Would we do it again?
Several of you asked this question so I felt it would be good if both John and I answered this question. So today you get to here from both of us.
My first reaction would be “not if I could help it”. What I mean is I would rather do some camp hosting or volunteering along the way instead of 2 months of this type of work. However if we found that we just really needed the funds I know I can do this and it definitely has some financial benefits. The pros are the money, the free rent and the people you get to know, and the weight loss from all the walking. The cons are the sore feet, the long hours, and at least in Coffeyville the lack of anything to do other than work and sleep. That last one though is almost a pro. You are so tired from the work that you wouldn’t feel up to doing much anyway. If we decided to do it again, I would definitely be more prepared. I’m not sure it is possible to get your feet totally ready for 10 hours on cement floors. It is not like hiking, even if I hiked ten miles there would be chances to stop and sit from time to time and at this job there are two short breaks where you maybe get 10 minutes off your feet and a lunch that is maybe 20-25 minutes off your feet. It took almost a month before the throbbing at night when I got off my feet quit and I didn’t expect that. John and I have always been active, we hike and bike and sometimes I run but it is just not the same. I still would try to come in in better shape and hope it made a difference. The weight loss has been nice. This is usually a time of the year that we gain about 5 lbs and in the end I lost about 10-12 lbs so I am happy about that. So my answer to the question is maybe but if I could find another way to have this lifestyle without this stretch I would do it. Sometimes I wonder if it’s like childbirth; right after I had my first son I wasn’t sure I wanted to go through that again but with time and perspective I changed my mind so maybe you should ask me again in about 6 months.
Sure, if Janie wanted to. It also helps to do it with friends who can save you a seat at breaks and lunch. If you can talk someone into doing this with you and they stick it out for a few weeks you can also get $50 a person in your paycheck from Amazon. I think it also helps to show up in October so you can get a few 40 hour weeks in before you start with the 50 hour weeks around Thanksgiving. We also put off getting better shoes from the local shoe store that was recommended to us but after we did, our feet finally started to get better. Shoes and orthodic inserts were about $200 for each of us. Well worth it.
Our work was very repetitive; almost mindless. I liked it that way. More walking, less stress. I talked to one gentleman who described himself as “a little ADD” who preferred picking to packing since he didn’t have to stand in one place (we’re sometimes farmed out to packing or shipping when they need help). The environment can be noisy, but Amazon provides earplugs if you want them. I used them maybe twice in eight weeks. Most people wear gloves. I had a reaction to the provided rubber coated gloves but after I bought a leather pair I was fine (and I used lots of hand lotion). We both went eight weeks without missing a work day. No injuries or sick days.
Of course, we did it for the money. If we can keep the credit cards paid off we probably won’t be back but you never know. I would like to think I would be able to do this if I wanted to in the future. Lots of campers were older than we were, but the job is physically taxing. Some of the veterans were trained for other jobs also that might help break up the day.
I hope that answers some of your questions. We are now in a very nice RV park at the Winstar Casino in Thackerville OK. Just kickin' back enjoying not working. I hope to do a Christmas post but just in case I don't get it done. Merry Christmas to everyone. :)