Home Stretch

home-stretchThere’s only one week left here at Amazon before I steer south into Texas and then over to Florida, I can’t wait.

This week is for tying up loose ends before the next big drive. I’ve got to make sure I have travel friendly food on hand, start putting away and battening down items for driving, take up the vinyl sheeting I had placed for extra warmth around my vents and other gaps, oh, and finish Christmas shopping. I hope the rest of you are faring better in that department, I always leave Christmas shopping until late.

The weather has improved. The lowest low we should be seeing before Christmas is 20, I can deal with that. There are going to be a few days ahead where it doesn’t reach freezing at all, I can definitely deal with that.

Work chugs right along. I’ve been trained in one new ICQA job, it happened right after I put up my post on ICQA, go figure. It’s probably the least favorite thing I’ve done at Amazon, putting away stuff in Amnesty bins.

If you’re a Picker, Stower, or in ICQA you learn about Amnesty bins pretty early on. Every row has one, it’s a purposefully empty bin where you can put items that fall out of their rightful bin and end up on the floor, or if a Picker grabs the wrong item and can’t get remember which bin it came from, or someone doing bin counts does the same thing. Amnesty bins get the messiest this time of year, when the bins are full from stowing and it’s hard to get everything to fit. It’s ICQA’s job to come around and empty out these Amnesty bins and put the items back where they belong so that they can be Picked.

How it works is pretty simple. You scan the misplaced items telling the scanner how many of each you have, you can do up to ten unique items at a time, then scan a bin in the row where they were found. The computer will start you out at the nearest bin to where you scanned that should have one of the items. You scan the bin, and then it’ll tell you the item that should be in there and have you count how many are in the bin. Like with the rest of ICQA jobs, it’s a blind count – you don’t get to know how many should be in there. Once you enter in that number, the scanner will tell you whether to stick your misplaced item in there or not – basically if your count is less than what the computer thinks should be in there.

Sometimes you get lucky and the first bin you count will be the one the item is missing from. But sometimes you count ten or more bins before you find the correct one, it can be a little frustrating. Once all of the items have been put back, it’s on to the next row to repeat the process.

In the hardest mods, with lots of little items that are prone to falling out of the bins, you can spend all shift working in that one area on Amnesty and not finish if it hasn’t been done in a while. I did this job a total of three days last week and that’s it so far, but really that was enough.

* * *

Today’s photo was taken at the start of a shift early last week when a forecast of 2-3 inches of snow caused Amazon to allow workers to go home early without getting a point. I guess in warmer weather climates 2-3 inches can be a big deal, but being from Wisconsin I just laughed (and of course finished out the night). With a couple days of highs in the 50’s the snow is all gone now.

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At IO I teach people how to ditch the status quo and travel full-time before retirement, and share stories of my adventures (and misadventures) to inspire future nomads and armchair travelers alike. Included at no additional charge: seizing your dreams, living boldly, and making a difference.


  1. Dawn on December 21, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    Nice to be almost finished with the Christmas rush, ey? And on to the next adventure! That will surely feel good too. Safe travels!

    • Becky on December 21, 2013 at 11:35 pm

      Yes I love this part of RVing, excitement over the next adventure. 🙂 Thanks.

  2. DD on December 19, 2013 at 9:27 am

    Congrats on another successful season at Amazon. I don’t know if you have your route planned for Texas yet. If you are not trilled about going thru the Dallas metroplex traffic I suggest you avoid it and go to Greenville and hit highway 34 and take it to Ennis, then it’s about 10 or so miles to Rice on I45. The Walmart in Ennis has a large RV friendly parking lot or there are COE campgrounds on Lake Bardwell just southwest of Ennis and Navarro Mills – Oak Park just about 20 miles West of Coriscana. I live about 30 miles from Rice so if you have any questions, just ask.

    • Becky on December 19, 2013 at 2:44 pm

      Thanks for the tip DD. I do more or less have a route planned out, my stop in Texas is near Quitman which is a ways East of Dallas so I’ll be missing the traffic I believe. If anything comes up I’ll let you know.

  3. Dan Dubay on December 18, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    Gee Becky, You would think with the technology amazon has you could scan something and it would tell you where it belongs and how to get there?? Lol.. Wish it was easier for you.
    Thanks for the insight though, My wife and I will be getting rid of the stick and bricks and like to hear about the different opportunity’s out there.
    Hope you have a Merry Christmas and Stay warm!!

    • Becky on December 19, 2013 at 2:42 pm

      Well the problem is that item is located in multiple different spots, and it’s impossible for the computer to know which spot it got displaced from. It’ll tell you all of the places it could belong and it’s up to you to do the rest. But I think of it this way, if it were 100% self sufficient I wouldn’t have a job. 😛

      Congrats on your impending adventure, enjoy the ride and happy holidays to you too.

      • Norm on December 20, 2013 at 10:53 pm

        Visited the Casita showroom and factory yesterday. Very busy and very friendly people there. Be sure to let them know you’re a “Casita” blogger. We are thinking of switching to a Casita next fall. Enjoy your visit. Merry Christmas and safe travels to warmer weather.

