Sunday, November 25, 2012

'12/#49 Being Thankful

Thanksgiving is over and Black Friday has passed so I will contemplate some of the things I am thankful for. I am thankful for Thanksgiving for reminding me to be thankful. It is something we should do every day of the year. I am thankful that Black Friday is over because it makes a stressful time of the year more stressful. I am thankful for my and Mary's health so that we can live the life we have chosen and I am thankful for the lifestyle we have chosen. I am thankful for all the places we have seen and the people we have met in this lifestyle.

I know I am just listing things to be thankful for but like I said before, we should be thankful for these things all year long. I like to think that I am thankful all year but have chosen this time to say it out loud for all to hear. I hope that my children and grandchildren know that I am thankful for them coning into my life. I am thankful for my friends, old and new, who have my my life better by being in it. I am thankful for strangers who have made my life more interesting and I thank all of you who read this blog for listening.

I also want to thank the people who have passed through my life in ways that many would think have caused more harm than good. And I am thankful for all the things, good and bad, that have happened to me. You might ask why I am thankful for the bad things and people in my life? Well I am not so much a believer that everything happens for a reason but I do believe that everything that happens is part of the end result. This may be semantics but the bottom line is that everything that has happened in my life is what has brought me to this point in time and I am thankful to be here. I don't regret, because regret is a waste of time, you can't undo life. And if you could and did change something how would it have affected the rest of your life? I believe that I am here because of all that has occurred in my world and I am happy to be here so I am thankful for everything.

I hope you have many things to be thankful for especially, this time of year, and this is my happy Thanksgiving to all of you from our home in Kentucky because....

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary

Sunday, November 18, 2012

'12/#48 Another Week, Another $$$$

Well another week has gone by at Amazon and we have survived. Actually it hasn't been bad at all.....once you get the proper mindset. First rule is "it's a job, not a career". I'm not saying you don't have to work but don't kill yourself and as the song goes, "Don't worry, be happy". If something doesn't go right don't dwell on it, laugh at it and go on. Mistakes happen, right? Also if things could be done better or more efficient don't worry about that either. We are workcampers, temps, casuals, etc... at best. We are not going to change the world in 2 months. Besides, the regular career workers don't want us telling them how things should be done after we have been here for a whole 3 weeks! I know I didn't appreciate it when it was my career and we had Christmas casuals in the PO.

What's next..... Oh yeah rule #2. There is no rule #2. If you follow rule #1 and just enjoy yourself and the people you work with everything will be fine. After all we are workcampers. What are they going to do to us? Fire us in the middle of their peak season? And if they do what then? We get to go to Florida sooner!!!!! That means sooner to the grandkids, kids, friends, and much warmer weather. It's all good.

Speaking of the has been a wee bit chilly here. I know I said I wouldn't complain about the weather after seeing what the folks on the east coast have gone through with hurricane Sandy. I am just reporting the weather here. The highs have been in the 50's and the overnight lows have been in the upper 20's. When we walk to work in the morning it is right about freezing, give or take a few degrees. Yes, we walk to work every morning. Well almost every morning. If it is raining, snowing, or really windy we will take the truck but so far we have only driven twice in 3 weeks.

 It is only 2 blocks from the RV park and Amazon gives everyone in our park an orange reflector vest for safety. They know we walk and care enough that we get to and from work safely. Even the locals are aware of the workcampers. We have to cross a busy road to get to Amazon and traffic really flys down this road during the morning rush hour in spite of speed limit signs. Yet the locals headed to work always slow and stop to let us cross even though there are no signs posted about reduced speed or crossing pedestrians. Amazon is good for the local economy and they want it to stay.

Well we have 3 days off and we are going to enjoy them. Sleep late, catch a movie, or get together with friends. We also will get some errands done and get as many meals cooked in advance for the next week. It is nice to come home and have dinner all but on the table after a 10 hour day. So I will sign off from our "Old Kentucky Home" ( I have been dying to say that LOL) because.....

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary

Sunday, November 11, 2012

'12/#47 Three Days Off. Yay!!!!

We have finished our second week of "conditioning" here at Amazon. The 5 hour days were a nice way to get the feel of what goes on and what is expected of us. Like any other repetitive job it doesn't take long to get the hang of it. The only problem we are having,and it is a minor thing, is finding our way around the building. This facility is HUGE! Add to that the randomness of the numbering of the areas and sections. As we work through the day we have to move around in a specific area where section #2 is at the far end from section #192 but #204 is right next to # 2. Go figure?!?! Not very efficient for a newbee who is trying to find his way around and is only here for 2 months as a temp.

Then we have the different areas where A & B are in one building, Q,J,D,K,C,L,M,N,&P are in another, and R,G,H,T,E,&F are in a third part of the building. The maps we have been given must have been drawn up by a drunken monkey or a postal supervisor. Again, not very efficient but that is not the biggest problem. The areas are not rectangular in shape. Some are "L" shaped or "U" shaped or are split in two. There are vehicle pathways we must avoid and conveyors we have to go around. Mary was in an area she hadn't been in before and literally got lost! Now this wouldn't have been a problem during our shift. If they want to pay people for finding their way, so be it. But it was time to go home and Mary couldn't find her way out or to a time clock. She finally found one of the trainers who pointed her in the right direction. At this point I was starting to worry because I had been waiting for her for 15 minutes past the end of our shift. Since we can't have cell phones on the floor I couldn't even call her to try and track her down. We are starting to find our way around so this shouldn't happen again.

