Thursday, September 6, 2012

Back to Work

I started work at on Labor Day with Orientation.  Got paid time and a half for my first day since it was a holiday.  Not a bad deal!  Tuesday we had another half day of Orientation taking care of paperwork, etc. This is when we finally got our official offer letters with shifts and job assignments.  

Kevin and I are both working 6th shift which is Sunday through Wednesday 5:00 pm to 3:30 am.  This is the same shift we both worked last year.  It works for me because I'm much more of night owl than a morning person.  8 am Orientation was rough!  I can get up in the morning, but it just takes a while before I am firing on all cylinders!  With 6th shift, I only stay up a few hours longer than I normally would anyway and I'm actually awake when I get to work!

Kevin's background check was finally processed so he will start with Orientation on Monday.  He's supposed to be working in Crisplant/Single Toys.  I ended up Picking which is fine with me.  LOTS more walking and we're still on the same break/lunch schedule.  

Yesterday I was only required to work 1/2 a shift.  We came in at 5 pm and did our Pick School training.  They do a pretty good job with the training although it's a bit overwhelming at first.  My biggest fear is getting lost!  But then that's about the same with any large unfamiliar building.  Even though we were here last year, my work was confined to one area.  So now I get to find the bathrooms in the rest of the buildings!

Kevin said he saw an article on the internet last night slamming's workamping program and telling people not to come to work at any of the 3 locations.  I have to say I just don't understand that.  Yes, there have been a few snafus getting background checks done this year.  But every company I've ever worked with either as an employee or a consultant occasionally messes something up.  I'm sure they will learn from this year and do things differently in the future.  I know that I see changes from what they did last year based on the feedback they received.  

From my perspective, they do their very best to meet our requests.  Sometimes it's not possible to meet all of them due to business needs.  For example, they may get you the start date you requested, but that means the shift or job you requested might not be available.  If you're flexible about when you start you might have a better shot at the job/shift you want.  Last year I wanted to be a picker, but ended up in Single Toys.  I wasn't too happy about it and tried to get it changed for over a month.  It didn't happen.  But on the upside, I met Kevin there.  Might not have happened had I been picking...   And I also met some other really nice folks who were all happy to see my back at the facility yesterday.  Besides -- it's only for a few months and it all pays the same.  Unless there is some physical reason you can't do the job, my suggestion is to just go with it.  You might even have some fun! 

They also run a very "lean" organization/process.  That's part of what allows them to keep the prices down like we like.  It's also means your recruiter/contact person (Paul in our case) might not get back to you as quickly as you would like.  We've found if we're patient and use tools like email, we will get the answers we need.

Finally, the other complaint seemed to about the quality of the campgrounds.  Now really can't do much about that.  Here in Coffeyville I wouldn't say any of them are resorts.  But then we are here to work and don't really have time to enjoy much in the way of amenities once things get rolling anyway.  There are some nicer/pretty parks we could stay at, but they are further away.  We choose to keep our commute short and stay local.  It's our choice, not Amazon's.

Enough of my rant defending Amazon.  Yes, they mess up, but so do we all.  From our perspective there's very few other workamping jobs that pay as well and none where you will meet as many other great workampers and make as many new friends, both among the campers and the regular employees.

Now I better finish getting ready for work before Rita gets here to pick me up!


  1. If you're happy with the working conditions, I think that is all that matters. :)

  2. I have considered working at Amazon, but right now the starting dates don't work out with my summer job ending date. I hope you will post about the weather later during the season. My concern is that the 3 locations of the Amazon warehouses are in areas that get cold and snowy.

    1. Teri, I'm not sure what your ending date is, but I suspect they might take new kampers as late as early November. At least they did last year. We lost 2 out of the group that was supposed to start with us. They made it through orientation, but left before work actually started.

  3. Glad you are both working. I agree that no job is perfect. Amazon's pros outweigh the cons in our opinion. That's why we're coming back. I sure hope we get to be pickers this year!

  4. Good rant. There are no perfect employers just as there are no perfect employees. It amazes me that people complain about the small stuff. This tends to be the modus operandi of the media.
    I would be interested in hearing more about the weather especially in November and December. Keep the postings going. That will do more than the biased media.