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Camper Check List
V O L U M E I , I S S U E 7 J U L Y 2 0 1 2
Make Campground Reservations. Provide Educational Verification to your CamperForce Team. Take inventory of your fitness level
INSIDE THIS ISSUE Before You Arrive Tips
Before You Arrive
It’s so hard to believe it’s already JULY!!!! It seems like just yesterday we were attending the RV Super Show in Tampa and experiencing “Q”! Time has certainly flown. Before you know it the RV’s will start flooding in to Campbellsville, Coffeyville and Fernley! This month’s edition will focus on those things to be aware of before you arrive. We’ve asked our returning CamperForce associates to submit their best tips, their best practices in what it takes to succeed during the Amazon Peak Experience. Our returning campers have been through Peak, understand it, and want to help to make it a fulfilling experience for you. Our hope is that when the “Tail Light Parade” heads out in December, you’ll look back and say we worked hard, had fun, and made history! In all of these photos CamperForce associates are wearing gloves to protect their hands—A great tip!
On the Road
Things You Should Know
For some of you, this will be your first Amazon Peak Experience while for others, this will be your 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or even 5th year with us! Whether you’re a “newbie” or a “veteran” there are some things you should know. By now, If this is your first year with us, you should have either submitted or began the process to obtain your educational verification for Amazon. If you are a 2010 or 2011 returner we should have your credentials already. If you worked at Amazon through Express in 2009 and returning for the first time since then, we’ll need you to provide educational verification. Also, by now, if you’ve been hired and are waiting for a start date you should have made your campground reservation and advised Amazon where you’ll be staying. It’s important to make your reservation and let us know as soon as possible!
Campground Reservation Guidelines
Around the Campfire
Donna Bonnett says,” Do not try working in brand new shoes! Be sure to break them in beforehand.” Jill Ferrer says, “Make sure you have have enough room in your shoe’s toe box to avoid blisters.” Marnie Aaron says, “Make sure you have at least 2 pairs of shoes that are broken in before you start.” Jan Schwartz says, “Get some great shoes and start walking now.” Jose Ferrer says, “Wear good quality, thin, moisture absorbent socks.” Carol Petty says,” The right outlook from the beginning will certainly help. This is a job, not a career”. Joyce Cooley says,” The most important tip is a positive attitude. We do not need to expect everything to be given to us. We must work for it. “ June Keene says, “Smile, Smile, Smile!” Walt Gunn says, “Keep an open mind, don’t be afraid to ask questions and get involved in your area. Yes it is work, but it can be fun work too!” George Nelson says, “Go with the flow and don’t complain because this isn’t our profession. It’s just a seasonal job. Let things roll off of your back and be open to new opportunities.” Al Phillips says, “Be flexible and open to change.” Doug McConnaughay says, “Remember to smile and enjoy yourself. It is HARD WORK, but enjoy the experience!” Laura Mulford says, “One of the things that brings me back is being able to say ‘Oh Yeah? I did it again!’ ” Barbara McDaniel says, “Do Christmas shopping prior to arriving at Amazon. The time flies by so quickly! Suddenly it’s Christmas!”
Thanks to you we’ll meet and exceed our customer’s expectations again this Peak season.
“To be Earth's most customer-centric company where people can find and discover anything they want to buy online.”
Important Contact Information
2654 N. Highway 169 Coffeyville, KS 67337 (620) 464-2265 (620) 464-2123 fax firstname.lastname@example.org
1050 S. Columbia Ave. Campbellsville, KY 42718 (270) 849-2604 (270) 849-2701 fax email@example.com
1600 E. Newlands Drive Fernley, NV 89408 775-575-8045 (775) 575-8058 fax firstname.lastname@example.org
Fron bulletin boards, to manager announcements, and even bathroom walls, safety is our number one concern!
CamperForce Support System
One of the great benefits associated with the CamperForce program is the support system in place. A great example is this newsletter edition. Returning CamperForce associates Sharing their experiences so others may learn from them. Also, our Trainers, Ambassadors, CamperForce Scouts, PA’s, and Area Managers stand ready to assist you in everyway to be successful!
