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Dave Beans

Amazon's Working Culture

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An interesting article...Where KPIs rule the world..

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/16/technology/inside-amazon-wrestling-big-ideas-in-a-bruising-workplace.html?_r=0

Arsoles..No job is worth that...

Molly Jay, an early member of the Kindle team, said she received high ratings for years. But when she began traveling to care for her father, who was suffering from cancer, and cut back working on nights and weekends, her status changed. She was blocked from transferring to a less pressure-filled job, she said, and her boss told her she was “a problem.” As her father was dying, she took unpaid leave to care for him and never returned to Amazon.
“When you’re not able to give your absolute all, 80 hours a week, they see it as a major weakness,” she said.
A woman who had thyroid cancer was given a low performance rating after she returned from treatment. She says her manager explained that while she was out, her peers were accomplishing a great deal. Another employee who miscarried twins left for a business trip the day after she had surgery. “I’m sorry, the work is still going to need to get done,” she said her boss told her. “From where you are in life, trying to start a family, I don’t know if this is the right place for you.”
A woman who had breast cancer was told that she was put on a “performance improvement plan” — Amazon code for “you’re in danger of being fired” — because “difficulties” in her “personal life” had interfered with fulfilling her work goals. Their accounts echoed others from workers who had suffered health crises and felt they had also been judged harshly instead of being given time to recover.
A former human resources executive said she was required to put a woman who had recently returned after undergoing serious surgery, and another who had just had a stillborn child, on performance improvement plans, accounts that were corroborated by a co-worker still at Amazon. “What kind of company do we want to be?” the executive recalled asking her bosses.
The mother of the stillborn child soon left Amazon. “I had just experienced the most devastating event in my life,” the woman recalled via email, only to be told her performance would be monitored “to make sure my focus stayed on my job.”
Edited by Dave Beans

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What do you expect from a company that can only survive and grow by closing 1000s of other businesses? Remember, Bezos only allowed traders to use Amz marketplace so he could study the techniques of the biggest selling traders and then use Amazon's clout to put them out of business too.

Of course, if Amazon didn't exist another firm would spring up and act in a similar way. At least the workers have a stable wage, which is not an option for many others.

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What do you expect from a company that can only survive and grow by closing 1000s of other businesses? Remember, Bezos only allowed traders to use Amz marketplace so he could study the techniques of the biggest selling traders and then use Amazon's clout to put them out of business too.

Of course, if Amazon didn't exist another firm would spring up and act in a similar way. At least the workers have a stable wage, which is not an option for many others.

Is it a stable wage, if you're constantly threatened with the sack?

Edited by Dave Beans

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What do you expect from a company that can only survive and grow by closing 1000s of other businesses? Remember, Bezos only allowed traders to use Amz marketplace so he could study the techniques of the biggest selling traders and then use Amazon's clout to put them out of business too.

Of course, if Amazon didn't exist another firm would spring up and act in a similar way. At least the workers have a stable wage, which is not an option for many others.

And his determination to have drones buzzing around delivering parcels....Amazon are a drain on the UK. Little taxes paid, killer of small businesses (even couriers in the future) - but hey, we get stuff slightly cheaper....

Edited by canbuywontbuy

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As the balance between labour and capital continues to tip in favour of capital, working practices like this are only going to increase.

Intervention by the government won't be able to stop this, short of a total reinvention of the capitalist manner of running an economy.

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As the balance between labour and capital continues to tip in favour of capital, working practices like this are only going to increase.

Intervention by the government won't be able to stop this, short of a total reinvention of the capitalist manner of running an economy.

Workers are disposable, when they burn out get a new one. Easy.

Governments under neo-liberalism don't want to stop this as it's "people working hard" and you always have the option of choosing "voluntary unemployment" if you don't like it.

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On the other hand im pretty sure that another 10 years will see the end of the internet for retail. Wouldnt be surprised if it heralded a massive descalation of corporate it in general.

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On the other hand im pretty sure that another 10 years will see the end of the internet for retail. Wouldnt be surprised if it heralded a massive descalation of corporate it in general.

No more retail online? Why would that happen? Or do you mean that one or two big players will take ALL internet retail in 10 years' time (i.e. no more small sellers)?

