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Sunday, November 4, 2018

Symmetry.....

4:13 am - Sunday - November 4th - Campbellsville, KY - 45º F, 75% humidity, wind 5 mph out of the east......clear today with a forecast high of 64º F.

The days have taken on a kind of sameness akin to 'wash, rinse, dry, repeat'.  No one loves symmetry more than I, but there is good symmetry, and there is bad symmetry.  The symmetry you create in your life is unique to you, but the shared symmetry of a repetitive task job is something else indeed.  Some flourish in this kind of environment, and some do not.  The Amazon experience is replete with mind numbing symmetry.  We enjoy brief moments of asymmetry during our two 15 minute breaks, and 30 minute lunch, but the rest of the 10.5 hours we are onsite everyday are necessarily symmetrical for Amazon to succeed.  There are times when I am sure there is a hidden conductor somewhere orchestrating our minute by minute movements throughout this 1 million square foot concrete structure.  If there were no roof on this building and you flew a drone over it from high altitude we would appear to be so many ants moving here and there with a seeming rhythm just like we have all seen in an ant farm.  I have said often before that I have so much respect for the folks who work at Amazon full time......four to five 10's a week, week after week.  I could not do this work beyond my meager multi week commitment during peak season every few years.  Those of us who identity as 'Campeforce' folk are essentially here for a short period of time to harvest the money, and the overtime.  In the end what we will take with us when we depart are the friendships formed and a much more vigorous bank account.   It's just a very temporary job, and the money will be spent, but the friendships.....ah the friendships will last the rest of our lives, and that is the real treasure to be mined during 'Peak Season'.

We were out the door of the Newell at 6 am walking the downhill course to the Employee Entrance for another 10 hour shift.  There were no mysteries awaiting us.....we knew exactly how our day would go.  The only variable in our daily routine would be on which level of Pick Mod 'E' will we spend our day 'picking.  For me it began where it left off on Friday....P-4 of Pick Mod 'E'.  I spent time later in the day on P-1, and P-2 with a brief foray in Pick Mod F (one floor only).  I thought I was going to get to 'bat' for the cycle (baseball terminology referring to a batter getting a single, double, triple and homerun in one game), but never got to work on P-3.  Moving from floor to floor is really the only variety one experiences during a 10 hour shift.

One thing that is different from 6 years ago is that they have completely remodeled the cafeteria, and there are now floor to ceiling windows along one wall enabling you to see what kind of a day you are missing.  Saturday was a beautiful, sunny day as observed during our 30 minute lunch.

As we exited the building at 5 pm we were both quite tired mentally and physically, and silently wondering how we could do this for three more days, let alone 7 more weeks.  We will do it, but the thought is always there as you walk that 1/4 mile uphill road home where the Amazon symmetry has slowly, but surely embedded itself.  It is a necessary symmetry, but resented all the same.  It will make our off days seem even more delicious when we can cast off the Amazon symmetry for a couple of days and become individuals for a brief time.

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2 comments:

  1. Sounds kind of like a job you're doing for the money. The other alternative is doing the job for something to do...
    I had an older lady at Adventureland tell me the job wasn't for the money (min wage+ in the Rides Dept) it was because she had to be doing something.
    True enough but I usually enjoyed the work...

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  2. Do you get to bring headphones and music ?

    ReplyDelete