerned that I wouldn’t like being the last in line. I did have full confidence that Linda had the whole thing under control, and that she and Steven had the route and overnight stop at Cabelas in Charleston, SC, all properly vetted, but I’m not used to being last.

Turns out that initial concern was all for nothing!  After all the excitement of the wedding and saying goodbyes to my parents, it was actually very nice to just not have to worry about any of it. I made a few calls, thought about my favorite parts of the wedding day, and enjoyed driving by all the fall colors that were starting to show themselves along the way. It was amazing!

(BTW – I know I promised a wedding post – and I intend to keep that promise – waiting on professional pics! You don’t be disappointed!)

So – back to Amazon, although revisiting my daughters amazing wedding day would be so much more enjoyable!, we arrived at Heartland and after short debate, choose our two sites, and one for Tracy & Lee, who would be arriving in a couple of weeks.  (Bill covered the pedestal with a bag, after I called and got permission from Beth, the owner.) We were surprised how many spots were still open!

The few days we had before our first day went very quickly, but we made the most of it. Got initial shopping done, toured the first distillery, and ate at the college.

Bill worked for Brown Forman from 1996 – 2000, they own the Woodford Reserve brand.

Beautiful 2 sided fireplace

Mash in reclaimed Cypress wood fermenting tanks

Cooper pot stills – Woodford Reserve is triple pot distilled

This is an older slower bottling line, maybe 100 bottles per minute.

Our tour guide – he was better than most in providing factual info throughout the tour

Very attentive students!

Our first day was an abbreviated orientation. We had gotten emails with stuff to do online, stuff we had done on the clock 2 years ago, Amazon’s “My Docs” packet, which includes, among other things our I9’s and W4’s. We went in at noon and were home by 3:20pm! It was Happy Hour!

The following day we were up bright (ok – it wasn’t bright at all – it was still DARK!) and early – and got punched in right at 6:30am – what were we thinking? Ugh! We made it through the 10 hour, safety and process training school, and the following 2 – 5 hour “work hardening” days; by then it almost felt like we never left!  It was amazing how quickly things came right back!

So, if you’ve read about our experience 2 years ago, you may be asking – what’s different and/or what’s the same?  You can read our first post about Amazon 2 years ago here: AMAZON!

Well, now that’s we’ve completed our first 50 hour week, let me answer those questions.

First – what’s the same?  The campground is the same, a gravel parking lot with painted lines and pedestals. Literally.  Why stay here you want to know? One word: convenience. That’s it.

What’s the same at Amazon? The jobs are the same. There are packers and packers, stowing and receiving.  I have not heard of any Camperforce getting ICQA so far this year.

What’s different then? Our first time working an Amazon “Peak”, as they call it, was here at Campbellsville (commonly called C’ville) back in 2015. It was a year of transition for them. They were in process of switching from a “tekho”, an acronym for “Toys, Electronics, Kitchen, Home, Other” FC (fulfillment center) to an apparel FC.  The “other” included books, a small amount of clothes, auto parts, lawn & garden, anything that didn’t fit into one of the other categories.  Now – the same FC is probably about 80-85% apparel, the rest still teko.  So a huge changes took place.  It affected all their processes, and I noticed that more in pack than Bill did as a picker. It created a lot of confusion because one manager wanted things done one way and another wanted the same thing done differently.  Contrasting that this year, it seems that everyone is on the same page.  There are even little reminders to help, which is great – I don’t have to ask as many questions, just refer to the little mini lamenated posters in each station.

The biggest change for Bill and I this year is we are on a traditional day shift vs “L” shift.  We were told that wouldn’t be offered to Camperforce this year, and we were sorely disappointed!  First, not having to arrive until 12:15pm meant no dark-thirty alarm clock, instead waking in daylight, which we totally prefer. I know a lot of you morning people are saying “So what?” but we are generally night-owls, so L shift most closely matched our natural schedule.  Second, we earned differential pay of $.75 per hour! While that may not sound like a lot, it sure does add up!  After 10 – 40 hour weeks that equals $600! That’s just for straight-time!  If we were to work even 5 overtime days that’s another $112.50!  That’s significant coin!  And we won’t be earning it this year!  Not happy about that!

Another change this year is some of the areas in the building have been remodeled. My understanding is they were completed for last years Peak also, but this is our first time seeing it. Break room “A” is more open now, with lots more natural light coming in huge windows, making it much brighter.

Now on to my “picks/packs of the week!”  This section was a hit last time, so I will revive it for this year as well! As a bonus, in case anyone is interested, we will be including the Amazon link!  How cool is that? Ready?

Of course, as I told you two years ago, there are lots of adult toys for sale at Amazon.  I won’t go into the specifecs, but trust that whatever your tastes in that department may be, Amazon has something for you!