A M A Z O N
C A M P E R F O R C E
N E W S L E T T E R
Stop by and see us at these upcoming events. There’s always room for one more! FMCA 87th Family Reunion Indianapolis, IN Aug. 27th—30th July 28th Sept. 16th—21st Lodge of the Ozarks Convention Center Branson, MO Escapees 52nd Escapade Sedalia, MO
Bob Gast telling another tall tale!
Campbellsville ICQA Operations Manager Karen Hardwick has a new friend!
On the road at the Good Sam Rally in Louisville, Kentucky, June 2012.
Ruth Morrow can’t quit smiling!
Jim & Jacque Crehan spreading the news!
Stephanie Clenney sneakin’ in a dog biscuit!
From Tampa, FL. To Quartzsite, AZ. And all points in between, the CamperForce team attends various events each season telling good people about the opportunities at Amazon!
CamperForce on the Road
A M A Z O N
C A M P E R F O R C E
N E W S L E T T E R
More CamperForce Tips
Bill Fix says,” Try a “Hiker’s” belt which uses a clip and pull strap. No metal to set off the Security Checkpoint. Check the camping supplies section at Wal-Mart.” (Editor Note: Also available at Amazon.com!) Jerry Bradbury says, “Wear plastic suspenders” Claudia Ward says, “I found that I needed to really prepare meals for the whole day and not depend on the microwaves for heating food (too time consuming) nor eat out of the vending machines. If I planned well rounded, nutritious meals and snacks for breaks (very important) I had more energy to get through the day. Bob Filiau says, “If you work evening shift commit to it. During Work Hardening & Process School training, stay up later and later each night until you reach your normal end of shift. This makes sure the transition to full 10 hour days is a little easier. Make sure you get a good 7-8 hours of sleep.” Sharon House says, “Start walking now!” Richard Maher says, “Prepare for long hours and get in shape by exercising before arriving at Amazon and know that time will fly by while you’re there!” Sandy Bitner says, “My experience has been to have 2 pair of really supportive, comfortable, well broken-in shoes complete with gel insoles. Start the shift in one pair and change at lunch or halfway through the shift. Your feet will thank you!”
Brian Nelson says, “I took the perspective that I was getting PAID TO EXERCISE as a picker. When you have long distances between picks, power walk. You’ll burn more calories and be more productive at the same time. Debbie Howe says, “Begin walking NOW, your body will thank you for it! Also, start drinking water.” Carol Petty says, “ Epson salt foot baths will do wonders for tired feet and will help with leg cramps. Peppermint flavor makes the rig smell nice!”
Kellie Gunn says, “Find some comfortable shoes and clothes….this is not a suit and tie affair.” Rich Aaron says, “Just enjoy yourself and remember to have fun!” Jill Ferrer says, “Eat breakfast before you start work (or lunch/ dinner if you’re on nights) so you start your shift with sufficient energy—then eat healthy at lunch and breaks. Joyce Cooley says, “The clothes you wear are very important. Layers of clothing are a must!”
June Keene says, “I make a large container of trail mix and keep adding different things to it. It’s better than candy bars; of course we share with others at the table!” Brian Nelson says, “Take pride in your work and do your best—just as in any other job. You make great friends, so you’ll look forward to going to work every day! SMILE and enjoy the job. You make the decision whether you want to enjoy the job or not!
More CamperForce Tips
Dan Derouchey says,” The tasks are simple. Just what you’re told and don’t over think the process. Claudia Ward says, “If in the Shipping department, wear long sleeves. The cardboard can really irritate your arms. Also, use the gloves that are handed out.” Joice Hupp says, “Always be helpful, have a kind word for anyone, and keep a smile on your face. It does wonders! You never know what a person is going through in their personal life. Just be nice! Chuck Mattson says, “Amazon sells Thomas Bates Hiker belts with nylon webbing and nonmetallic hardware, package of two (khaki and black), adjustable for most waist sizes. I found the quality good and buckle does not slip. “ Claudia Ward says, “Carpool whenever possible and time your arrival at the end of the previous shift. Because there may not be any parking spots available. Don’t arrive too late either!” Sharon Scofield says, “Your hands may receive minor cuts, or chafe from box handling. Amazon provides gloves to protect your hands . Buy GOOD hand lotion and massage thoroughly. For minor cuts, I bought liquid bandages and reapplied before I went back to work. This helps the cut from reopening as band aids do not always stay on.” Jerry Bradbury says, “ABH—Always Be Hydrating. This true everywhere, but in Fernley since it is in very low humidity desert country it is easy to become dehydrated.”
