Tuesday, November 27, 2018

What's the problem?

4:22 am - Tuesday - November 27th - Campbellsville, KY - 28º F (feels like 19º F), 79% humidity, wind 9 mph out of the west......cloudy today with a forecast high of 28º F.....low today will be 18º F.

Cyber Monday was anything but......we did not have enough work to keep all the 'Outbound' people busy, so VTO (Voluntary Time Off) was being offered every couple of hours. Our attitude is once we are in the building we are there for the duration.  We've already gotten up inordinately early to be at work by 6:30 am, and there is no way we'll cut the day work day short at that time.

We have two basic employee groups here at Amazon in which the bulk of Amazon employees are employed.....Inbound, and Outbound.  Inbound folk unload the product from the semi trailers, load the product on carts called 'U'boats to be stowed, which is then stowed in bins by the 'stowers'.  Then you have the Outbound folk like us......we pick the product, we pack the product, we ship bulk product (called 'Tranship') to other Amazon FC's.  Those are the basic classifications which 70% of the employees fit into.  There is a Safety department, there is AMCARE (in facility urgent care), the Career department, Administration department, the Training/Education department, IT department, custodial, mechanical, etc.  

There is also a small, elite group called 'Problem Solvers' who help both Inbound and Outbound folk fix errors they have made processing product.  I needed the help of a Problem Solver late Monday about 4:25 pm.  I had just put 3 totes on the conveyor to be delivered to the 'Pack' department.  I pulled three empty totes from the line to begin picking again, then I went to the bathroom.  I had hoped to make it to the end of my shift, but it became obvious that I was not going to make it, so I parked my cart, and made my way to the bathroom.  When I returned about 5 minutes later I picked up my scanner to scan the first tote, and got a message that I had 'Scanned the wrong bin'......hmmmm, maybe I scanned the tote before I went to the bathroom, although I never do that.  So I head to my next bin to pick an item, scan the bin, scan the item and drop it in my tote.  I'm still thinking about what happened when I realize I had not closed out the last tote I put on the conveyor before my bathroom run, and now it is gone, and I have another item that is supposed to be in that tote.....DOH!  I head to the problem solving desk on P-4-K (high) and using the two way radio call for a problem solver.  She arrives in about 3 minutes, and I explain what I did.  What I love about these people is there is never any judgement.....they just solve problems, and get you back on your way doing your job.  They appreciate it when you admit you made a mistake, and just want to fix it before it becomes a bigger problem.  Within 5 minutes she has fixed my problem, and it is now about 4:40 pm......10 minutes until the 'chimes' go 'DING DONG' and it is time to head to the front the building once again to punch the clock.

In between the beginning and the end of the shift we had an ice cream social for lunch.  We had all brought our usual lunches, but when we saw the ice cream being served we all opted for 'ice cream for lunch'......what a nice treat....and I did not feel one bit guilty!

Monday was my best day at Amazon yet.....I felt good physically and mentally at the end of the shift.  Sure, I was tired, but I felt fine for a change.....very, very encouraging.  Now to deal with the mind numbing boredom!

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1 comment:

  1. I worked at a warehouse for several years, problems were just fixed right up until they weren't, then one day blame is assigned and a mark made against your name... The job was not as much fun when any infraction was counted against you & three of them and you were out...
    I do think about Amazon & your reports on the money are helpful.


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