Not enough ZZZZZZZZ’s

Three down five to go

I just completed my third week at Amazon with five weeks to go.  Not too much to write about which explains the lack of my posts.

Lack of sleep

I chose the night shift since I thought it would be better for Chica.  She would sleep through the night and only wake up once I got home.  Then she wouldn’t miss me as much and not go crazy when I got home.  So far that has worked out well although she still does get a little crazy when I get home but not as much as when I worked days.

It works out better for her but NOT for me.  I get off work at 4:30am,  but I cannot get to sleep immediately when I get home.  I watch the news and then hit the sack at 6:00.  I tried going to bed earlier but my neighbor works the day shift and starts his diesel at 5:15 and it runs until 5:30 when he leaves for work on the day shift.

Then about 6:30 to 7:00 the sun rises and pours lots of sun into my rig waking me up.  Sometimes I can roll over and go back to sleep and other times I just can’t get back to sleep.  Most of the time I have to force myself to get back to sleep.  Total sleep for the night is usually only 4-5 hours.  YUK!  Sometimes I will try to nap in the afternoon but I am not usually a nap person so that doesn’t work.

I have tried everything.  One couple I met on my shift told me they go to bed immediately when they get home.  I tried that but the noisy diesel always woke me up.  Others had suggested drinking a couple of beers, but at 5:00 in the morning that does not sound too appealing.

Caught a bad cold

Last weekend I was in bed all three of my days off with a nasty cold.  I had gotten too run down from lack of sleep.  I did get over that, but it was not a pleasant time off from work.  This week I tried an over the counter sleep aid called Melatonin.  I found it didn’t work that well with me and it gave me a jittery feeling all day.  I have also covered up some of my windows which does help.

Aching muscles better

It takes a couple of weeks for your muscles to get used to Amazon work.  This year rather then packing, picking or stowing I am taking inventory of bins.  You have to count everything in a bin and record it on your scanner.  It involves a lot of bending low for the bottom bins and standing on a stool for the upper bins.

I still get sore every day but it is not nearly so bad thanks to a daily dosage of Aleve.  That stuff really works miracles.

Chica gets used to her new home

When we first got her she would go crazy barking at the neighbor’s dog.  She has really calmed down now and only sits and quietly (most of the time) watches.  Her head perks up each time they come out their door but she doesn’t bark.

She really enjoys her walks during the day and meets all the other critters in the neighborhood.  It is funny but she doesn’t pay too much attention to other dogs while she is walking, but when she is looking out the window she will bark at the same dog if she sees them go by.  I guess she wants to be out there with them.  This is her favorite spot as it is in the sun and she can see all the activity by the neighbor.

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Early Thanksgiving

This Friday Amazon is giving all their employees a huge Thanksgiving dinner.  They do it every year in appreciation of all the hard work we do during the peak season.  More on that later.  It will be the first year I have Thanksgiving dinner at 12:30am.

Weather has been good

We were lucky and didn’t get the huge weather front that came down from Alaska.  It bypassed us  and I’m glad it did.  Right now the days are in the mid 50’s and nights in the mid 30’s.  My catalytic heater runs 24/7 and I have my electric heater set for 65 and it goes on and off during the night.  Chica also has her bed warmer on 24/7 and loves to sleep on it.  So we are both comfortable.  I am only about 100′ from the bath and laundry so am using their facilities.  It is nice to be so close.

That is all for now.  I need to take a shower and walk Chica and then it is off to the Silverado casino to meet up with some friends for $1 beers and watch Monday night football.

It’s all over but the warming!

Released from Amazon

My release date from Amazon was Wed 12/18.  I was going to slack off my last day but I wound up having a great day.  I had a better percentage of items stowed then normal.  I also talked to a lot of the campers who were leaving on the same day and some that were scheduled to leave later.  Many of us are going to Quartzsite in January and we are making plans to meet up there.  I can’t wait.  I probably met more fun people this year then any of the last two years.  Aside from the hard work and the COOOOOLD weather I really enjoyed this year more then any other.

Change in weather

I figured that I would take Thursday to get organized and ready to hit the road on Friday.  However this is what I awoke to on Thursday morning.

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There wasn’t a lot of snow but just enough to make you slip and slide if you weren’t careful.  I spent the day getting stuff organized inside my rig.  Even though it snowed the temps were much warmer and by the end of the day a lot of the snow had melted.