Well, we have the next three days off before we start our 10 hour days. We are going to relax, do some laundry, and cook ahead so we will have dinners ready for next week. No one feels like cooking after a 10 hour day so it will be nice to have our meals all ready to just heat up. The weather has been a bit warmer but rain is expected on Monday with colder temperatures following. After seeing what those poor folks in NY & NJ are going through I think I will stop complaining about the weather.

So I will sign off with beautiful weather outside our window in our home in Kentucky because.....

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

'12/#46 Week 2 At Amazon

Well we have started our second week at Amazon and like I said before we walk around a lot and look like we know what we are doing. It's just like my 30+ years in the Post Office. Now I know some of you who work for the PO are wondering why we are working for a place like the PO after gladly leaving that kind of work behind. Well, part of it is they pay good money for a short period of time which is what we want as workcampers. The other part is that even though it is like the PO we don't have the same mentality that comes with knowing you will be doing the job for 20 or 30 or more years. This is a job not a career. When our commitment is over it is over and if the job becomes more than we bargained for we can always say goodbye. There are no benefits to lose, no vacation time earned, no sick time to account for, and no retirement that needs to be invested in. In other words we don't have to care about the job at all. Show up, do our thing and go home.

Oh I forgot to mention that Amazon pays for our camping while we are here. Two months free rent is another perk that you can't ignore. Then there are the other workcampers or what Amazon calls "Camper Force" people. We have our own little community and get to make friends that we will socialize with during our time here. We also will probably meet up with some of our new friends down the road just like our old friends we ran into once we arrived here. It is the RV lifestyle and we love it.

Now on the down side I will tell you it has been a little chilly here. With highs only around 50 degrees and overnight lows getting close to the freezing mark(that's 32' for our Florida friends) we have had to find ways to keep warm. We have a nice gas furnace and two electric heaters that help conserve propane not to mention our favorite....the electric blanket. Then there is always snuggling which is my favorite. So we are doing just fine and will survive Amazon before we head back to Florida.

So I will sign off for now here in our home in Campbellsville KY because.....

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary

Sunday, November 4, 2012

'12/#45 One Week Down

Well our first week is over and it wasn't bad at all. It was kind of interesting. The job will be pretty easy once we get the hang of it. Amazon starts everyone off with a conditioning schedule. The first 2 weeks are 5 hour days and then we go into our 10 hour days 4 days a week. To us it doesn't seem necessary but there are a lot of workcampers who haven't had jobs that required them to stand for hours on end on a hard concrete floor or they have been retired for several years. They are the ones who are taking more time adapting so for them the conditioning is a good idea. It also weeds out the ones who just can't or don't want to do the job. A number of people have already left and more are coming in next week.

Like I said we will be scheduled to work 4 10 hour days. That was something that a lot of people in the PO would have liked and the unions actually explored at one time. I personally would have loved it because of the 3 days off each week. Whether it was a 3 day weekend or a break during the week wouldn't have mattered. It still would have been nice. Now we are working that schedule. Our first week was Mon. through Fri. because of orientation, but our regular work days will be Wed through Sat. That means that we have 4 days off between week one and week two. S-weet!

We will get together with some friends and then check out some of the towns around Campbellsville. We will see what else there is to do and what other stores might be nearby. Also we found out that Taylor County, where we are staying, is a dry county. So, if we want any alcoholic beverages we will have to cross county lines. We don't drink that much and don't plan on partying alot while we are here but who is to say I may not want a beer or Mary gets a hankering for a wine cooler. It would be nice to know where to get it.
We are going to enjoy our days off here in our home in Kentucky because.....

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary

Thursday, November 1, 2012

'12/#44 Thanks To The PO For The Amazon Prep

Who would've thought. 32 Years in the Post Office has done nothing else if it hasn't taught me how to deal with the working conditions at Amazon. Most people here are concerned with having to stand for hours on concrete floors. The scheduled breaks and lunches frazzle some of our coworkers. Then there is the factory environment. Many are bothered by the lack of windows, the constant drone of all the machinery, and the harsh fluorescent lighting but it feels like home to us. Yes a home we gladly ran from screaming, but home.

The one thing we never really did in the PO was get to be at work by 6:30am. Most of our years in the PO we work some form of night shift, so 6:30am comes around real early for us. As they say, "It would be better if 6am came around noon". We are managing and Mary is falling asleep before 10pm. Actually she fell asleep before 8:30pm last night. Our meal schedule is falling into place and we have found all the stores we need to be able to cook all the meals we need to make it through our commitment with Amazon.

Since we arrived we have met up with several friends we have made in our travels. First we caught up with Mr and Mrs Pat who we met and worked with in Dollywood last year. On our first day at work we ran into Doniel and her parents Don and Barbara. We worked with them in Cody this summer before they left to work the beet harvest in SD. We've done it and won't do it again. Just yesterday we ran into Richard and Sandy who we also worked with at Dollywood. We've all talked about getting together once our schedules are set. This is one of the joys of RVing. You never know when you will meet an old friend out on the road.

Well it almost time for dinner and shortly after that we will call it a night. Like I said, 6:30am comes awful early. So I will say good night from our home near Amazon in KY because....

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary