Some numbers from my Haslet CamperForce experience, I know how much people love numbers!
- Total weeks worked: 9 weeks, 6 days.
- Total hours worked: 480
- Base pay: $10.75/hour
- Differential pay for working Saturday and Sunday: $1.00/hour, started early November
- Overtime pay: Time and a half for everything over 40 hours in one week – $16.125/hour
- Number of referrals: 3 (at $125 each)
- Total gross pay: $6,140
- Total net pay: $4,605
This was the most lucrative year I’ve had with CamperForce, a factor of the extreme amount of overtime available here at the Haslet site. I worked eight weeks of 50+ hours (only seven fiscal weeks because of where Amazon starts and ends its “week”).
For those work-campers who want to get as many hours in as they can, this is a good opportunity to earn a decent amount relatively quickly and still get two days off a week. Granted, with 50+ hour workweeks and being on your feet all day, those two days off are mostly spent sleeping and catching up on chores, but it’s better than nothing.
It’s certainly not for everyone. Most weeks that fifth day was mandatory even if the 11th hour was not for CamperForce, and as I keep saying this is hard work that not everyone is physically capable of doing. I feel like I need to keep repeating that because the number one complaint I hear from new work-campers is that they weren’t expecting it to be so physically taxing.
I often get asked which site I’ve worked at has been the “best”. Between Coffeyville, Fernley, and Haslet (the first two are now defunct remember), I’d say I’ve been treated the same at all of them, and the jobs have been identical between the sites, with Haslet differing only where the KIVA robots come into play. Amazon strives for conformity in its processes as that’s been proven to produce the best results, so really not a whole lot differs between them.
A lot of how people rate their experience depends on the leadership team they’re working under, and it’s impossible to say in advance what that’ll be like as there is a good deal of turnover from year to year. Many managers at Amazon are just out of college and have great school records, but are lacking in experience. In rankles some campers (particularly the ones who had management experience themselves before they retired to go full-timing) to be told what to do by these young 20-somethings but I’ve never felt unfairly treated.
I will say that of all the sites I’ve worked at, Haslet (at least the receive department, I can’t speak for others) was the least organized. This is only the second year this site has been open and it was the first time the receive department had both their north and south end docks running at once, so there were growing pains and confusion at times. I should think it would be better next year with the lessons learned from this peak. That being said, the HR ladies who ran CamperForce at Haslet were the most helpful I’ve seen, and that made things easier.
Haslet was a nice site weather-wise. Although it was pretty hot (upper 90’s!) when I arrived in mid-October, there were more days where sitting outside was comfortable, and never did it get cold enough that I needed to winterize my hoses, although that kind of cold is possible in northern Texas. There were those two rainy spells when temperatures hovered in the 40’s and that wasn’t particularly fun, but overall I’d rather spend December here than in Kansas or Nevada.
The campground situation was a bit less ideal. This year there were no close campgrounds and most of the options were small mom-n-pop type places that weren’t much to look at. The two nicest campgrounds (A+ and the KOA) were more than 30 minutes out and even they initially had issues meeting the needs of campers, this being the first year CamperForce was here. Next year a large campground is slated to open only 7 miles from the warehouse that will cater to CamperForce which should improve matters.
Overall though, I was happy with my experience at Haslet. The money was good, the work was alright, and the nicer weather allowed me to get out with coworkers and have some fun. I’m likely to come back to Haslet next peak, although I can’t say for certain this early. It sounds like applications will be opening up online soon if they haven’t already and Haslet is the location most people put as their first choice, so if you’re interested in it you’ll probably want to apply sooner rather than later (www.coolworks.com or www.workamper.com is where I go).
For every other post I’ve written on Amazon’s CamperForce and more information on the program, see here.
Lastly, if you’re going to be applying for CamperForce for the first time this year because of the advice I’ve given in this blog, I’d be one happy camper if you’d list me under the “how you heard about this opportunity” field on the application (Becky Schade or Rebecca Schade).
Happy New Year everyone! I had a good 2015 but there is always room for improvement, so here’s to an even better 2016!