I also had running water.  HURRAY!  Last night while watching TV I could hear the bathroom sink gurgling.  Chica was going crazy barking at the gurgling noise.  She didn’t know what it was.  The sink trap had busted loose and I was finally getting drainage.  HURRAY #2!

Great driving weather

I packed everything up, payed my final electric bill at Desert Rose RV park, hooked up the Sami and I was off into the wilderness.  It was such a GREAT FEELING to get back on the road.  I love the feeling when I am back behind the wheel!  Chica curled up in my lap as she always does when we are on the road.

I stopped in Hawthorne at the McDonald’s to give Chica a break but never stopped again except for gas.  I finally pulled into one of my favorite RV parks at Beatty RV Park.  I don’t know what it is about this park but I usually stop here at least twice a year.  The folks here are  very friendly and remembered me for the last time I was here ion October just before heading to Fernly.

California Gold (or should I say heat)

Tomorrow I will get up early and head into California where I know the temps are about 70.  (Eat your heart out Fernley!)  I will be seing my sister and a lot of good friends on Sunday.  Chica will also be happy that she can get out and run in the grass.

Glad it is OVER!

It was great having an opportunity to earn a lot of extra money to keep myself on the road.  But it sure is great that the time at Amazon finally came to an end.  The job is not exactly easy and the weather SUCKS but the money is good.  I am glad it has finally come to an end and now I am BACK ON THE ROAD!

I HOPE TO SEE MANY OF YOU IN Q!

 

From Super HOT to Super COLD

Played Hookey

Last Monday I called in sick Cough, cough!) to go with friends to visit a brothel.  We all went to the World Famous Mustang Ranch for lunch and a tour of the place.  It sure beat working at Amazon, that is for sure.  HA!

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We got there and had lunch at their Wild Horse Saloon restaurant/bar.  Lunch was good especially with the pole dancers in the background.  After lunch we then took the tour.  It started with a big room where your could buy souvenirs as well as many adult toys.  Having worked at Amazon we see many more adult toys then even at the Mustang Ranch.  HA!

Our tour guide told us all about the ranch and took us through many of the rooms where the girls do their thing with their clients.  It was very interesting to see the many different styles in each room.

We were not allowed to bring in either cameras or cell phones so I couldn’t get any pics.  However we did get several pics once we got outside.

Here is a great pic of the girls in our group.

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Us guys strike a few poses as well.

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It was a great time which we all enjoyed.

Weather dips in single digits

The weather here has dipped into the single digits.  It is very cold at night.  One morning I woke up and checked the temps.  It said it was 3 degrees feeling like -6.  Hows that for cold?

My 20 gallon propane tank was empty one morning when I awoke and the furnace was blowing cold air.  YUK!  I switched over to my 5 gallon tank.  A couple of nights later I awoke at 2:30 in the morning and found the tank was empty.  I had to switch over to my propane tank in my RV.  It was very cold going out in my pajamas.  I decided to have the park fill the 20 gallon tank 1/2 full so hopefully I have enough propane to last until I leave.

Tanks frozen

Since the weather is so cold all my tanks have frozen.  I have not had water for about almost a week.  The weather warmed up yesterday and when I got home I was able to run my water.  However when I got up this morning there was barely a trickle out of the tap.  I hope that it will thaw out some so I can take a nice shower as I really need one.

I am not the only one in that predicament.  Many of the other campers I have talked to have the same problem.

4 working days to go

My last working day is Wednesday.  I plan to get everything packed up and ready to go and leave here Friday morning.  I will arrive in SO CA on Saturday to enjoy time with family and friends on Sunday and for the 2 weeks after that.  My sister has planned getting together with family and many friends I have not seen for over a year.  It should be a blast!!

 

 

Still alive and Kickin’

Lack of posts

I must apologize for my poor lack of posting.  It seems like all I do is eat and sleep and I haven’t really had much to say  But I am sorry as several of you have wondered if anything has happened.  As a matter of fact something has happened.  It is called the Amazon work camp.

I got my release date of Dec 18 which is the soonest they have ever cut us loose.  YEA!  I will probably leave her on the 20th and head for sunny SO CAL to be with my family at Christmas.

Getting really cold!!!

Yesterday we were hit with a cold front directly from the north.  It brought a couple of inches of snow and bitter cold weather.  The temps are forecasted to be single digits and Saturday it is supposed to be -3.  That is way too cold for me.  I have both my electric heater and my furnace running 24/7.  Chica is very comfortable aside from the bitter cold outdoors.

