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Showing posts from November, 2011

Only 3 1/2 weeks to go!

Yep, I’m counting them down. Evelyn who is also here even has the days counted now (28). It was a long week and I think they will all be that way now until Christmas. My feet still have not adapted to the punishing hours on the concrete floors. We even went and got new shoes and inserts to see if that would help, I think they may be a little better but they still throb by the time I get home. The first day of a stretch they don’t hurt until late in the shift, the second day they hurt by noon and the third day by the first break it gets bad and by the time we head home all I want to do is get off my feet. Johns are a little better than mine but he feels it too, for him it is more his back. This is just a very physical job and I can honestly say I have never worked this physically hard at any job before. It does make me appreciate all those folks out there that do these jobs full time. That experience alone has made this job worthwhile and catching up financially is the other real posit…

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.”  ~Thornton Wilder
You know what I am Thankful for? A day off!!. We survived a week with mandatory overtime and it made me glad that we are only doing this for a short time. This week was a normal one except for tomorrow. Thanksgiving day we don’t have to go in until 10:30pm and work only 5 hours. Next week is a different matter. Friday through Monday they are working 11 hour shifts and our shift has mandatory overtime on Sunday. Right now we are the only shift with mandatory overtime, several others have voluntary OT. There is a potential for actually working 52 hours but they can only work us 50 hours unless we agree to more (I guess that’s the law). I think 50 ours is plenty so if we reach that then I’ll let them know I am going home early. The work is not so hard it is just a long time to be on your feet. Today we are celebrating Thanksgiving with Kevin and Evelyn. I’ve got a pie to bak…

Starting Week 3 & Mandatory Overtime

Just a short update. We are going into our third week and our first week with mandatory overtime. That means a 50 hour week! I’m not sure I am ready for this but bring it on. It is getting a little easier, my feet don’t hurt now until the last hour or so of the shift. My back is giving me a little trouble but time will tell on that. We have seen several people quit. Some were unhappy with the jobs they were given (told they we have a different job before they came), some have found it just too physically taxing, and some were frustrated because outside of work there is very little to do in Coffeyville. While it is very physical we were told that before coming by the recruiter so I do feel we were warned about that and make no mistake it is a lot of walking and standing for long hours. Yes, there is very little to do in Coffeyville but we are so exhausted, doing nothing on our days off is all right with us. So we are hanging in there till the end (Dec. 23). This job is definitely not f…

Captain's log: On site at Amazon

We've landed in Coffeyville to help Amazon with their seasonal work. This is one of Amazon's largest distribution centers, or what Amazon calls a fulfillment center. Let the fun begin.


The first day on the job was an orientation day, which included a quick tour of the facility. I'm not sure what's going on exactly, but here's what I think is happening. Lots of trucks arrive here with stuff Amazon hopes someone will buy on their online site. This stuff is stored in locations based roughly on how big each item is; most of the big stuff stays on pallets but the smaller stuff gets put in green totes along with other stuff so that everything is all mixed up. These green totes then get delivered in mass by big pallet trucks to where this stuff will get stored in row after row of shelves sectioned off into bins. Stowers will then hide the tote's contents in whatever space is available in any bin. Pickers will then try to find this stuff and put it into yellow totes tha…

One Week Down and a Surprise Visit

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We survived our first week on the job. Taking the example of Evelyn who is on week three, we left this morning thinking one week down and seven to go. We were hired to be pickers and are doing the night shift on M,T,Th, & Fri. This week, however, it was Sunday orientation and then M, T, & W. So we are off now until next monday at 5pm. We work 10 hours with a 30 minute lunch so our hours are 5 pm until 3:30 am. It is a long shift and you are on your feet for all but about 45 min. Ten hours on your feet is definitely a challenge and by the end of the shift all you want to do is get off your feet for awhile. We also have to get into bins at floor level to retrieve items and so we are doing squats all night long. I’m guessing this week I’ve done several hundred squats. Between walking and squats I am getting back into shape. The other work campers say it takes a couple weeks before some of that gets easier. This place is pretty amazing. It is over a million square feet and some of …