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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Lotsa Numbers – 2015 Amazon Wrap Up

Location: Jacksonville, FL (High 83, Low 71)

This morning we got the email notification that our last paycheck was visible in ADP, so with our last payday that will officially bring an end to the 2015 Amazon Peak season.

So a few numbers from the season…

Hours Worked

This was a great season for overtime.

We had…

  • one 23 hour introductory week
  • eight 40 hour weeks (On one of those weeks Harry missed 2.5 hours due to a vet appt. and we left 30 minutes early that day for VTO.)
  • three 50 hour weeks (starting November 8th)
  • one 52 hour week
  • three 55 hour weeks
  • one 30 hour week for our last three days.

Income

This category is pretty straightforward. Harry made $9508.31 gross and I made $9529.42 gross for a total of $19,037.73. That includes our normal income and our bonus for completing the season. We were very happy with how much we made during this year’s peak.

Steps/Miles

We bought Fitbits after we got there, so the first week wasn’t included in the data. But since we started wearing them on September 4th, I walked 2,286,143 steps for a total of 1032.71 miles. That’s an average of 32,199 steps or 14.55 miles per work day.

Exercise

Thanksgiving Day RunOne of my goals for this season was to keep up my running. I feel pretty good about what I was able to accomplish. I ran every week throughout the peak season up until Thanksgiving. After that we were working 55 hour weeks and I just didn’t have the energy. But despite that I managed to run 24 times for a total of 92.45 miles.

Weight

August 2015This last number is my favorite. I was pretty discouraged about my weight when we arrived in Kentucky. I had really gotten out of the habit of running and watching what I eat over the summer. As a result, I had gained back about ten pounds since April.December 2015 Once we received our Fitbits, I was really determined to get back on track with counting calories. That, and the fact that we were walking so much at work, really jumpstarted my weight loss again and as of our last day of work, I had reached my goal for the season by losing 25.7 pounds!

So far I’ve lost a total of 56.5 pounds since October 1, 2012 and I have ten pounds to go to reach my final goal. Now it’s time to see what I can accomplish now that we are finished with work for the next nine months.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Made It to Florida!

Location: Jacksonville, FL (High 83, Low 69)

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Yesterday morning was another dreary, cloudy one and as we pulled out we were both so ready to see some sunshine.

 

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We were happy to see that the road was relatively clear as we made our way toward Atlanta. We took the west bypass around the city which was also moving along at highway speed.

 

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In fact, other than a couple slow downs due to minor traffic accidents, we had a very smooth trip. We were grateful for that as yesterday was one of our longer traveling days, with a little over 400 miles to go. The skies also brightened up as we headed south.

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By the time we arrived at the Florida state line we were enjoying a nice bright sunshiny day!

 

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We arrived at Pecan Park RV Resort and got set up for the next few days.

 

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We went out last night for a walk just to enjoy the warm evening air!

 

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This morning Harry and I went out for our first run together in quite a while! It was hot and humid and sunny and wonderful!

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We are lovin’ life!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas to All!

Location: Adairsville, GA (High 75, Low 64)

Rain, rain, rain!! I’m glad we decided to go for it on Wednesday and make our way here to Georgia, because if we were waiting for a break in the weather we wouldn’t have left yet! It’s been pretty warm, but the rain has been pretty constant.

12415732_10208788928907324_993672908_oThis morning we drove over to my aunt’s house in Marietta to enjoy a great Christmas get-together and meal.

It was pleasant to be someplace decorated for the holiday, and spend some time chatting with family.

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My aunt is a wonderful cook, and always puts on a great spread, and today was no exception!

 

 

We are here for a shorter period of time this year, so it was a much quicker visit than we have had the past couple of years. But it was still so nice to spend the holiday with family.

Then we came home and had a nap! We have still not gotten anywhere back to normal after our months with Amazon. It is so nice not to have a work schedule to think about anymore.

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We are ending the day with a toast to the holiday in our new half marathon drinkware!

 

 

We’ve had another great Christmas Day and wishing the same to all of you!

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

That's All She Wrote!

Location: Adairsville, GA (High 73, Low 64)


It has been quite the few days. We had just three days left to work when I last posted a blog, and they went pretty quickly. I entertained myself by counting down the work hours. After we got out of work on the last day, we made one last trip to our favorite local Mexican restaurant and I toasted to the end of Amazon Season #3  with one of their yummy margaritas. 