Volume I, Issue 7
Campground Reservation Guidelines
We are excited about you joining us in the fall for the 2012 Holiday Peak Season! A smooth transition from “road mode” to “camp mode” begins with good communications concerning your campground reservations. This information will guide you through that process so that you can be assured there is a place for you when you arrive at your destination. Although Amazon is not and does not want to be in the campground business, it is important to us that you have campground accommodations that meet your needs and desires. It is equally important that we know which campground you have chosen, and any changes that may occur before and during your stay. Therefore, please use the following guidelines when you plan your stay: 1. Make a reservation: It is up to you to make a reservation at the campground of your choice. You will be provided with the campground information for all campgrounds with site openings. We suggest you make the reservation as soon as possible after you have completed the initial hiring process. 2. Call our Amazon CamperForce hotline or email us: Please call your location (contact info is found on page 2 of the Newsletter) or email them and let them know where you have a reservation. We need your name, contact information in case we have a question, and the name of the campground where you have the reservation. 3. Keep in touch with your campground: Make sure your campground has your updated contact information, and inform them of any changes in your hire date, travel plans, etc. 4. What Amazon pays for: We know you may need a few days to rest up and set up camp before you start work; and may need a day in final preparation to hit the road again. Therefore, in addition to paying the campground for your campsite for all days of your employment, Amazon will also pay for two days before your start date and one day after your release date. If you decide to come earlier or stay later, those arrangements are between you and the campground owner. 5. If you change your campgrounds before you arrive: We understand you may want to change from one campground to another before your arrival. For example, you initially booked at campground A and then found out you have friends coming, and they are booked at Campground B. It’s OK to change the reservations as long as (a) the original campground is notified before your arrival and the reservation there is cancelled; and (b) the new campground of your choice can accommodate you. If you make such a change, you must also notify Amazon. (see #2 above). 6. If you change campgrounds after you arrive: We understand that there may also be some movement between campgrounds (premium site at another campground opens up or you want to be next to your friends, for example). We don’t have any issues with someone moving as long as the original campground is notified in a timely manner and the new campground can accommodate the move. Be sure you vacate the site before the checkout time, or you may be held responsible for the extra day! If you make a move for any reason, the same guidelines apply, including notifying Amazon of the move! On behalf of the Amazon CamperForce Staff and the Campground Owners, we appreciate your cooperation with these reservation guidelines. We sincerely hope your stay is comfortable and rewarding!
News From Each Site
Fernley News Flash
Here in Fernley we just experienced a spectacular Fourth of July celebration, replete with a parade, day-long activities at Out-of-Town Park, and exhilarating fireworks! Meanwhile, at RNO, we are beginning to serve weekly ice cream treats for all Associates, a true sign that summer is well underway. As we quickly approach the Peak holiday season, you will be seeing more and more communication from us preparing you for your time here. It is important to keep up to date with our background check release forms. As we begin to organize your start dates, it is essential for you to have these forms completed and turned in to us as soon as possible. Please let us know if you need us to re-send the form. Thank you for all your invaluable comments and contributions to this month’s “Before You Arrive” newsletter! It was great fun reading the tips you consider most helpful to new campers—we read many that we never would have thought of! Construction is just beginning in our building, and we cannot wait to have you all in Fernley to enjoy the sparkling new break rooms, bathrooms, and parking lot that will soon grace our building!
