Today is Wednesday of our third week "up the river" and we really need this day off.
We worked overtime again on Sunday, so we've already put in 30 of our 50 hours this week.
I know some of my friends just cannot comprehend why I go and do crazy things like this, but there IS a method to my madness and it's not all about the money, though the money was the major reason we opted to try this one more time.
I am an information junkie, I suppose. Many times in my life I have taken on a job or a project just because I wanted to know more about something. That's why I have enjoyed working as a temp in the past. There are so many interesting things out there, and if you stay in one place and work at one job for your lifetime, you'll never experience most of them.
Bob and I are alike in this need for novelty, and we've learned that it doesn't go away just because you get older. It only makes you a little more selective about what's left that you want to do in your time on this planet. We are using this experience as a springboard to our plans for 2013, in which we pursue our goal of location independent retailing via the FBA program.
The earnings from this season will finance the equipment I need, plus a trip to the ASD trade show next March where we will be able to invest in some inventory on the spot. Not to mention the 100 or so boxes of books in our storage unit that have been waiting for us to list them.
The thing is, now that I've worked in receiving, stow, and packing, I have observed many of the reasons why product gets damaged or lost between the time the seller puts it in the box and the time the buyer opens the package. How many other FBA sellers know what I am learning? My guess is not very many.
At the bare minimum, this information will allow me to package my products in such a manner that they can survive the trip through the warehouse and end up in the package as pristine as when I shipped them in.
Back to the present, we are enjoying our stay at the RV Park here in Coffeyville. Last year we stayed across the street from the fulfillment center at Big Chief RV Park. We laughed often at how small our 1987 Argosy by Airstream looks when sitting among the much newer and much taller RVs. We called it our little cracker box, because it looked like a tube of saltines sitting in a row of loaves of bread.
This year we know at least two other couples who are staying in this park. One couple from Minnesota stayed at Big Chief last year, and we met them at the big BBQ, but didn't work together. This year we are in the same park and working in the same department, so we've had a chance to get to know them and have enjoyed their company tremendously. Another couple in the park are also working in our department, and we hope to get to know them better.
The laundry facility here is nice, but it's rather small with only 3 washers and dryers, and there are a lot of people here who use it. So it makes more sense for us to bundle up our things and go use the double loaders down at the laundry.
With two days off each week, the crock pot has become my best friend. I load it up on Saturday and Wednesday nights, and put it on to cook before we leave for work on Sunday and Thursday mornings. One crockpot full of meat and veggies lasts us two days, and we usually go get a fast food meal on Tuesday night.
We shop on our days off, and do laundry, and clean the trailer. Oh, and we sleep. A lot. I hope that we'll sleep less over time, but right now our poor bodies are just struggling to build up the muscles we need for stamina and endurance.
OTC pain meds are our friends right now, although I hope we won't need them for the entire time we are here. I've been alternating between aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen so as to minimize the risks of over dosing on any one of them. I tried Aleve, but it only worked for the general muscle aches, and didn't touch the bone pain I have, so I went back to stacking the others.
Part of the pain is from using muscles that haven't been used for a long time. Part of it is normal aches and pains from growing older. A large portion, however, is from standing and walking on concrete for over 10 hours every day. I have good shoes, but I think I'm going to invest in some even better shoes, and maybe even get some custom insoles down the road. If I were to give anybody advice about working "up the river" I'd say to buy the best shoes you can afford, two pair if possible and break them in before you arrive. Plus buy yourself some big bottles of pain pills, because you will need them.
To end on a bright note, however, you will probably lose weight if you work here. I've lost at least six pounds so far, and I have been eating 5 times a day. I discovered quickly that if I eat a small snack at each of my breaks in addition to my regular breakfast, lunch, and dinner, that I am better able to keep up the pace during the four work segments of my day. I wasn't trying to lose weight, and the only reason I stepped onto the scale was because of a change I noticed in how my new clothes were fitting. It was a delightfully pleasant surprise to see the lowest weight I've seen there for the past 3 or 4 years. I've always said the only way to get me to exercise vigorously enough to lose weight is to pay me ... and this proves that it's true. If this keeps up, I may have a brand new body for Christmas. If I were to lose 2 lbs a week for the next 16 weeks of work, I'd weigh less than I did when I worked at the shipyard. I would like that a lot. I bet Bob would like that, too. :)