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I'm not surprised Amazon is like this. Bezos apparently runs his entire life like this. He even has stuff scheduled to think about while showering. One of these days, he's going to come into contact with real life (he's not getting any younger) and perhaps wonder what on earth it's all for.

Now I can kind of understand this kind of dedication if you are working something truly life changing and that'll improve the world (eg scientific research on a cure for cancer). But this is just selling tat.

Genuinely interested in how RichB thinks retail will die on the internet in the next decade. Ditto deescalation of corporations. I can imagine some form of short/medium term blow up - with a big player like Amazon or Tesco going down (or more likely being regarded as too big to fail).

Edited by StainlessSteelCat

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All goes to show we need Corbyn in power to regain some balance.

Really... how about changing workplace if things don't work the way one expected? Or we need a dear fascist leader to dictate every aspect of our lives, from the cradle to the grave?

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unfortunately capital has the upper hand because most labour (the people not the party) doesn't understand its value. It is constantly distracted by media to be afraid. Its a shame technology doesnt come to fix this problem - things like twitter shaming etc will help but the fractured nature of our population means that driven capitalists will always be one step ahead.

Amazon will hire over achievers who want to work hard and burn out. After article I'll be a lot of people are questioning their jobs at Amazon and whether they will interview there in the future...

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The only reason Amazon, exists is because you can't simply type in some extra 00000's on a screen to make you richer, you'd have to be a bit more creative and have some kind of scheme. Much like the state of the housing market.

I saw a video interview with the author, was interesting. Amazon pays its staff with debt and stock. Staff are really just some of the pawns in Jeff Bezos stock market bubble scheme. He recently sold $500 million of his over-inflated stock, from a company that hasn't made a profit in 20 years!

$500 million from thin air. Amazon will never actually make that much.

I've seen some ignorant posters (elsewhere) say things like "Good on Amazon, it's not all about profits and it saves money for the consumer", well yes, its a ponzi scheme that distorts the value of what you would call real money, and the a few are fabricating a lot of money from it.

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Workers are disposable, when they burn out get a new one. Easy.

Governments under neo-liberalism don't want to stop this as it's "people working hard" and you always have the option of choosing "voluntary unemployment" if you don't like it.

Yes workers are disposable. Last week I came back from Holiday and had been shunted to another site 25 miles away as punishment for actually taking a holiday, also was reminded that I was lucky not to have been sent 40miles away (ie dont ever take another holiday). I have come to the conclusion that beyond the so called execs (psychopaths to a man/woman/c-word) humans will only be used until a robot/computer can take over and do the job properly.

What these scum do not realise is that every other business will be doing this and consequently there will be no workers getting paid and no customers.

Edited by steve99

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I have never shopped with Amazon and never will because of their business model. Same as I don't ever buy battery farmed eggs.

I tend to use Amazon for the reviews and then look elsewhere to buy. I will only buy from them if I really can't source the item from anywhere else, and only if it's a low value item. Otherwise i buy electricals for example from John Lewis and books from Waterstones or independent bookshops if possible.

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I have never shopped with Amazon and never will because of their business model. Same as I don't ever buy battery farmed eggs.

I try and limit my use of it. Purely because I prefer my business to benefit my community - so I shop locally when I can. OTOH, I applaud their tax positioning - what can be wrong with more of my money staying in my pocket?

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Yes workers are disposable. Last week I came back from Holiday and had been shunted to another site 25 miles away as punishment for actually taking a holiday, also was reminded that I was lucky not to have been sent 40miles away (ie dont ever take another holiday). I have come to the conclusion that beyond the so called execs (psychopaths to a man/woman/c-word) humans will only be used until a robot/computer can take over and do the job properly.

What these scum do not realise is that every other business will be doing this and consequently there will be no workers getting paid and no customers.

There is no such thing as a "career"....people are brainwashed to chase after one, and when its all said and done, and you're in a 6ft box, it doesn't matter a jot...No one will remember your contribution (unless your Brunel or someone like that). A career is a way of forcing you to do even more work, for less...Firms use carrots such as that promotion, that new car, better pay...where as in reality, you have to work ridiculous hours, and they can get rid of you at a drop of a hat..

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