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Here she is laying on her heated bed.  I purchased a pet bed warmer from Amazon (naturally) and she loves it.  Her she is relaxing in her nice warm bed.

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We didn’t get a lot of snow but enough to cover the ground for a while.

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Dead Battery

I had a hunch that my battery was on it’s last legs but thought it would be OK.  I should have listened to my intuition and gone ahead and bought one a week or so ago.  Oh no.  Not me.  Well anyway I got up this morning and it was DEAD!  It was my neighbor Shannon’s day off and she offered to drive me down to get a new one.  I got it installed and everything is back to normal.  However I missed a day and my mandatory overtime day is tomorrow and I will be working for straight time only.  YUK!

Snow all over the mountains

I got this picture facing Amazon and the mountains in the back with all the snow.  It sure is beautiful, but I will take the desert anytime.

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Looking forward to SO CAL and Q

I am really looking forward to seeing my family over the holidays and then on to Q at the beginning of January.  I should be getting there about the 4th.

Stay tuned and I promise not to be so long between posts.

Gettin Cold in Fernley

Cold spell

We had a cold spell go through here and dropped some snow on the local mountains.  We didn’t get any snow here in Fernley, but the mountains sure looked nice.  The temps dropped down into the low 20’s at night so got out the electric heater.  I bought a Lasko oscillating heater last year at Walmart so I fired it up to keep Chica warm.  I am still learning the best setting for it during the day.  Yesterday I came home and it was 89 degrees inside the rig.  Chica thinks she is in Hawaii.  HA!  HA!  I am thinking of buying a timer so I can only keep it on during the cold parts of the day.  During the day it warms up nicely (so far anyway) and she gets direct sunlight through the side window so she can lay on the couch and bask in the sun.

Sore muscles 

My back has been killing me this week so I have been taking Aleve on a daily basis to cure the pain.  It is usually bad the first couple of weeks until your body acclimates to the punishment that Amazon doles out.  After all life is not east when your making the big bucks.  HA!

Chica’s walks

Diane takes Chica for a nice long walk during the day.  It breaks up the monotony for her and gives her a chance to get some exercise while the sun is still out.  I leave for work in the dark and it is almost dark when I return.  The other day I got a note from Diane stating Chica had hid from her and she didn’t take her for a walk that day.  She said she wouldn’t come when she called her name.  I left a note for Diane stating she sometimes curls up on the seat in the cab where the sun shines in.

By the way I ordered a bed warmer for Chica’s bed so I can turn the heater down lower at night.  I am testing it now and should be able to place it under her bed to keep her nice and snugly.  Chica sure hates it when I am gone all day and goes crazy when I get home.  It takes her about 10 minutes too calm down as she gets very excited when I walk in the door.

Great dinners

I didn’t do too well on cooking for the week last weekend.  After working 10 hours I really don’t fell much like cooking.  So I looked over Casey’s menu and decided I would give her cooking a try.  She doesn’t cook on Sunday so I was on my own.  Monday I had spaghetti and meatballs with cheese garlic bread.  WOW!  It was a real feast.  Then Tuesday and Wednesday I got her soups with garlic bread.  Very yuuuumy!

Overtime

I was assigned Thursday as my mandatory overtime day.  So now I will be working 5 days a week with Friday and Saturday off.  Also our starting time has been moved back to 6:00am.  The best part is that we get off work at 4:30pm.  We can also get voluntary overtime if we want it, but I am not too excited about working 11 hour days.

I hope everyone has a nice safe Halloween tonight!

First Week At Amazon

Orientation

I reported to Amazon on Saturday 10/19 for orientation.  I have been through this twice before so I am familiar with the procedure.  Saw some of the same movies I had seen before, but portions of it had been updated.

In the afternoon it was off to Safety School.  Then we got off work at 5:30.  I headed straight home and Chica was right their to greet me.  It had been a long day for her as well and she was very excited to see me.

My Shift

Sunday is the first day of my shift and I work through Wednesday.  They start us right out on 10 hour days from 7:00am to 5:30pm.  The first week they gave us a break and Monday and Tuesday we only worked 5 hours.

My Job

This year they made me a Stower.  I get the products from receiving and stow it in the bins.  It will be much less walking then last year when I was a picker and picked the items out of the bins.  Pickers usually walk between 12 – 14 miles per day.  However a stower does not walk nearly as much, as we can put the items in any bin that has space.