As soon as I have a few days to breathe, I will do a post covering all the number stuff from the season – probably when we get to Jacksonville.


We went back and forth over the last few days about whether we would leave Campbellsville on Wednesday or Thursday. The weather on Wednesday for the Atlanta area was looking pretty nasty on Monday night so we had all but decided to wait and go on Thursday instead. Our plan was to call the campground after work on Tuesday (our last day) and change our reservation. But then when we got home, I watched the weather one more time and it had changed, with late Wednesday into Thursday being more the time frame for the storms. So we changed back to our original time frame, planning to just get up and leave as early as we could.

We got ready early but we didn’t beat a lot of our neighbors. There were probably a dozen rigs that pulled out between 5:30 and 7 am! I don’t think there is any possible way we could pull out that early.




Even though we didn’t pull out as early as people around us, we were still ready remarkably early for us, being all hooked up and ready to go before the sun was even up.
By the time we said goodbye to all the friends who hadn’t left yet, we ended up pulling out around 8:20. Not too bad!





We were very happy to have dry roads and even a small glimmer of blue sky as we started out.





It was a dreary traveling day for the most part..here we are coming into the gloomy looking city of Nashville.



We made it almost to Chattanooga before we hit rain, but then it was rainy pretty much for the rest of the trip. We were happy to see the sign for GA knowing that our traveling day was almost at an end.






It was about 3:30 when we pulled into our spot at Harvest Moon RV Park. We were tired and ready to call it a day.












This morning we celebrated our freedom by staying in bed until almost 6 am! I am feeling so thankful at this moment that we are here and don’t have to travel today, and that we didn’t have any severe weather overnight.


Ready to do some Christmas celebratin’! 

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Got the Official Word!

Location: Campbellsville, KY (High 54, Low 41)

Well, it was much later this year than usual, but Friday night we finally got the official word about our release date. I think a lot of the holdup was because of the fact that Christmas is on a Friday this year. There’s been a lot of hemming and hawing about when to release us since people can still order on Monday or Tuesday and get their stuff delivered by Christmas if they use two day shipping. Now that’s last minute shopping!

There was one shift released yesterday, and you could tell who they were by the big smiles on their faces as they walked around the facility. We, unfortunately or fortunately depending on how you look at it, are working through Tuesday. Oh well, we’ll get a few more bucks before we get done. Looks like the weather is going to be unsettled for our traveling on Wednesday but at least it doesn’t appear to be anything severe.

We are SO ready to be done and are counting down the days and hours!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

SO close to the END!

Location: Campbellsville, KY (High 47, Low 27)

(This is my first post trying out the new Open Live Writer.)

Well, we are almost there! Yesterday we worked our last half day to make our third fifty five hour week in a row. It has been a very lucrative season for us. We were really good and managed to resist the temptation to take VTO earlier in the season when it was offered almost every day for awhile. (Well, the majority of the time. We did leave one day at twenty minutes after four.) And since November when the work started to pick up, we have been working 50 hour weeks or more. I will do another post after the season is over going over all the number stuff.

Last week on our day and a half off, we did a lot of the “getting ready to leave” kind of stuff. I have the majority of our inside stuff done that I can do ahead of time, and Harry has worked on his list. Today he is planning to check the pressure in the tires and do a couple other odds and ends outside. This is the last day that we have to spend time getting ready to go. We were hoping that we would get the word that our release date had been moved up, but it is looking like we are going to be here until next Tuesday the 22nd. So after today, we will have five more days to work. If we had gotten out earlier, we would have split the trip into two days, but instead we will go all the way to Harvest Moon RV Park in Adairsville, GA next Wednesday. Good thing we’re used to getting up early!

One of the things I usually start doing when it’s almost time to travel is watch the  forecast. But this year it looks like I will not have to worry about the weather. Next week on the day we head out the high is going to be in the 70s. Guess we won’t have to watch out for snow.

Well, other than work there’s not much going on around here. We are looking forward to a change of scenery next week and spending Christmas Day at my aunt’s house in Marietta GA.

We have FIVE days to go!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Three Years





It’s so hard to believe it, but it was three years ago today that we set up in our first fulltime stop at Brookside Campground in Catskill, NY.










Looking back at these pictures, I can still remember the excitement we felt as we had our first fulltime meal that night and toasted to our new future on the road.




It was a really cold January in NY that year, and we had a couple snowstorms to contend with before we could hit the road south on January 17th, 2012 after Harry’s last day at work.













