Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Day 1........

4:24 am - Wednesday - October 24th - Campbellsville, KY - 38º F, 83% humidity, wind 4 mph out of the north by northeast......clear with a forecast high today of 60º F.

I was up Tuesday at 4 am in anticipation of our first work day.  With 'Orientation' behind us it is now time to begin to relearn our jobs as pickers.  We spent 11 weeks here at Campbellsville back in 2012 (October 8th to December 23rd) 'picking'.  On our walk through of the facility on Monday it appeared a lot had changed, but on Tuesday as we were being taught by Ashley how to navigate the facility, and use our Motorola scanners TLE and I began to see that not much had really changed about the layout.  There are still 3 buildings (A, B and C) which are all connected with firewalls.  Most 'pic mods' still have 4 floors, and they still have books, DVD's, video games and electronics, but most of the inventory is now clothing.

We began our 5 hour shift with our 'stand up' session.  All the pickers working the day shift gather at a central location where the shift manager gives the 'news' of the day consisting of information about Amazon while a second person leads the group, silently, in stretching exercises.  Amazon takes safety and fitness very seriously, and stretching is a very important part of being fit to work.  Once 'stand up' is finished we (the newbies) break up into two teams of 5 each.  TLE and I are with Fred, Don and Diane (Di).  Ashley was our Training Ambassador, and spent the entire 5 hours of our modified shift with us training us how to pick, and even more importantly, how to navigate our way through the labyrinth of 'pick mods'.....

No cameras, or cell phones are allowed inside the work areas, but this is a picture from the internet of one of the 4 story 'pick mods'....

.....there are 'pick mods' for every letter of the alphabet, but they are not laid out in alphabetical order so learning to navigate from one 'pick mod' to another is very important.  The actual scanning procedure is quite simple to learn, but figuring out where to go to do your next pick can be confusing at first.

This Amazon Fulfillment Center is has about 1 million square feet of floor space, but then you add the square footage of each 4 story pick mod and it gets to a very big number fast.  It is no wonder that a typical picker will walk 11-13 miles in a 10 hour shift.

By the end of our shift we had covered all three buildings, and for TLE and I it began to make sense very quickly since we had spent those 11 weeks here once before.  I was the first one to be released to pick on my own, and I did so for about 45 minutes before our 5 hour shift was over.  I managed to fill three 'totes' with about 40 picks in that time.

Since we were last here they have made a number of internal system changes which we like a lot.  It used to be that you had two 15 minute breaks, but your walking time to and from the break area was included in that 15 minutes.  Now there is a chime which sounds about 3 minutes before your break begins, and you have that time to walk to your break area.  You now get 15 minutes to rest, and then another chime sounds and you get 2 minutes to walk back to your work area, so effectively you get two 20 minute breaks from your job in a 10 hour shift.  If you work a 12 hour shift you actually get one more break.

We can clock out as early as 5 minutes before the end of our shift and still get credit for the entire final hour. Our 5 hour shift ended at 11:30 am, and we were encouraged to begin walking to the exit area where we punch the clock at 11:20 am so as to arrive there by 11:25 am.  There can be long lines of people waiting to clock out, and it can take up to 5 minutes to clock out sometimes.  

TLE and I both agreed we enjoyed our first 5 hour day, and feel much more comfortable about picking this time around.  Since we have worked at this facility before doing this exact same job the learning curve for picking, and navigating the facility is significantly shorter this time.  We were home around 11:40 am enjoying the wonderful sunshine.  I spent time during the rest of the afternoon deploying (finally) some of our decorative rope lights....


......while I was in the middle of that a former Amazon associate (Ken) whom we met at the Fernley, NV Fulfillment Center stopped by to say 'Hi!'....what a nice surprise.  Since Fernley he has worked at other Amazon Fulfillment Centers, and said this will be his 6th consecutive year working at Amazon. We talked for about 30 minutes before he bid me adieu, and I returned to my decorative lighting task.  Ken, thanks for stopping by....we both enjoyed reconnecting with you after 4 years!

The rest of the day slipped away quickly, and suddenly it was 8:30 pm and time for me to hit the sack once again.....thanks for stopping by!

When you shop Amazon, please use our link (below) to access their website.......we will appreciate every purchase you make using our Amazon Affiliate link, and  remember, using our link will not add one penny to your purchase, plus we will receive a small commission which helps defray our travel expenses to a small degree.

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