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Does Jeff Bezos Know Amazon Warehouse Jobs Suck?

Does Jeff Bezos Know Amazon Warehouse Jobs Suck?

Does Jeff Bezos Know Amazon Warehouse Jobs Suck?

Apparently, working at an Amazon warehouse bites bigly. Jeff Bezos is an oppressor of the masses who must pee in trash cans to avoid being off task. This Dickensian nightmare is described in a rather lengthy Business Insider article “Peeing in trash cans, constant surveillance, and asthma attacks on the job: Amazon workers tell us their warehouse horror stories”. From the article:

Amazon “pickers” move around the warehouse on a predetermined route to collect items for delivery, scanning each one with a handheld scanner, which times the length between scans, employees said.

They say pickers must hit a certain number of scans per hour, and if they miss their targets, a manager will show up to see what they’re doing.

and

Employees say that things like spending time talking to coworkers, going to get a drink, or even taking too long to find a package are billed as “time off task,” too much of which leads to penalty points for an employee. Get enough of those, and you’re fired.

That — combined with security cameras dotting Amazon’s warehouses, its airport-style security checks, and short breaks — makes employees feel like “robots,” they said. And it’s all in the service of getting those parcels out faster.

which leads to

A former Amazon warehouse worker described being stopped in his tracks by an “awful smell” emanating from the trash cans. The stench, he said, was “unmistakable” and led him to one conclusion: His coworkers were so worried about taking too long on a bathroom break that they had resorted to urinating in the bin.

This article focused mainly on British Amazonians, but one would assume it’s like this at every Amazon warehouse.

I wish I could be sympathetic to these Amazonians but that’s not possible. Warehouse and factory work is by its very nature awful and dehumanizing. According to CNN Money, not including benefits the average Amazonian warehouse worker makes $13.50/hour or $25,000 per year. Amazon also offers tuition reimbursement and stock options. For unskilled labor, that is quite good.

Since the novel “Brave New World” has not yet become reality, you do not have to work at Amazon. True fact. You cannot be forced to go to work for any corporation or entity. You are free to work elsewhere. You are free to start your own company just like Jeff Bezos did. You are free to learn a trade. The world is desperate for plumbers, electricians and bricklayers and the jobs pay well.

Unfortunately, I have a business degree. Yeah, I know. I am a cog in the wheel of the average worker’s oppression.

In order for Jeff Bezos to make money (and he has done that well) his warehouses must operate in the most efficient manner possible. Just like in working at a Ford Motor Company assembly line, the transmissions, trucks or cars must flow in a certain order to be most efficient.

Henry Ford, Frederick Winslow Taylor and Frank and Dr. Lillian Gilbreth were all early pioneers of Time and Motion Study in the early part of the Industrial Age in the United States.

The following brief video is a look at some of Frank Gilbreth’s work. Notice how repetitive the factory work is.

I realize this is not the clever snark that you are used to from Victory Girls, but this is serious business. Very soon robots will take over this work and the complaining workers will be without their unskilled jobs. But be very clear, this is not about the workers. This is about unionization. From the article again:

The employee added: “Amazon needs union representation globally. It is modern slavery. Jeff Bezos has become the richest man in the world off the backs of people so desperate for work that we tolerate the abuse.”

There is always another job out there. This is not modern slavery. You don’t want Bezos to get richer, don’t work for him.

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6 Comments
  • Larry says:

    Rich people got together and funded a successful business. Congratulations.
    They are so financially backed that survived losing money for a long time until they convinced enough people to sign up as Prime members. $100 bucks a pop. Great job.
    It does suck for the smaller guys being crushed.

    You read this article and have a problem with any of amazon, yet click on that buy button instead of going to your local brick-n-mortar business… shut the fuck up

  • Hank says:

    N. Korea could easily replace their prison camps with Amazon “Fulfillment Centers” (an Orwellian term for their slave labor warehouse gulags). The work conditions of the warehouse in my town made scandalous headlines. They’d hire “part time” workers which exempted them from benefits, holding out the promise of a full time job with benefits if they met performance standards which kept being raised until the worker was fired for failing to meet quota. So there was a constant turnover of part time labor and barely any full time jobs. Working conditions were horrendous, no heat in the winter, no A/C in the Summer. Workers were passing out. Injuries were common too and missing work because of an injury was grounds for termination. Amazon is has reinvented the 19th century sweat shop.

  • Mike says:

    I’ve ventured within the bowels of an Amazon distribution center. Entrance and exit are closely scrutinized. The presence of many cameras is not surprising, to prevent pilferage. The use of cell phones is not completely prohibited (maybe for employees), I generally left mine in my car, but the occasions I needed it with me, they recorded the serial number, to insure that any cell phone I left with was the one I came in with.
    I didn’t have any interaction with the pickers, but the packers and folk I did observe were all very intensely working as fast as possible, perhaps with the thought that if their productivity were to lag, there were at least ten people or more waiting to replace them.
    But then, I’ve also heard the same of UPS drivers.

  • rb says:

    I worked there for nearly two years. I had a wonderful time. Most people used it as a platform for another job. 3 days off and benefits were something I’d never heard of. I must admit the corporate model burns through employees. But I’d never encountered a company where you could take off when you wanted as long as you had the hours.. .

  • Blackgriffin says:

    I’ve known that Jeff Bezos is a bad man for quite a while now. I know this will sound silly to many, but his eyes are two different sizes. I’ve noticed that a lot of people with eyes like tend to be sociopaths. Just a thought.

  • Sally says:

    This is totally disgusting what’s happened to human dignity? The remarks that can go somewhere else if is elitist. To the max. To be the richest man in the world but treats his employees like slaves is astounding the wages are minuscule yes he help with college when do they have time to attend

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