Thinking back on the places we’ve been so far, I have to say that San Antonio still remains way up there on our list of favorite stops. I loved the Riverwalk and definitely want to get back there again sometime.









We also really enjoyed our month long stay in the Keys last January.







Other than the places we’ve been and seen, I think my absolute favorite thing about fulltiming is that it provides us the opportunity to spend a lot more quality time with family.







Christmas at my aunt’s…






Harry with his cousins…





















Harry and his sister in St. Augustine…













Mountain climbing with my mother….












Geocaching with my niece and nephews…











Snuggling with our grandson Schaun…









Harry with our grandson Kenny…






Looking forward to another year of great memories!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

We Are Almost There!

Location: Campbellsville, KY (High 60, Low 51)

This has been another week of many hours. Since our actual pay week runs from Sunday to Saturday, our “weekend” falls in the middle of the week. Right now, we are halfway through another 55 hour week. The eleven hour days ended last Saturday and we were very glad to see them end. I had initially thought that five eleven hour days would be easier to do than five ten hour days and a half day. But now that I’ve done both, I think I’ve changed my opinion. Working eleven hour days is very tiring.

Officially we have ten days left to work. We were all notified that there wouldn’t be any early releases this year, so our last day of work is scheduled for Tuesday December 22nd. There was that tantalizing word “tentative” included though, so that hasn’t stopped all the campers from hoping yet that we will get to head out a day or two early. There is a real sense of excitement now as people start to look toward the end. Very often as we meet campers throughout the day at work, even people we really don’t know, it’s very common to hear the question, “so where are you guys headed next?” Most people are heading south for warmer weather, although there are a few people who go north to spend the holidays with family.

And speaking of warmer weather, this has been a great season for our propane budget. Amazon pays for our electric but not for propane. We have several electric heating options, and the main one is our heat pump which only works down to a certain temperature, the low forties basically. If it gets colder than that we use our furnace. Last fall we spent $208.35 on propane. Yesterday Harry took our propane tank over for only our second fillup of the whole season. So our total is $35.82. Very nice! And looking at the ten day forecast we will probably not have to use our furnace again while we’re here.

Since we have only one more weekend before our departure, we started doing our “getting ready to leave” chores yesterday. Harry got the outside stuff put away and12363884_10208673518862145_695163394_o I started to pack up our pictures and the other odds and ends that get left out when we’re in one place for an extended period of time.

Ariel is thinking “uh oh, I know what happens when this container comes out! Traveling day!”

Harry and I are both ready to go and counting down every day! At the most, TEN work days left!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

One Heck of a Busy Week

Location: Campbellsville, KY (High 51, Low 30)

The title says it all! Since I last posted the update for last week, we have been run run running like crazy.

12314860_10208589040150230_328281333_oThe week started out with a fantastic Thanksgiving Day celebration. Every day since Thanksgiving has been super wet and rainy, but not last Thursday. We woke up to a beautiful blue sky.

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I took advantage of the beautiful morning to start the day with a five mile run. I feel so good that I have managed to do at least a few runs right through the season. Last year I stopped i12294977_10208589798369185_695901272_on early October, which made getting back to it in January feel like starting all over again.

After a nice breakfast of bacon and eggs, we got busy getting the stuffing made and turkey ready to go in the roaster oven. Both of our previous Thanksgivings on the road, we looked for a restaurant that was open for the day, and it just didn’t do it for us. So this year we decided we were going to cook instead. A few of our friends also cooked some of the dinner so no one had to spend all day in the kitchen.

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We also had some time for hanging out and just enjoying a glass of wine.

 

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Our great spread!

 

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Let’s just say no one went home hungry!

 

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It was a great and relaxing Thanksgiving Day.

 

 

And good thing we had a nice day of relaxation…because the next day was BLACK FRIDAY!! In preparation for the day, the Outbound schedule was modified to eleven hour days, adding one half hour on each end of the day. Campers are not required to do more than ten hours, but of course we are encouraged to do so if we can.

So far Harry and I are managing the hours pretty well. We are tired, of course, and ready for the season to be over, but we’re not feeling as bone tired as we used to when we worked in Receiving. (Even with all the miles we walk each day, it’s just not as physical a job as hefting big heavy boxes out of trucks.)  So as of yesterday, we have worked five eleven hour days in a row. As a department, in Outbound days, we picked over 140k units on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and we were slated to do over 120k yesterday. I didn’t hear if we made it. As far as walking, I walked 16.5, 17.5, 18.7, 18.8 and 17 miles for a total of 88.5 miles in five days!!! Yes it has been ONE BUSY WEEK.

