Amazon Lost Market Share Early In The Pandemic
Competitors cut into Amazons substantial market share in the U.S., in part because the company was showing customers long delivery times.
Mr. Stroup worried how Amazon would summon workers back. The company needed to know who didnt intend to return so that it could replace them. But forcing employees too abruptly could result in firing tens of thousands of people. Mr. Stroup knew the work offered a lifeline: The cleanliness, the procedure, the pay, the benefits all of that is very competitive, he said.
He prepared surveys and data for Mr. Clark, the operations chief, who would make the final decision. Id heard Dave was saying: Lets just move faster. This isnt helping people not knowing if they are coming back to work or not. Weve created a safe place to work weve proven that people arent getting Covid at work so lets just find out if they want to come back or not, he said.
In a virtual meeting, Mr. Stroup told Mr. Clark that if employees were brought back gradually, over a month or two, only 5 to 10 percent were projected to stay home and lose their jobs. Under the faster plan, many more were likely to be fired for not showing up. The cold-turkey example was pretty bad, Mr. Stroup said, like it was 20 to 30 percent of people would be let go in the month.
Workers Of Color Fuel Amazons Operations
A vast majority of the companys warehouse workers in the U.S. are included in the first group in the 2018 data below. These employees are largely people of color, while higher levels of the company tend to be majority white.
Between the constant monitoring, the assumption that many workers are slackers, and the lack of advancement opportunity, a lot of minority workers just felt like we were being used, Mr. Palmer said later.
Were the heart and soul of that building, he wrote in the chat. Nothing gets done without us.
The two men continued their break-room warnings for several more days, and confronted JFK8 managers. If, God forbid, somebody in this building passes away, or somebodys loved one passes away, thats going to be on your hands, not mine, Mr. Smalls, the firecracker of the pair, told the warehouses top leader, according to an audio recording of one conversation.
On March 30, they demonstrated in the parking lot with a small group of other employees. Mr. Palmer carried a sign that read, Treat your workers like your customers.
In Seattle, executives still grappling with cratering attendance sought to minimize the protest but instead drew more attention to it. Amazon fired Mr. Smalls, saying his demonstration had violated a quarantine order based on his contact with the sick co-worker. Meeting notes taken the next day by the companys top lawyer and leaked to Vice News called Mr. Smalls not smart or articulate.
Working At Amazon Corporate:
Lets witness few reasons on What its really like to work at Amazon, according to their employees
The giant company Amazon in the market is well known for its churn and burn company culture. As per Bob Olson, a former Amazon Books Marketing employee, working at Amazon is like nearly every person I worked with, I saw cry at their desk.
But later on, the company culture got better, as the organization took some strong steps after going through the reviews of their unhappy employees. As a result, almost 74% of employees recommended their friend to work for Amazon.
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Risking Workers For The Bottom Line
While its white-collar workforce was given early instruction to telecommute, Amazons other wage earners were still clocking in, in person. This had devastating consequences: As of October, more than 20,000 U.S.-based Amazon employees had been infected by the virus, many of whom work on their feet at warehouses or, like Rob, in retail stores.
We never worried about being put in a harms way situation or being exposed to other folks.
On November 12, former Amazon employee Christian Smalls filed a class-action lawsuit against the company, alleging that Amazon violated federal civil rights law by firing him and by putting thousands of warehouse employees, particularly employees of color, at risk during the pandemic. Smalls was fired by Amazon after leading a protest outside a fulfillment center in Staten Island, which, Smalls said, was intended to shed light on the unsafe working conditions throughout the pandemic. Amazon says Smalls was fired for violating quarantine and social distancing rules.
One reason for the discrepancy in how Amazon has treated its workers is obvious: Its easy for coders and marketers to work from home, while delivery drivers and warehouse workers dont have that same luxury. Without physical bodies showing up to work, there would be no hands to pack puzzles into brown boxes and no person on the other end of an app to stuff pasta and canned goods into shopping bags.
Its more costly to safeguard some workers than others.
An Innovative Company That Is Perfect For Geeks:
Amazon is also an innovative company. It comes with a long term view, is great if you are driven by data as well. If you are a geek and want to work for a company that will give you assignments regularly, Amazon is the place to be. The company is also ideal. It likes geeks and is a creative and inventive environment to be in. Your job here will also be long-lasting. They plan on keeping their workers for very long.
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A Lot Of Hard Work Is Expected:
You will be expected to work for about 70 hours every week, including the weekends. If you dont do that and work only 50 hours per week, your manager will not be able to tell you much. Neither will they have a good impression of you. When it comes to your performance review, it could actually turn out pretty bad for you.