It is a bit difficult this time of the year for a stower as the bins are very full and sometimes difficult to find some open space.  However, once the customers start their Holiday shopping everything will change and I will have lots of open bins to stow the merchandise.

Sore Muscles

Your find out the muscles you don’t normally use as much as usual.  I take two Aleve in the morning and it cures the soreness most of the day.  I have done that every year I have worked at Amazon and believe me it really works.

Seniority

This is the third year I have worked at the Fernley, NV Fulfillment Center.  I have had different jobs each year.  The first year I was a Packer, the second year I was a Picker and this year I am a Stower.  They always ask you to specify what job you would prefer, but I don’t think they pay much attention to it as each year I have had different jobs then what I stated that I preferred. Oh well,  it is nice to be able to do other jobs as well.  After going on my third year I am familiar with the layout of the building.  It is a massive building and finding your way around it can be very difficult for new people.  Most of them get very stressed out not even knowing where all the bathrooms and break rooms are let alone the many different production lines and storage areas.

Home Sweet Home

My home this year as it was the past 2 years is the Desert Rose RV Park.  This year I have the same space as I did last year as I was able to reserve it when I departed last year.

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DSC_0691 Here I am in good ‘ole space #140.  It is close to the front and the office.

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A few things have changed since my last season at Amazon.  I now have a vehicle and satellite TV.  Both of those were thanks to the money I made last year working.

Another thing that has changed is Chica.  She and I have been together since February 25.  It has now been 8 months and 8,658 miles since we have been so lucky to meet each other.  She is is her favorite spot on the couch with the sun coming through the window.

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She also likes to get on top of the nice warm clothes after I bring them back from the laundromat.

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She loves to crawl under them and go to sleep.

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Friends

This year I have many friends both here at the RV Park and Amazon as well.  I have run into many of the same people that I knew last year.  I encouraged some of my friends at Quartzsite to work here this year.  However, they all have different shifts so I don’t see them too often.

Weather

The weather during the day is really nice in the low 70’s but gets down into the low 30’s at night.  I keep my catalytic heater going all night and turn on my furnace in the morning for a cycle just to warm up.  However it is forecast to go down into the low 20’s next week at night.  BRRRRRRRRR!  I also have a small electric heater I will run once it gets really cold.

I also have a dog walker that I pay $5 per walk to come and walk Chica on the days when I am working.  There is another person in the park that cooks really great meals and I can schedule them on a couple of my days off.  YUUUUUUM!  After 10 hours of work on your feet you don’t really feel like cooking.

I cannot post every day but will try to post as much as I can on my days off.

 

Being interviewed by a CNBC news team!

The CNBC production crew was waiting for me!

Yesterday I was greeted by a camera crew from CNBC including Jeff Daniels, the television producer and Jane Wells who was the reporter.  There was also a cameraman with a camera that was huge and barely fit through the door of my rig.  They conducted the interview inside my rig.  WHAT A TRIP!!  They told me that it would be shown nationally on CNBC.  About 11:26am it was shown and was I ever excited.  I had decided to take the day off from work since I could hardly sleep that night thinking about it.
I have a link to this interview which you can see for yourself.

“MY CNBC INTERVIEW”

Jane also writes a blog which details her reporting on Amazon work campers.  This can be seen at ‘Workampers’ The New Job Seekers

This was a real kick to be involved in and still can’t believe it happened to me.  It all started with an email from Jeff Daniels, the producer who mentioned he had seen my blog and wanted to interview me.  WOW!!!

Less then 3 weeks to go!

7 down and 3 to go!

I now have less then 3 weeks to go at my job at Amazon.  It is now peak season and things are very busy.  We now go from four 10 hour days to five 11 1/2 hour days.  It is tough but I finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Weather here is not too bad!

One of the pleasant surprises this year has been the weather.  Last year at this time it was very cold with temps in the low teens and even colder.  The temps this year have been steady in the 50’s with a few days in the high forties during the day.  At night it may get down into the high 20’s, but it still feels warmer then last year.

Wore out my shoes!

Many of you have asked what it is I actually do at Amazon.  Last year I was a packer and packed all the products that the customer ordered.  It was very hard on my hands.  This year I walk an average of 8-10 miles per day.  I am always on the move.  I had a great pair of Rockport shoes that I wore when I worked at Lowe’s before retiring.  They are very comfortable especially when you are walking on cement floors.  I wore those shoes out about the second week at Amazon and found a store in Sparks, NV where I purchased another pair.  It took about 2 weeks to break them in and I had to trade off between both pair.