We have two more eleven hour days on Saturday and Sunday and then we go back to tens. That is when the rest of the department goes to mandatory 60s, but as I’ve mentioned previously, we aren’t going to do that this year. We are still planning to stick with 55 hour weeks, so that will mean for two weeks we will have to go in for a half day on one of our days off. Half days aren’t bad when you get off at 11 in the morning. At this point we just have our eyes on the finish line!

We still have a couple weeks left until we find out our release date, so we are just planning on working until the very end, and if we get released a day or two earlier, we will just be pleasantly surprised. Either way, it won’t be long and we’ll be packing up and heading on down the road.

At the most, we have fifteen full days left to go!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Comparison of Amazon Jobs

Location: Campbellsville, KY (High 62, Low 42)

Another week down! They are flying by!

12295202_10208580474096084_254745475_oBefore I get to the main topic of my post today, just wanted to share a picture from last night. We went out with friends to celebrate the end of the work week and Harry took this picture of me with my celebratory margarita. I love this picture! I am making such great progress now toward my weight goal, losing about 1.5 pounds a week. I’ve lost 21 pounds since we arrived here and almost 52 altogether. The only downside (which is a mixed blessing) is that most of my clothes are now too big. So I see a shopping trip in my future.

At work this week, there was still a lot of what they call labor-sharing. That is when you go out of department to work in another function. On Friday morning after first break, (the first day of our work week), both Harry and I (as well as a bunch of others) got the message to go to Inbound where we found out we were being trained to stow. Since we were pickers, the trainer gave us a pretty abbreviated training and an hour later we were stowing clothes. We ended up stowing two full days and half of the day yesterday. That was the last job that I hadn’t done yet, so now I’ve tried them all. I thought I would give a short description of each of them which might be helpful for anyone thinking they might work at Amazon someday.

A couple caveats before I begin…the following is based on my experience at the fulfillment center in Campbellsville, KY. At another facility things might be done differently. For example, in Haslet TX, they have KIVA robots which bring the bins to the employee, so the picking job would be much different. Secondly, although I don’t plan to specifically say it under each function, all of the jobs require actually standing on your feet for ten hours. There is no way to get around that.

Inbound

IC/QA

IC/QA stands for Inventory Control/Quality Assurance. This is the function where I have the least amount of experience. I worked doing this job for only about 45 minutes and they were having computer issues that day so I spent much of the time staring at my scanner waiting for it to do something. But that was ok, because this is not the best job for me. It is a very slow paced position which involves scanning a bin and then counting the number of items located there. I personally find this job to be tedious, but if you are looking for a more low intensity position, then this might be the one for you.

Receiving

Harry and I spent two seasons (well, one full and two third of last year’s) in this department. It is the part of the facility which brings the product in. From what I have seen this year, this job appears to have changed a bit since we were there. Now that Campbellsville has become a clothing facility, a lot of the job function involves various kinds of product prep, including bagging the clothing. Even so, one thing that has stayed the same is that it requires more upper body movement. The product comes in pretty good sized and heavy boxes. The receiver has to pull on the heavy boxes to bring it from a conveyor onto their work station, open boxes, do whatever prep is required and then place the product on carts. (The carts have three shelves so the receiver also will do some bending and squatting.) It doesn’t require much walking though.

Stowing

I think I would consider stowing to be the second most low intensity position, although my back did feel a little tired at the end of the day. Stowers take the product, either off a juice cart or out of a box, and find a place for it in a bin. It doesn’t require much walking or heavy lifting. I think what bothered my back was the unusual movement of bending over frequently to get the product off the two lower shelves on the juice cart. If we had been working in that job fulltime since the beginning of the season I think I would be used to it by now. The nice part about that job is that you take your cart and go into whatever mod they send you into. Other than that, you are pretty much going on your own. Harry and I were able to work in the same area and talk as we worked which made the time go reasonably quickly.

Outbound

Picking

Picking, of course, is what Harry and I have been doing all season. It doesn’t really require any heavy lifting at all, just lots and lots of walking. If you are picking, you can expect to walk upwards of fourteen or fifteen miles a day. For Harry and I, other than being tired at the end of the day, we haven’t experienced any real discomfort. I have been thankful for our good shoes and the fact that we have trained for half marathons. This is my opinion, but I think campers who have problems with picking do so because of the fast increase of mileage when they first start. (Check out this article.) If you decide to do picking, I would definitely recommend you spend some time each day during the summer before walking to prepare for it, as in get yourself to the point where you walk at least ten to twelve miles a day. You will thank yourself later!