The Power Of The Metrics
For Traci Weishalla and her peers, a key to boosting thousands of employees to that level of performance was setting the pace. Speed was essential, but so was keeping the whole warehouse in rhythm. If new items were unpacked more quickly than they could be prepared for shipping, all of JFK8 could jam. The fulfillment center was one organism in an even bigger ecosystem of warehouses, and to coordinate with them and the fleet of delivery drivers, Ms. Weishalla had to maintain a quick, consistent pulse.
Two measurements dominated most hourly employees shifts. Rate gauged how fast they worked, a constantly fluctuating number displayed at their station. Time off task, or T.O.T., tracked every moment they strayed from their assignment whether trekking to the bathroom, troubleshooting broken machinery or talking to a co-worker. The company pioneered new ways to calculate both metrics in the mid-2000s, when a smaller, scrappier Amazon set out to revolutionize warehouses.
Mr. Niekerk, the former H.R. chief for operations, said the emphasis on productivity tracking, alluring in a company as analytical as Amazon, was debated from the start. He had been skeptical, arguing that a productivity metric is always a frightening thing, conveying One slip-up and I will fall behind.
I lost that battle, he said. Eventually, he said, promises of firmer, faster delivery created a multiplying effect on the demand for higher productivity.
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Employees Say There Is Ample Opportunity For Them To Build Upon Their Skill Sets
“Amazon is full of opportunity. It can be an exciting, dynamic place to work where you learn a lot every day,” said an anonymous employee on Glassdoor.
“Many teams at Amazon are flexible and provide supportive work environments with ample opportunities for career development and growth,” the employee said.
If you are able to find your niche within the company, there is definitely going to be room to further your career.
Long Hours For Delivery Drivers
Amazon Logistics delivers about 2.5 billion packages per year in the U.S., according to a Morgan Stanley report, which is almost as much as FedEx and UPS. The tech company relies on more than 800 delivery service partners who manage nearly 75,000 drivers to deliver all these packages.
The company has about 100 million Amazon Prime members, who get faster shipping times as part of its membership. Amazon created a Flex program in 2015 to hire contract drivers to keep up with the demand in shipments.
The only requirements to become an Amazon Flex driver is to be over 21 years old with a drivers license, auto insurance, own at least a midsized sedan, and clear a basic background check.
Amazon advertises that Flex drivers can make between $18 and $25 per hour, but it generally depends on each shift. In a recent CNBC report, a journalist tagged along with a Flex driver in the San Francisco area who delivered about 46 packages in three-and-a-half hours and made $105.
As a Flex driver, youre required to use their own cars and pay for their own gas, tolls, and vehicle maintenance. They use an app to sign up for a block of time and then go to a fulfillment center to pick up packages. Depending on how long it takes to deliver all the packages, some drivers say the gig work isnt worthwhile, especially if you live in a metro area with lots of traffic congestion.
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Tell Me About A Project That Went Beyond The Scope Of Your Work
You might have noticed that this is a leading question whichassumes you did do a project that needed you to go above and beyond. Thething about Amazon is that their interview process is so rigorous because, whenits CEO Jeff Bezos first started to grow Amazon, hedjoin the interview of each employee because hewanted to see if they were a good fit for his company in the long run.
So, the fact that you made it this far in the applicationprocess means that they assume you are the type of person to go above andbeyond their job description for the interests of the company. If you answerthat question with something like I never go above or beyond the scope of myjob description, dont be surprised if the interview ends shortly after.Theyre not interested in what that project really is they just want to knowthat you are willing and capable to excel.
They Can Chew You Up If You Allow Them:
If you can run away from the legacy technology, there will always be a lot of cool stuff that will be worked on and the people here are brilliant and passionate. It is a great place to work in and also work with the practices and technology.
You have to treat your job in such a way as if it matters to you way more than your life does. You will be expected to work both evenings and weekends at home and have your head on the job all the time. If you think you can keep up with this, Amazon would be a great place for you.
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Some Amazon Warehouse Employees Have A Countdown Timer
Like Jack Bauer in 24, some Amazon employees often have to deal with the tension of a timer counting down the seconds remaining to complete a task. Its called takt time, Kyle says. Youre supposed to grab an item within 6.5 seconds of an item appearing on the screen. While its doable, Kyle says its possible to meet quota even if its a little slower. Youre trying to keep up, but its more like 7.5 to eight seconds. Kyle also says finding certain items can take as long as 30 seconds.
You Will Get Time To Reflect:
If you are working for a small company or startup, it will feel like you are putting your entire life into every days work. There are huge companies like Amazon that do not move at such places which mean you will have enough time to think and reflect.