This month as we get closer and closer to Peak we wanted to keep you updated about changes that have been taking place. Those of you who were here last season and lived at Heartland will be pleased to know that a bright yellow crosswalk has been painted on South Columbia Avenue to help make crossing the street more safe! Also, a yellow walkway has been painted on the pavement leading in to the facility parking lot for your safety. Just as we did last year, we’ll issue orange Safety vests to everyone at Heartland as well to increase your visibility as pedestrians. The Climate Control System has been installed and has been on for approximately 2 weeks. It’s really helping to keep the humidity and heat at bay! Another change that’s taken place at our facility is that everyone carrying a bag or purse into the warehouse will have that bag or purse inspected by Security, even if the Randomizer indicates Green. What this means is this: If you’re carrying a fanny pack or plastic purse you won’t have to go through the checkpoint on green, but your fanny pack or bag will. Now it becomes even more important to carry fewer items into the facility. Please leave as many items in your locker or lunch bag as possible as we try to move efficiently to the break rooms from breaks and lunches. We’ve also installed new sidewalks around the parking lot in front of our building! It’s been a busy summer here in Campbellsville! See you soon!
Propane & Your RV Before heading out on the road, you’ll want to follow these quick tips: Inspect propane cylinders and hold-down brackets for rust, corrosion, fatigue, or wear. For permanently installed tanks, check the brackets and mounting hardware, as well. If you are bringing additional propane cylinders, make sure they are stored securely, upright, and in a well-ventilated area. Never transport any propane container inside your RV. Inspect connections leading to our propane appliances for fray, kinks, or damage. Make sure your RV has operational propane, CO2, and smoke detectors as required by code. You should also have at least one fire extinguisher. Class 5-B:C for trailers; Class 10-B:C for motor homes. Exit the RV immediately if any of these detectors go off. If the propane detector goes off, follow all instructions in the “If You Smell Gas” section. On the Road Most RV refrigerators can keep food and beverages cold during several hours of travel without a power source. For your safety, it is recommended that the propane supply be turned off at the tank source. For your safety, it is recommended that the propane supply be turned off at the tank while driving. At Campground/Destination Propane is a great resource to cook food, cool beverages, or provide warmth/power at rest stops and Campgrounds. Keep in mind some key safety considerations: Open a window or roof vent and turn on your exhaust fan when using your stove for cooking. Do not use your stove for space heat! Propane Education & Research Council, 2011
If you are new to the Amazon CamperForce program we want to help you become familiar with the language we speak! There are some words we use that have very specific meanings and can seem like a foreign language. We’ll introduce them to you now, so when you arrive you can speak like a true Amazonian! Holiday Blackout Period: During this defined “Blackout” period, Amazon associates are generally prohibited from scheduling time off work, other than regular days off and are expected to make every effort to help meet our customer’s expectations. The Blackout dates will be posted in the building no later than October 1st.
Supportive Feedback Document: A written document used to provide feedback, identify, and help remove barriers that are impeding associate performance. Associates will be responsible to being open to feedback by their manager, communicating openly with their managers about their barriers, and partnering with their manager to identify and implement solutions to achieve the standard work expectations.
Did you know that Amazon paid out thousands of dollars last year in Referral Bonuses? The process is very simple:
1. To refer a potential candidate, please fill out the referral form you received in your new hire packet and return it
via email or fax to the location you’ll be working at this season
You are eligible for a referral bonus when you refer a potential candidate that hasn’t previously worked for Amazon before and is not currently interviewing for an open position.
If the candidate you refer is hired and indicates during the interview process that you referred them, you will receive a $50 bonus after the new associate has worked for Amazon for 30 days. You must completely fill out the CamperForce Referral Form at the time of referral and be employed by Amazon at the time the referral is eligible to be paid in order to receive the bonus.
Employees involved in the hiring decisions are not eligible for a referral bonus.
Amazon CamperForce Facebook Page
By now, many of you have seen the Facebook “Like” icon contained in the CamperForce team’s email signatures. If you have not already done so, we encourage you to log onto:
and “Like” our page! We will post weekly updates and hope to use the page as an interactive forum for campers to ask questions, share stories, and meet other campers joining our program this fall.