Packing

Packing is the last step in the process. Once the pickers have taken the product out of a bin and sent it on its way, it arrives at a packer’s station where it is boxed and prepared for shipping. I think packing is my second favorite department. I liked the fact that there were a number of different jobs to do within the department. The variety made things more interesting. Of course, we worked in Pack in Jeffersonville, so I’m not sure whether campers are working in all those different functions here. Packing is also more upper body focused. You are taking the product out of totes and placing it in the box (after you make it) or into a plastic bag for shipping. I think there were some campers this year who also ended up in the shipping part of the pack department. So they were putting the boxes of product actually right onto the truck. Again, more lifting and squatting. I would estimate that Packing and Receiving require about the same amount of walking, several miles over the course of the day probably, but much much less than picking.

There you have it, the department options in a nutshell!

With Black Friday in just a couple days, I’m hoping that we will mainly be working in our own department now for the rest of the season. We have only four weeks to go now!! That’s 20 more work days!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Third Fifty Hour Week

Location: Campbellsville, KY (High 68, Low 45)

So far it’s been a good month for the bank account! We are in the middle of our third fifty hour week. (We feel like it’s the end of the week because our “weekend” is on Wednesday and Thursday, but really we have two more days left in the pay period.)

The schedule came out for next week (Black Friday and the week after), and Outbound will be working some eleven hour days. They added the extra hour in two half hour sections before and after our normal shift. Campers are not required to do anything more than ten hour shifts up to fifty hours, but Harry and I plan to do the 55s. In fact, if we feel up to it, we are hoping to do 55s for the three weeks after Black Friday. Our money making opportunities are coming to an end in just a little over a month, and we are trying to make the most of it while we can.

We are still walking many many miles at work each day. In fact, this was one of my biggest weeks, with totals of 16.5, 19, 15.5, 16.5 and 19.5 miles. That’s 87 miles in five days!! I have to say, my feet were ready for a break by the end of shift last night. I’ve been running throughout the past months on my days off but I have decided to take a rest day today.

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All this walking while keeping up my calorie counting has been good for my waistline! I was super excited yesterday morning to see that I have hit FIFTY pounds lost since I first started working to lose weight over three years ago. (That was on October 1st 2012.) I have 11 pounds left to go to reach my goal weight and am still hoping to get at least within five pounds of that before we leave here at the end of December.

Twenty five work days left to go!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

First 50 Hour Week of the Season Accomplished

Location: Campbellsville, KY (High 66, Low 36)

It’s been one busy week. Now that the facility is back to normal seven day operations, we are back to our normal shift – which is Saturday through Tuesday. Each shift has a mandatory overtime day, which for us is Friday. (For fulltimers, there is also a second mandatory overtime day when weeks go to 60 hours. Not for us this year – we are taking it easy and only working 50s.) So our week actually ends up going from Friday through Tuesday.

This week went pretty well. There is still a lot of walking. Fifteen to seventeen miles is a pretty typical day. From the way it was explained to us today at our midday meeting, it has something to do with the way orders are now grouped. Basically the bottom line is, that we will probably continue to have high mileage days even when the orders start to pick up. Good thing that we’re in pretty good shape.

The new “mod” areas where the construction took place are filling up quickly. It is amazing to me how much has been accomplished in such a short period of time. There seem to be some bugs that still need to be ironed out, like lighting issues for example. But I’m pretty sure, or should I say absolutely positive, that it will be next season for us before we see what they decide to do in these areas. Flexibility and adaptability are good buzz words to keep in mind this year. Especially with the much busier weeks we have coming up before we leave here next month.

We have signed up for voluntary overtime again this week. Second 50 hour week of the season. More importantly, we have, at most, 30 days left to work for our third season here at Amazon!! Yes, the countdown has begun. I am already dreaming about Florida.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Start of Mandatory Overtime

Location: Campbellsville, KY (High 75, Low 66)

We were a little surprised to get into work on Sunday for the first day of our work week to see that mandatory overtime had been called for all of Outbound. 12204080_10208452262290869_1931511208_oEven an optional 60 hour week is available. Harry and I have decided that we aren’t going to do 60s this year. It just wipes us out too much to have only the one day off per week. However, there are 3 weeks where 11 hour days are scheduled for one 52 and two 55 hour weeks and we do plan to do those. Things are about to get busy!