Massive scale of Amazon!

Dan, who is one of my subscribers, sent me an email with a link to an article about the massive scale of Amazon.  This pic shows how a picker picks the item.  She has a scanner in her right hand that tells you the product to pick and it’s location in the warehouse.

nowThis next pic shows one of the areas within the warehouse that holds products in the bins.  You can see the pickers pushing their carts around to wherever their scanner tells them where to go.

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This is another view of only one section of the warehouse.  This is only one area and there are many other areas just like this throughout the warehouse.  Plus there are three floors as well with products on each floor.

amazon-has-an-abundance-of-items-just-waiting-to-be-orderedI am really looking forward to when the contract is up and I can move on from Fernley, NV to the warmth of Arizona and all my friends.

Wine and cheese party

Thanksgiving was very busy around Fernley.  Although I had to work on Thanksgiving day we got off early at 2:30.  Six of us went out to a huge Thanksgiving buffet at one of the local casinos. We couldn’t stay out too late as we had to work the following day. YUK!  Saturday we started our first day of 6 to 6.  Even more yuk!  Now they have added another day to our schedule and more hours as well.  6 to 6 five days a week.  Oh well, lots of money for my tow vehicle.

Yesterday a couple who was leaving invited me to a wine and cheese party.  They wanted to have it in my neighbor’s Casita.  Four people in a 17′ Casita just might be a little crowded, so they were coming over to my rig instead.  We all started outside even though it was a bit chilly and were soon joined at various times by 7 other people.  By the time we moved inside there was only five of us.  It was a great time!

  I went over to invite my neighbors Steve and Marti over as well since we were making so much noise.   Soon it was dark and we all decided to go into the warmth of my rig were we continued to make more noise partying.

I think everyone had a good time and the meat and cheese, plus all the wine was great.  It was just a good thing I didn’t have to go to work the next day.

Today was laundry day and all the washers and dryers were open so I had mine done in under 2 hours.  It will be tough getting up earlier tomorrow and having to report to work at 6am but we only have 4 weeks to go and it will all be behind us.

Life in Fernley

I must apologize for being so long between posts.  After 10 hours on the job at Amazon I don’t really feel much like doing anything except relax.  As I mentioned I walk between 8-10 miles per day and the body has lots of aches, pains and bruises.  However I will try to post more often.

I mentioned that I was in the process of purchasing a nice Geo Tracker.  The seller called me and mentioned that his wife had changed her mind and wanted to keep it instead.  This was after he had told me that they never use it.  I think what happened is that he found a buyer that would offer him more.  Anyway I think I will wait until after the first of the year when I am in Quartzsite.  Then I will have all my friends there who know all about tow bars and can help me install one if it is needed.

Work has been going well and I have completed four weeks with only six to go.  We are still only working 40 hours per week (four days at 10 hours per day).  However I got my overtime schedule and my overtime day is Tuesday.  We probably won’t have overtime until black Friday.  Then it might even go up to five 11 hour days.

I have rekindled many friendships with people who worked here last year.  It is nice talking with them about what they did and where they went and what they have planned next year.  I have also met many people for the first time this year.  My friend Les from Quartzsite is working this year for the first time.

My neighbor Steve and I went up to the local casino for a couple beers and play the slot machines.  So far I am $2.96 ahead in winnings.  HAH, big deal.  I am not much of a gambler especially when I think what I have to do to earn that money.

I am getting all my medical needs looked after.  I have gone to the same Dr the last two years and he fills my prescriptions for a year at a time.  I am very happy with the care they are giving me.  I had to go to a specialist in Reno for followup.  It is about a 30 mile drive and very pleasant.

Did I tell you that the weather has turned on us here in Fernley?  Two weeks ago it was a pleasant 74 and we were sitting outside on our days off.  Not anymore. The weather in the mornings is about 19-22 and it only gets up to the mid 50’s.  We even had a bit of snow one day although it didn’t stay on the ground very long.

I have been looking for a new TV since I wore out the HDMI cable connection in the back from hooking and unhooking it to watch movies.  I started checking out the different TVs and found what they call a Smart TV made by Samsung.  With it I can hook up directly to my Amazon Prime account so I can watch their free movies.  I can buy movies too, but since there are so many good ones that are free I don’t need to spend the money.  It is also much bigger then my older TV and the football games look great.

Enough said for now as today is my laundry day and I need to check the availability of the washers/dryers.