Top Tips From Your CamperForce Team
1. Are your documents up to date? For our onboarding documents we can use your passport and driver’s license as long as they’re up to date. We cannot use them if they’re expired. Check the dates! 2. Do you have “updated” body parts? Metal in your body from surgical procedures has a tendency to set off the security system and delays you and others in getting through Security. HR can supply you with a Medical Exception Card to present to Security as long as you provide documentation (signed, letterhead, etc.) from your medical professional detailing the information. 3. Reduce the amount of metal you’re bringing in the Fulfillment Center The number one concern we hear from our Associates is the amount of time it takes to get through Security to the Break Room. Reduce the amount of metal (coins, belt buckles, jewelry, etc.) you carry! 4. Remember to have fun! Those that are returning to Amazon will tell you that sometimes frustrations mount as we work hard to meet and exceed our customers’ expectations. Remember: It’s a job, not a career! Your time with us is short, usually 10-12 weeks. Focus on the task rather than what “they” should do is a great way to avoid stress. Remember the reason you’re here this season! Keep your focus on the reward! For some of you it’s the opportunity to work with friends, for others it’s to help with expenses, for others it’s the adventure of something new. Whatever the reason, keep smiling!
AROUND THE CAMPFIRE
This month’s edition of Around the Campfire features CamperForce associates from each of our CamperForce locations: Campbellsville, Coffeyville, and Fernley!
Larry & Paula Staeven
Paula & Larry will return to Campbellsville for their 2nd season in 2012. Last year, they worked in ICQA and Picking. They’ve been full timers since 2003 and enjoy meeting new people and new places. They enjoy photography, the "great outdoors" and "new backyards". They’ve lived in 27 states and work camped in 7 States. The Staeven’s say, “Glacier International Peace Park is still our Favorite Place on Earth!” When asked what they liked best about Amazon they said,” We really enjoyed meeting new people in the area! PEAK didn't leave a lot of time to explore, but we also enjoyed the watching the KY PBS instead of network channels. We enjoyed home-cooked meals at Orville’s Restaurant and Happy Days, Cumberland Falls, Mammoth Cave and driving in the beautiful countryside looking for the Barn Quilts.”
Paul & Deb Gray
Paul & Deb Gray have worked at the Coffeyville site for 3 Peak Seasons and will be returning for their 4 tour of duty here in Southeast Kansas. This camper-couple has worked in the Outbound paths of Picking, VDF and Paul’s 2 hour career in Gift Wrap! Additionally, they have worked in the Inbound side, stowing. “Homeless” since 2003, the Grays have been enjoying their travels for 9 years! When not working, additional traveling (cruises), reading, eating & meeting new, different people are their hobbies. A little known fact about Deb is that she grew up on a farm, and before meeting Paul, her idea of balancing her check book was that “If Deb had more in her account this month than last month, she was okay.” *tongue in cheek* The Grays have enjoyed working in Alaska, Yellowstone, North Dakota, for the Costco Road Show/Flavored Nutt Co., Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, Texas, Kentucky & KANSAS! Their favorite place to visit is, hands-down, Alaska. The drive through Canada in an RV is spectacular! When asked what they likes best about Amazon, it was simply put, “Getting paid to participate in a fitness program is a god deal. We enjoyed the work, staying active and the management is very accommodating and easy to approach.” Tips for new Campers: “Understand that the “system” is not designed for us! You must work through the system that exists and remember that not many changes will happen during Peak Season, but ALL feedback is utilized!”
Tami & Clay Belcher
Tami & Clay Belcher are returning to Fernley for their third Peak! As seasoned stowers in both Campbellsville and Fernley, the couple enjoys taking the first four months of the year off, so working the last months of the year and then being footloose is great! They say, “What Amazon pays including overtime we make about the same as a full-term winter job. Sweet!” Their last stick house was in Kingman, AZ—they hit the road in June ‘07 and never looked back. At this point, they can't imagine ever settling down again! The Belchers enjoy the outdoors and are avid social Ballroom, Latin, and Swing dancers. Clay is a certified instructor and has taught dancing for many years. They do not compete but enjoy looking for dancing opportunities throughout their travels. Tami is an excellent public speaker and amateur story teller. Their travels have taken them to all fifty states and their work history includes picking apples, working a dude ranch, teaching ballroom dancing, being DJ's, and hosting dances! They “really appreciate seeing the strong work ethic of the camper work force. I never doubted it but it's great to see it in action.” To those new to the program: “Get moving, every part of your body, before coming to work for Amazon. Even then the work takes a little getting used to, but hey, we can do anything for just a couple or three months, right?”
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