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Meanwhile, everything is quiet on the home front. We are so happy to have the cats back to their normal laid back state of life.

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In fact, the other day I looked over and Ariel was relaxing in the sun being groomed. Queen of her castle once more.

 

 

I12194107_10208442966018468_1808389655_o have been doing a great job of keeping up my running. In the month of October I ran all but two of our days off. 51 miles total! I’m not trying to increase my mileage though. Just running four to five miles at a time at least a couple days per week so I don’t lose all the progress I have made.

 

I think I may have mentioned back in September that Harry and I were buying Fitbits to keep 12208892_10208468009644543_189929726_otrack of our miles at work. That Fitbit has been such a huge help to me on my continued weight loss journey. It keeps track of the calories I’m burning and I also put in what I’m eating so I know how many calories I’m taking in. I am now up to 16.4 pounds lost since August 31st which I am so excited about! I hope to be really close to my goal by the time we leave here next month.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Report From the Half Way Point

Location: Campbellsville, KY (High 61, Low 37)

Happily everything is back to normal at home. After our three days off last week went by without any altercations between the cats, we decided it was safe to leave them out together while we were at work (after clipping Ariel’s nails to be on the safe side). No problem. We’ve now gone all week with the cats out and about 24/7 and it is so nice to have the extra litterbox, bowl of food and water and cat scratching pad out of our bedroom! It took two weeks for us to get them back to reacquainted status after the one day at the vet’s office. Phew. That was an unexpected complication.

We have now finished week nine at work and are officially past the half way point now. Things are definitely starting to pick up. The only thing keeping us from being really busy is the fact that there is still a significant portion of the building which is empty and waiting for product. The process of bringing in the apparel has ramped up into serious high gear, with Inbound going into mandatory 60 hour weeks starting Sunday.

They had the employee meeting yesterday where they go over the projections for overtime etc for peak season, and it looks like we’re going to get five good weeks of overtime starting in mid November. Since we have been here, the whole facility has been on an abbreviated five day week with all of the shifts either working Sun to Wed or Mon to Thurs. That ends this weekend with the return to seven day operations on Sunday. So now we have to acclimate our brains to our new work schedule. Good thing my phone tells me what day it is.

Physically, I am still feeling really good. I have to say that picking is the job I have enjoyed the most at the facility. I like all the walking (55 miles this week), and after two months, my legs have acclimated pretty well so that they’re not even usually sore and tight at the end of the day like they were in the beginning.  I’ve also been very happy that I have managed to keep up my running on our days off. (Last week I ran 12.5 miles on our three days off.) With all the exercise, and keeping track of my calorie intake, I’ve lost 13.5 pounds since we started work on August 31st. I am hoping to get down at least 20 pounds before we leave here at the end of the year. I’m off to a good start!

Nine weeks down, eight to go!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Not Back to Normal, But Getting There

Location: Campbellsville, KY (High 79, Low 51)

Other than working this week, our main task has been reacquainting the cats with each other. There were several tips in the online articles I read about how to help the process, but basically the bottom line was that the “family scent” had to be recreated. Our method was basically to try to intermingle their scents as much as possible, and give them as much supervised time together as we could.

On our three days off last week, we seemed to be making progress. While they weren’t cozy, Ariel wasn’t making overly aggressive sounds or movements either. 12176084_10208389849010576_799610905_oBut she definitely seemed to be on the alert whenever they were both free, and we didn’t feel comfortable leaving them alone together. We had to take Crookshank to the vet for his last checkup last Friday, and even though we took both of them, by the time we got Ariel home she was not happy and wanted nothing to do with him.

While we were working this week, we continued the same pattern…keeping Ariel in the bedroom overnight and then switching them during the day so that they could each get a good whiff of each other’s scents. They tolerated each other in the evening.

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I think we are past the worst of it now. It has been several days since Ariel made any sort of aggressive action. On top of that, her demeanor has been very different, much more relaxed and not on alert all the time. Definitely a relief to have things getting back to normal!

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On the work front, things are going well. Neither of us took any time off this week, although VTO was once again offered almost every day. Another full week! Harry walked 64 miles at work this week and I walked 60. We understand that when the work picks up we will walk fewer miles each day. I’m making good use of these exercise days but I won’t cry if I walk a few less miles during a work day!

Eight weeks down, nine to go!