Thursday, November 3, 2016

Taking on Amazon – Week #2

Copyrighted image - no use without permission

We are two and a half weeks in (but who's counting...) and on Monday we finished our fourth 10-hour day in the Amazon fulfillment center. This was our first set of four tens in a row and yes, it was as horrific as it sounds.

Steven and I are on I-Shift, which means we work days, Friday through Monday, 6:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. During that time we are little robots, walking from one "pick mod" to another picking item after item off a shelf and putting it into our little bins on our trolleys. During those hours we get two 15-minute breaks (on the clock) and one 30-minute lunch for which we clock out.

First thing in the morning, and again following lunch, we all meet for a "stand-up" and our supervisor of the day (SOD...JK! I made that up!) makes announcements while we do stretches. It's kind of boring and difficult for me to just stand still - I'd much rather be moving.

One day both Steven and I completely forgot about the stand-up meeting and we just logged into our scanners, grabbed a trolley and hit the isles to start picking. It was weird, though, because the warehouse lights in our section, which had turned off during lunch, would only pop on again when one of us entered the area. We were both thinking, where is everyone? It didn't even occur to us that they were all at the stand-up. :) Fortunately, we are not punished for that.

Punished? Is there such a thing? Well, kinda. If you are late for whatever reason, you are assigned points, depending on how late you are. You only get a bank of six points every 90 days (by which time we will be long gone, so really, we only get six) and I think I earned one my first day. I was six minutes late for LUNCH and that got put on my permanent record. Right? You thought those day were over? Me, too!

Because we are still relatively new, we have only been assigned to pick in about 40 percent of the mods. Each one is endless, with row after row, isle after isle of STUFF. Honestly, seeing all that crap makes us all appreciate how lean we live. I want to shout to the world -- STOP  BUYING SO MUCH CRAP! -- but hey, if they did, we wouldn't have this job, amiiright?

Anyway, tomorrow we are back to work. Another four-in-a-row, 10-hour days. Last week, when we were still innocent, we longed for the day when we would be allowed to pick in all the other mods. Then one day we had to walk back to the office in HR through all the other mods and we realized they are identical to the ones we are already in. It was like finding out the Wizard is a fraud. Arghhhh!

I know I probably make this gig sound terrible, but hey, we just got here, so I can't say for sure. I mean, we’ve been retired for nearly 2-1/2 years, so any job is bound to suck in the beginning. But, I can tell you two good things have happened. First, I found a Chiropractor and have been seeing her every week (twice so far...). She's a miracle worker. I should have done this in my 30s, but I didn't. Second, we've met some great people. And that makes this job so much more tolerable.

Week #2 Stats

Steps Miles
Linda 92,084 39.72
Steven 108,241 51.10


  1. Up in packing, we are amazed at the constant flow of totes rolling in, Linda. You guys rock!

    1. It doesn't seem like we send up that many totes, until the A Mod conveyer was down during the stress test. Wow, those totes backed up for miles. Well, it looked like miles.

  2. Oh girl you're making my feet hurt!! I hope it ends up being financially worth it - and I know you're meeting fun people :-)))) I think they should have a sit-down meeting, would probably be more appreciated!

    1. You and I hope for the same thing. We'll find out in December.

  3. Replies
    1. Lol, the whole thing is kind of jaw-dropping. We'll be happy we did it when the bank account plumps up a bit and we're enjoying our month in Ireland. At least, that's what I keep telling myself.

  4. The only good part is that you're walking instead of sitting. And that you're not on the night shift. And that you're making a chunk of money for something fun. The point system would be a deal breaker for me. Too stressful, LOL!

  5. So far so good...... hopefully your remaining weeks are painless and go quickly!

  6. Holy crap what have you got your self into. I got so tired just reading about all that walking I had to take a nap. All the stuff you two have done I know you will
    be able to handle this . Good luck .
    Boise Idaho