When I work a seasonal job I need to establish a routine which puts me in my comfort zone. My particular comfort zone is I don't like rushing around in the morning before work so I get up way before I have to leave. Since we are beginning our work day at 6:30 am I am up by 4 am. That gives me plenty of time to compose my blog entry for the day, time to read the blogs of others whom I follow, time for a leisurely breakfast, and plenty of time to get dressed, and maybe even sit down for 10 minutes and read before we begin our 1/4 mile walk to work. I don't use an alarm clock, and haven't since a few months after I graduated from college back in June of 1971. I despise alarm clocks, and while still in college dreamed of the day I would not need an alarm clock anymore. After college I still used an alarm clock for a few months when I was working for a house painter, but eventually trained myself to wake up on time without that sudden noise jolt that sends adrenaline coursing through your blood vessels. I like waking up slowly, and preferably as it gets lighter. I don't get to do that right now except on my days off work.
Day 3 at the FC was quite similar to the two prior training/work hardening days. We were on site by 6:15 am, chatting with our co-workers and girding ourselves for another 5 hours. We clocked in at 6:25 am, and were at the 'stand up' site by 6:30 am listening to the latest Amazon news, goals for the day all while doing our stretching exercises. Instead of heading directly out to begin another day of picking we spent about an hour with our training ambassadors while they reiterated safety concerns, process steps, and mainly talking about 'exceptions', which we had yet to discuss. Nothing in any process ever goes flawlessly, and when hiccups occur here they are referred to as 'exceptions'. What is an exception one might query? Some of them are, in no particular order, as follows: 1) The item you are to 'pick' is missing from the bin to which you have been directed; 2) The item is damaged; 3) You find the item, but the description in your scanner is different than the item....perhaps the wrong size, or color; 4) You find an item laying on the floor.
So, lets take them one by one:
1) The item is missing - If you are unable to find the item in the designated bin you hit the 'M' (Missing) key your scanner and then 'ENTER'. Then you will proceed to scan every single item in the bin to be sure it is really missing. Most often you are wrong, and it is there, but on the extremely rare occasion it is not there you once again hit 'M' (missing) and then 'ENTER'. Your scanner will then close out that 'pick' and send you to your next 'pick'. I have had one item missing so far in my first three days of picking. Six years ago I had three missing items, and they all happened on the same day, and I was wrong in my assessment on one of them. To my credit this happened in my first 3 work hardening days when I was still learning and training.
2) The item is damaged - So, you have found the item, but after doing a 'six sided check' you determine it is damaged. The criteria for making that determination is 'would I want to receive this item in the mail?'. If you decide it is damaged you first hit 'D' (Damaged) on your scanner and then 'ENTER', then scan a new 'tote', put the damaged item in the new tote and then put that 'tote' on the conveyor. It will be sent to a problem solver who makes the final determination. Sometimes the damaged item will be relisted and sold 'as is' and you have to be sure you read the description on your scanner to be sure that is not the case before you 'damage it out'.
3) The item description on your scanner does not match the item in the bin - If this is the case then you hit 'R' (Reject) then 'ENTER' and then you get a menu asking what the problem is. You choose 'ITEM DESCRIPTION DOESN'T MATCH' then replace the item in the bin and go to your next 'pick'. A problem solver will be dispatched to correct the problem.
4) You find an item laying on the floor - This does happen a lot and it has a simple solution. You pick the item up and put it in what is called an 'AMNESTY' bin. A problem solver will come along later to figure out in which bin that item belongs. They do not want you guessing and then getting it wrong. Just creates more work for more people down the line.
There are a few more exceptions, but these are the most frequently occurring ones. Our 'EXCEPTION' training was done by 7:30 am at which time we were released to finish our 5 hour shift picking.
Unlike our first time here six years ago I am enjoying picking this time. I cannot explain why this time is different, but I am thinking about it and will certainly let you know when I figure out why that is. At this point I am just going with the flow, and taking it as it comes. The time seems to fly each day, and I don't find myself checking the time every 5 minutes.
We were home by 11:45 am.....when we emerged from the FC to walk home it was much colder than Tuesday, as well as sort of windy. Not conducive to being outside a lot. I decided I needed a haircut....it has been 6 weeks since the lovely Tanya at Harbor Barber last lowered my ears. There is no Supercuts in Campbellsville, but there is a 'Fantastic Sams', which is also a national chain. I had my hair cut twice there when we were here in 2012. Amazingly my phone number and name were still in their system, and many of the hair stylists were also still there....cool! I was immediately shown to a chair and Luchie (pronounced Lushee) who immediately began to cut my hair. It was as if I had just been there a few weeks prior.
After finishing my haircut I did something I have not done in a very long time....I drove over to the local Tractor Supply and just walked around looking at what they had for sale. I love browsing through Tractor Supply! I kind of lost track of time, and by the time I arrived home it was closing in on 3 pm!
We spent the rest of the afternoon basking in the knowledge we had two days off work before we begin our 10 hour shifts. That will be when the rubber really hits the road. When we were here 6 years ago it was always the last two hours that got to me. By then my feet would be barking loudly, and sometime my lower back would hurt, but as we progressed through our 11 week stay my feet and back stopped hurting. Then it was just a matter of battling the mind numbing boredom of doing a repetitive task.
Thanks for stopping by!