All week Mark and I have been telling each other: “Only four days left.” “Only three days left.” “Only two days left.” “Only one day left.”
Today we were telling each other: “Only five and a half hours left.” “Only three and a half hours left.” “Only one hour and fifteen minutes left!”
At 4:30 they had all of us Workampers stop and meet in the break room. There weren’t very many of us left today. Shift one and shift five both had their last days earlier in the week and went through what we went through today. At standup after lunch today, they took a picture of us all, and then one of the Workampers led us all in a rousing song of “The twelve days of Amazon”. They had taken a video of that and replayed it this afternoon. We were each given certificates in appreciation for our help and given questionnaires about our experience working for Amazon. The managers of all the departments were lined up and several of them talked about what we had achieved and thanked us.
Speaking of what we’ve achieved, Amazon has a motto all over the building: Work hard, have fun, make history. We certainly made history. Fernley’s fulfillment center is one of the oldest and smallest in the country, but we broke nationwide records repeatedly during peak season. The building is made to hold eleven million units, but we managed to stuff 11.8 million units into the building. They were actually building extra storage bins as we were filling them. We broke records from receiving through shipping. I’m proud to have been a part of this record breaking peak season.
After work five couples and one solo Workamper met at a restaurant in Fernley for dinner. It’s interesting listening to Workamper conversations. Everyone shares their fix for frozen pipes, what strange or interesting things they’ve stowed, where they’ve been Workamping or where they’re going. Bob and Paige are going to miss Christmas with their family because they are too far away from Minnesota, but they’re going to the Rose Parade in Los Angeles. The solo Workamper, Kirsten, is going to stay on with Amazon for a couple more weeks. They were looking for a little extra help and she had nothing better to do, I guess, so she’s staying till January 4th. She is still looking into jobs beyond that. Ed and Carla are from Oregon and are also going up to surprise their parents for Christmas. Their parents live around Florence. Our Camperforce Scout, who is one of us but has been at Amazon since August 31st, just found out he’s been hired to work at Amazon permanently. He’s going to move into an apartment with his wife and store his RV. He only has a couple more years before he wants to retire anyway and he’s preparing to transition back into a more “normal” lifestyle. As we left the restaurant we hugged each other and said, “Maybe we’ll meet again somewhere.” That’s always a possibility in this lifestyle.
For my part, I hope to never have a job where I have to wake up at 4:00 again! People do come back to work for Amazon year after year, and I have to say, it was fun. The money was the best we’ve made in a long time. I would highly recommend it to anyone who is thinking about helping with the Christmas rush at Amazon next year. I have developed a bad case of carpal tunnel that I’m hoping will go away now that the job is over, so I don’t think this job is for me, but I would have considered doing it again otherwise. However, next winter I want to try to line up a job that will last from autumn to spring so there’s not as much time as there will be now between paychecks.
Tomorrow we’ll go to church and then check out of this park and head to Klamath Falls, OR to spend a couple nights with my younger sister in her new house. I can hardly wait to get out of here! The park is looking more and more deserted. It will be our turn tomorrow.