The first thing may actually be useful to some of you.  I had never heard of them before – so maybe you haven’t either – Hickies Elastic No-Tie Shoelaces.  They come in all kinds of colors.  I have no idea how well they do or don’t work, but a very cool concept!  You can purchase and try them out yourself using the link below.

Next up, I packed a couple variations of women’s disposable nipple cover pasties/breast patches. Neon green aliens and cat face ones.  They sound ouchy to me!

Last for this week, since it was right before Halloween, I packed several bags of  party size Butterfingers shaped like skulls!  How fun!

One thing a lot of Amazonians have is some type of pedometer.  Something very basic would be one of these – which is what Bill and I have:  They are an inertial type that work far better than the “clicky” type of pedometers.  We have them for two years now with zero issues.  Plus their really inexpensive.  You can purchase using the link below.

But, there are also the fancy FitBits and Jawbones.  It’s each to their own, whatever size, color and price range you are looking for.  Our friends have these and like them a lot.  They have many more options.  You can check them out by clicking the link below.

Bill has been walking about 25,000 steps a day!  That’s about 10 miles.  I’ve been doing about 1/4 that, which suits me just fine.

So, I’m off to add some pics and get this posted.  Let’s chat again soon!

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21 thoughts on “AMAZON – Second Time Around!

    1. He actually (attempted to) make a joke about that! Says he’s been asked before! We will get through the season, but FL will be looking very good after!

  1. Sounds like they have their act together finally. Don’t miss Amazon, miss the area and people. I feel we earn as much working at the RV park in California anyway with less pain 🙂 Have a great season!

    1. Happy for you that you’ve found a nice place in CA! We miss everyone from last time – hardly anyone is here – no one I had break with or lunch! (Except Bill of course!) but other friends are here – so that’s good! Bonnie & Richard are here and Karen & Al, but we are on completely opposite schedules!

  2. Kelly, good luck with the job. I am sure the time will fly by. I can’t believe it is November already. Take care

    1. Thanks Chris! I’m sure time here will fly by – thank goodness! Sadly, the work days don’t go as quickly as time off!

  3. God to be here with you guys. Love that you added cool stuff that you saw…I may try that as well.

  4. Interesting to read what is the same and what is different. Too bad to many of the things that are different are items that hurt your pocket book. Love the section on “Karen’s Favorite Things”!

    1. Thanks! It is what it is – had to get over it or it would have annoyed me the whole time!

  5. When I used to ride motorcycles many years ago, I loved being at or near the back of the pack. It was fun watching all the bikes going down the road leaning into the curves left and right. It was also a good place to be if something happened (like a speed trap) you had more time to react. I think for me it would be the same with RVs. I would enjoy watching everyone ahead of us doing their thing. Have fun at Amazon and keep those “picks of he week” coming!

    1. Thanks! It was a new experience for sure – being in the back! I’ll keep letting you know what I’m packing!

  6. I LOVE your blogs, especially this one for some reason. Maybe because you include us in some way (pack and picks). Either way, we miss you both terribly. I will wait for my next notification of your escapades.

    1. Thanks Tina! We miss you guys, our Country Oaks family! It’s been a bit chilly here so I’ve been wearing my Country Oaks fleece – makes me think of our time there! Hope our “escapades” here at Amazon don’t get too boring!

    1. We work 10 hour shifts and get 2 paid 15 minute breaks and a half hour unpaid lunch. Pretty standard stuff. They are actually very anal about it. I can’t speak fully for anyone but myself, but I wouldn’t say everyone hates it. Is it my fav place to be – no. But at the end of the day, it’s a good deal, a fair time/money exchange, for a Workamper. I’ll read the article on my day off and will comment more if needed. Thanks for reading!

    2. Ok – decided not to wait. This article may be true of a different FC (fulfillment center), but it is NOT true of the conditions here in Campbellsville. The bathrooms are kept immaculately clean by a service – literally spotless. This time of year, regular full-time employees are on mandatory 60 hour weeks, that’s true about long hours, and I can imagine them getting very tired, but I’ve personally never seen anyone fall asleep on the job.
      As far as packing a box every 9 seconds, I’d say that would depend on what the package is. An article of clothing can be put in a bag and sent on its way in way less than 9 seconds, as can a phone case be put in a “jiffy mailer” and sent very quickly. There are “rates” for all processes, but neither Bill (who is a picker), nor I as a packer, feel the rates are excessively high. Most days we both go over the minimum by quite a bit. “Peak” is fairly short, starting Black Friday and ending right before Christmas. It slows way down after that.
      Of course I cannot speak on the situation in any other place.

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