        • Becky on December 21, 2013 at 11:34 pm

          Yeah I bet they’re really busy trying to finish up orders before Christmas, they close down between Christmas and New Years. I love my Casita and highly recommend them for a light weight, easy to care for travel trailer. Merry Christmas to you too and thanks.

  4. OpenSpaceMan on December 18, 2013 at 9:36 am


    I like the feeling of anticipation you get when you know a new adventure is around the corner.

    I’m a bit envious and can’t wait until I’m in that position next winter and get to head for warmer weather.

    Goodluck and safe travels!

    • Becky on December 19, 2013 at 2:39 pm

      Next year will be here sooner than you think Open, just hold on, haha. I have to say, I don’t get bored when I can switch jobs and locations this easily as a RVer.

  5. Dedra on December 17, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    Hi Becky,
    Change of subject. I’m planning on going solo to Yellowstone, etc this spring in my Casita. I live in Oklahoma City. Everyone keeps telling me I’ll be lonely and a lot of other scary things. Hey, I’m all I have and I really want to see this beautiful country. I’m in my 60’s, if I keep waiting for someone to go with me I’ll be dead. Do you ever get lonely? How do you make friends on the road? Really like your blog. I’m thankful I find it. Thank you, again.

  6. Nan on December 17, 2013 at 10:10 am

    That ICQA task seems much like a game. Find the right bin. Can you listen to an iPod as you work?

    • Becky on December 19, 2013 at 2:34 pm

      Nope Nan. First off it’s a safety issue with large motorized machines being driven around – you can’t hear them honk if you’re listening to music. Even if that wasn’t a problem I don’t think they would because Amazon has iPods on the floor, how can they be sure you didn’t steal it?

  7. David Michael on December 17, 2013 at 7:47 am

    Bravo for Amnesty. Due to the overstuffing from the “stowers” I find items in the aisles all of the time as I work in ICQA. I finish up on Thursday and overall it has been a great work experience. We could do better without the frigid temps here near Reno, but that’s all part of the experience. I recommend Amazon for those interested in a seasonal job who don’t mind hard, physical work. My wife and I together made about $1000 a week for a net of about $12,000 for the 12 week season. Not too many other places that offer such opportuntiies. I am a big fan of Amazon for seasonal workampers!
    David Michael recently posted..Eastern Sierra NevadaMy Profile

    • PamP on December 17, 2013 at 8:51 am

      Welcome to Florida! No snow here. Enjoying your adventures. I’m a 70+ granny workkamping in State Parks. I can follow along w/ your experiences and learn. Yeah-never too old to learn.

      • Becky on December 19, 2013 at 2:31 pm

        I had a potential volunteer gig at a State Park in Florida in the works for a while, but it didn’t pan out. No matter, working at the conservation center sounds like it’s going to be really neat. I’m going to enjoy it down there, thanks Pam.

    • Becky on December 19, 2013 at 2:30 pm

      It’s hard to find another job with these kind of earnings David, that’s for sure. I like that it happens in the “off” season too, leaves summer open for work that’s more fun, or for not working at all if you don’t need the money as much.

  8. Marvin on December 16, 2013 at 11:45 pm


    Becky ,

    North central Florida is about 40 degrees tonite , but that will warm up over the next week to high 60s – low 70s . South of Orlando , I spent the afternoon by the pool ! If the weather is a normal winter , we will get a cold
    blast about every 10 – 15 days and then warm ups . Have a mellow drive and be safe .


    • Becky on December 17, 2013 at 3:52 pm

      40 degrees overnight is going to feel like summer after Kansas, haha. Thanks for the weather report, I’ll drive safe.

      Running out of time before work, I’ll be responding to more comments tomorrow! For those who are waiting for an e-mail response, I will be getting to them all eventually. Thank you for your patience.

  9. Pleinguy on December 16, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    Hope work finishes as you expect, and you earn the bonus. I too would be eager to get out of that cold weather. From what I hear, Texas is much colder than normal this year. But, should be better than KS or WI. Take care.
    Pleinguy recently posted..Elephant ButteMy Profile

    • Becky on December 17, 2013 at 3:49 pm

      Yeah I’ve been hearing that Texas is colder than usual too, all of the central plains states are I think. It should be better than here at least. And I’m all on track to get my bonus, Sunday night will be the last night for 6th shift.

  10. Kim on December 16, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    Gee, maybe it’s just me but it seems like the time has just flown by! Probably not quickly enough for you. I’m sure you are ready to head south!

    BTW, I’ve got orders coming tomorrow and Wednesday – I don’t know how amazon.com does it.
    Kim recently posted..St. George – Days 2 & 3My Profile

    • Becky on December 17, 2013 at 3:47 pm

      Thank you very much for using my links Kim, December’s earnings are at a record high and I’m so thankful for all of you readers who are helping out.

      Yes, I’m ready to get out of the cold, haha. Although it hasn’t been as bad this week, we’ve got one more night in the low teens coming up before Christmas but otherwise it’s all 20’s, I can deal with that. Hope you’re staying warm down there!

  11. Gary on December 16, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    Interesting blog about Amazon’s inter-workings Becky. Happy for you on your upcoming travel.
    Merry Christmas.

    • Becky on December 17, 2013 at 3:43 pm

      Thank you Gary, happy holidays to you too!

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