Here the company will move in a slow way without taking any risks. Sometimes this could be a great thing. The company in that way will be able to avoid wasting millions of money and secure themselves financially.
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A Diverse And Inclusive Organization
Amazon prides itself on having a diverse, inclusive culture. The 16 Leadership Principles outlined by Amazon support this notion and set the tone for how they hire, work together, and build trust. Amazon also has 12 employee support groups dedicated to various subject areas, including People with Disabilities, Body Positive Peers, Black Employee Network, and Women in Finance.
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Some Amazon Warehouse Employees Have To Have A Spotter
According to Donald, working in the Trailer Docking and Releasing area of a warehouse is a critical position. Depending on the facility, the trailer yard can have anywhere from 20 to hundreds of trailers in them. is an active yard, and safety precautions are a must, Donald says. He explains that the TDR work, including the safety checklist, is done through a Kindle app. But one employee can’t do it alone.
You always need another person to go with you when you do TDRs because you need someone to be a spotter, Donald says. You enter a very active trailer yard, and while one person is doing the work on the Kindle, the other person is there to spot so that they do not get hit with a trailer or a truck. If you go into a trailer yard without a spotter, you are instantly terminated, as this is a severe safety hazard.
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What About Technical Requirements What Will I Need
Like all work from home jobs, you will need to meet certain tech requirements in order to be considered for a position. And the Amazon work from home jobs are no different. The basic tech requirements needed for their virtual customer service jobs include:
- A Windows PC
- 64-bit operating system running either Windows 8.1, Windows 10, OSX 10.9 or higher
- Minimum 10 mbps download speed
- No wifi must be hardwired to the internet via Ethernet cable sorry no satellite!
- Laptops are OK, but you must have an external monitor, keyboard, and mouse
- Windows Auto Update
- Windows Defender
Youll also need to be able to take phone calls. But dont worry, you wont need a landline! Once youre hired, Amazon will ship you a headset for taking calls via Internet. Youll also receive a Gemalto token, which will turn your PC into a super-secure powerhouse for both your protection and the customers you interact with!
Amazon Is Building Warehouses Faster Than Ever
In Facebook groups, warehouse workers across the country shared photos of the messages their managers sent to motivate and reward them. Some won air fryers or Fire TV Sticks. In Connecticut, a manager messaged employees at their workstations that if they handled 400 items an hour, or about one every 10 seconds, you WIN CANDY. At another, a sign went up during the holidays: Todays Snack: A Banana *Available 9 a.m. until 7 p.m.* In Ohio, workers got scratch-off cards to win prizes.
One employee scratched off two with the same message: Please try again.
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Though Amazon Received An Overall Favorable Work
Over 440 reviews on Glassdoor specifically mentioned a lack of work-life balance in their Amazon careers.
A former senior software engineer in Seattle said that employees are doing “exciting work, but say goodbye to your life.”
“Extreme hours and horrible work-life balance. Be prepared to work a minimum of 12 hours everyday and up to 15-16 hours for months on end,” said a current area manager in Haslet, Texas, “Upper management doesn’t respect your work life balance and mandatory overtime is a constant thing.”
A current marketing manager within the company has said that staff can even be “expected to work on vacation.”
However, this does not seem to be the case for everyone. “People’s mileage may vary based on their team, but I personally have a very good work-life balance and enjoy coming in every day,” said a designer in the Seattle area said on Glassdoor.
A senior sales consultant in Charleston, South Carolina, even said, “Of all the organizations and previous roles I’ve experienced so far in my career, Amazon has set the bar for work-life balance. ”
Amazon Warehouse Employees Can Find The Work Pretty Isolating
Depending on the positionand state of the pandemicAmazon workers can find themselves going for long periods of time without talking to anyone else. You see managers during the first couple weeks of training, Kyle says. But you wont have much interaction except on breaks. Even then, its limited.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing for some. I just want a job that I can punch in and out and make good money, Alex says. And preferably not have to interact with a bunch of people socially. Amazon gives me that.
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Benefits Of Working For Amazon
Amazon provides a starting pay that is greater than double the federal minimum wage in the United States, as well as a number of wonderful perks to support its staff and eligible family members. The following are some of the comprehensive benefits being offered by Amazon: paid time off, health care coverage, parental leave, plans to help you save for the future, tuition reimbursement, and other resources to increase health and well-being from day one.
Amazon Warehouse Employees Have A Mascot
His name is Peccy, and hes available on pins given to employees as a reward for things like perfect attendance. The amorphous orange blob was apparently named for Amazons self-described peculiar business strategies and has become a hit among employees. Hes the Amazon mascot, Kyle says. I collect . I guess thats an incentive.
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