Saturday, October 25, 2014

Our Only Day Off This Week

Our last post was at the end of our first day at Amazon's Murfreesboro warehouse.  Now we have finished our first week: 4 days of 5 hours each.  Our work will all be in “Packing”, where orders have already been pulled from the shelves and brought to us for packaging, the last step before shipping to the customer.  We spent Thursday and Friday learning the 4 possible alternatives: single or multiple items, and large or small packages.  There isn’t as much walking as we did last year in Stowing; we’ll be working in a single work station all day.  It remains to be seen if this will be easier on us than last year.

All of last week’s trainees begin their regular shifts next week.  Our shift is daytime, Sunday through Wednesday, 10 hours each with overtime (if scheduled) being another 10-hour day on Thursday.   No overtime has been scheduled yet, so we will have our 3-day weekend on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays until we are released just before Christmas.

So what did we do during our only day off: met with family.  Our niece, Jamie and her husband Jeff, recently had their second daughter, Kyla.  Isn’t she cute?

Her big sister, Shay, just completed 6 weeks of figure skating classes at the Scott Hamilton Skating Academy.  She’s doing very well and now talks of playing hockey in the future. 

Scott was there to hand out diplomas and encourage everyone to continue the sport.  He is a very down-to-earth person, and easily approachable.  Paige was thrilled to meet him.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

“Working Stiffs” – Once Again

We are officially now back in the working world.  We’ve completed our first (short) working day at Amazon Fullfillment Center in Murfreesboro TN.  Here, they start everyone off with 4 short days, starting with paperwork and standardized videos to cover company policies.  Tomorrow we will undergo safety training, and begin learning what process we will be doing (packing, picking, stowing, or ???).  The 10-hour days start next week.

This warehouse is only two years old, and is much larger than the one we were at in Nevada last year.  There were more than 20 people who started today, and we were among the youngest.  Many of them have worked at other Amazon facilities in the past. 

The campground they provided for us is a little old and quite crowded, but at least it is quiet.  The most noise we hear is the acorns falling on our roof.

We arrived here on Sunday afternoon and our friends, Dave and Nancy, had us over for dinner.  It was so great to see them and catch up on all the news as we haven’t seen them since last spring.  It was total coincidence that we both ended up here at Amazon.  We’re glad that they are also in the same campground.  It’s nice to have them to commiserate with!

We’re also anxious to see Jamie and family this weekend.  We will get to see the new baby, Kyla, who already is growing up fast.  Shay has her last skating lesson on Saturday and we’re planning to watch that. 

We hope that we can last through this second stint at Amazon.  We know that it’s grueling but the extra money sure is nice!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Motorhome Service in Iowa

We left Duluth on Monday morning and passed through St. Paul about mid-day.  After a lunch stop at a rest area, we arrived in Forest City Iowa during business hours.  Last month we had tried to schedule an appointment for service at the Winnebago plant, but they had a full schedule for this week.  Instead we had an appointment at their local dealer.  We parked there for the night and they got us in early Tuesday when they got most items on our list fixed.  A mark on our roof had concerned both them and us, and they suggested we try a “drop-in” at the plant on Wednesday.  The plant was able to squeeze us in and took care of everything else on our list (except for one item).  We’ve been very pleased with the factory service last spring as well as this week.  Here is a view of our motorhome and truck at the Winnebago service center:

One of the benefits of coming here for service is that you get to talk with other Winnebago owners.  There are so many interesting people out there! 

We’re now ready to head for our work in Murfreesboro, TN.  We’ll get to the campground on Sunday afternoon, take Monday to get oriented and set up, and start work on Tuesday.  We only work 5 hours/day for 4 days next week.  Piece of cake!  Then we start the 10 hour days the following week.

Since we had to extend our stay in Iowa, we won’t be able to see Jamie’s family until the following weekend.  Looking forward to seeing the new baby and we get to see Shay’s skating lesson (which may give us the opportunity to see Scott Hamilton as he runs the skating school!).  It’s so great to have opportunity to connect with family when we’re on the road!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Moving On

After three fun and work-filled weeks at Northern Pines Assembly, we are once again on the move.  Our prior blog mentioned unseasonably warm weather; it didn’t last.  The weather turned unseasonably cool and increasingly windy for our final two weeks, but we had a great team and got a lot of good work done.

We will spend this weekend with Paige’s mother in Duluth and head south early next week.  We will make a quick stop at Winnebago on Tuesday to have a couple of minor things inspected, then will push on to Tennessee.  Amazon is expecting us for another holiday season.  We’ll start working October 21st.  Our friends, Dave and Nancy, are already there and are set up at the same campground where we will be staying.  That will make our work at Amazon much more fun.

We are back at Lakehead Marina, on the shore of Duluth’s harbor, same as we were back in early May.  Back then there was a lot of ice and few boats in the water.  There is no ice here yet, but they have begun taking many of the boats out already.

Here is our view: