Wishing all a Merry Christmas!!!

Work at Amazon finished!!!

I completed my workamping for Amazon on Wednesday 12/21.  We all gathered for a meeting with the GM of the fulfillment center and were told that he very much appreciated all our efforts in making Amazon’s peak season a success.  We were all asked to return next year and many of us have already made reservations with Desert Rose RV Park to return.

Dead battery!

Yesterday I had made plans for a follow-up Dr. appointment and also to meet a future fulltimer for lunch.  I got everything organized to travel to Reno and turned on my key.  NOTHING!!!  No noise came from my engine.  Not even the click of the starter.  I had started it about 2 weeks previous to this but it was a bit slow in starting.  I had hoped the drive to Reno at that time would charge it enough.

I immediately called Coach-Net (my emergency road-side service).  They had a truck out to my campsite within 45 minutes.  The driver hooked up the jumper cables to my battery and we waited a bit and then I tried to start it.  This time all I got was the clicking of the starter trying to start it.  We waited for some time and I tried to start it again.  NO LUCK!!!  My neighbor, Steve came over to see what was going on.  I explained to him that I was going to need a new battery.  He graciously offered to drive me into town to pick one up.  I removed my old battery and loaded it into his truck and off we went.  $110 later I got a brand spanking new battery and installed it into my RV.  It started up in a second.

New battery

Although I hated spending the money I was glad I finally did get a new battery.  I had purchased 2 new Trojan batteries in June, 2010, but wasn’t sure about the starting battery.

Since it took most of the day to take care of the battery I had to contact the guy I was meeting fort lunch and also postpone my Dr appointment.  I will probably take care of both after 12/29.  I am just glad I took care of this now rather than finding out the day I was to drive to Reno to catch a flight to Southern CA.  That would have been disastrous.

Freezing cold in Fernley

The weather here has really turned cold.  The night of the 21st it got down to 7 and last night down to 4.  I can’t wait to get into a warmer climate.  I am nice and cozy in my rig but it still gets a little chilly at night.  I will leave Fernley on Sat 12/24 and drive to Reno where I can park my rig and take a shuttle to the airport.

I will be returning on the 29th and will probably stay in a RV park for the night and then head south to warmer temps.  Today I will gas up and get everything ready to go for an early departure tomorrow morning.

I would like to wish all my faithful readers a very Merry Christmas.  I hope Santa is good to all of you and you get all the RV gadgets you have been hoping for. HA!

Working at Amazon

First I would like to apologize for not writing more often but just too pooped to pop after working and not really too exciting here except for working.  Once I get back on the road I will write more often.

Now I want to tell you about my experience working for an Amazon Fullfillment Center.

Applying for the Job

While boondocking in Quartzsite last January I came across the Amazon booth in the big tent.  The representatives from Amazon were looking for seasonal campers to help out during the peak rush season during the holidays.  I had read where it was a good paying job that only would last for a couple of months.  I signed up then and there.  They had you fill out an application and they actually hired you at that time.  However, I wouldn’t be starting until sometime in October and would work until Christmas.

I read a lot online by people who had worked there the previous year.  I even met several people on the road who had worked there and gave me their impressions of the job.  Some of the reviews online depicted the job as very tough and I also heard the same from those I talked with.  Long hours, very sore body parts and cold weather to boot.  I had my concerns about all of these subjects, but went ahead and filled out the application.  Then it was just a matter of waiting to hear from them.

I need my High School Diploma?

A few months later I started getting emails from them.  They mentioned that they would need my high school diploma for starters.  You have got to be kidding!  I looked everywhere for it and realized that was not one of those important papers I kept.  I even called them to see if a college degree would suffice but they said they would need the high school diploma.  I graduated from Henry Ford High School in Detroit, MI so I called the school to have a copy sent to me.  They said “no problem” what year do you graduate?  1962.  OK that might be a problem.  You will have to contact the records office downtown.  All I could picture was that the records were all burned up in the huge riot they had there in the 60’s!!  So I called and then had to fax all the information to them and they would perform a search.  I never knew the results of the search until my sister called me and told me she had received a letter from Detroit which was confirmation that I actually had graduated from high school dispite the awful grades I pulled.

Then the only thing left was a drug test and a background check.  I passed both of those and then they asked me to make a reservation in an RV Park in the Fernley, NV area.  I chose Desert Rose since I had already been there the summer before.  Then it was just a matter of waiting until I finally got my start date.

I get my start date

I finally got my start date (Oct 30) and headed to Fernley.  The nice part was that Amazon pays for your camping site.  All I had to pay for was the electric and propane.  They allow you to arrive 2 days in advance of your first work day.  I don’t have a toad so I was hoping I could find someone who I could ride to and from work.  Greg, my next door neighbor said I could ride with him.

Off to work I go

Then it was off to work.  There was orientation the first day and we all learned what to do and what not to do.  The first week you are on 8 hour per day shift for 4 days.  Then you are thrown to the lions!  Ten hour shifts for 4 days, then 3 days off.  I hadn’t worked 10 hour days for many years so it was a little brutal getting used to it.  But that was the easy part.  I was assigned to Outbound, which meant packing products only one item to a box.  The first week was tough on the body.  You are on your feet for the entire 10 hours except for lunch and breaks.  But the hardest part is the pain you suffer in your hands, arms, legs and feet.

OUCH!!!

There were times I would come home and just VEG OUT!!  I didn’t want to fix dinner or even drink a beer or glass of wine.  I always like to have wine at the end of the day, but even that got to be a burden.  I got so that I took 2 Aleve pills daily to help relieve the pain in my hands.  The hand pain for me never went away and although I have only 2 weeks to go I still experience it daily.

The people are the greatest!

The people at Fernley are the greatest.  The Desert Rose RV Park is completely filled with Amazon seasonal workers.  I have met a lot of very friendly, fun people.  The Amazon people are also the best!.  They are all so friendly and always willing to help with any problems.  It is a great work environment although a VERY FAST PACE.   Would I return next year?  You bet your sweet bippy!!!  I will be there for sure.  I like it regardless of the pain to the bod!!

Benefits not too shabby!

The benefits aren’t bad either.  The pay isn’t bad at all, $11.50 and $17.25 for OT.  Plus they give you 10% off on everything you purchase through them up to $1000.  I have already bought a Kindle Fire

Nikon Coolpix S9100 camera

Silva compass (the same type I had when I was a Boy Scout)

IPOD Touch and Altec Lansing player

that I can hook up my IPOD touch to for a GREAT SOUND SYSTEM for this guy.  Nice and loud to play all my great R&R, classical, etc.  music.  I think I have used up my allowable employee discount.

Tough hours

There are times when it gets very busy and they put us on an 11 hour shift.  That is pretty tough.  I now have 2 weeks to go and this next week we are now on the 11 hour shift.  They are very good about overtime and you can have quite a few hours per week, but only 4 hours per week is required.  Also I read online that they send you home a lot because the oshipments have slowed down.  I have only been asked once to take time off and that was only for 4 hours each time.  There was one time I requested to go home early because my ride had been asked to take time off.  They were very accomodating in my request.

Would I do it again?

Aside from the aches and pains, I would highly recommend working for Amazon.  I intend to sign up for next year.  Amazon is very big on hiring recreational workkampers.  They really like us.  We are all responsible, on time, always at work, at don’t complain.

I hope this has helped to answer questions about what it is like to work at an Amazon Fullfillment Center.  If not let me know.