An Intense Corporate Culture
Amazon has an army of warehouse workers and delivery drivers, but also plenty of corporate employees. Jeff Bezos started the company in a garage in 1994, and now its headquarters in Seattle employs more than 45,000 people.
The tech giant has dozens of corporate offices worldwide, including ones in Santa Monica, CA, Brooklyn, NY, Vancouver, and Mexico City. Jobs at these offices include tech positions like software engineers and positions in business development, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate investments.
Getting a coveted corporate position at Amazon is difficult. Jeff Bezos sets a high bar for talent in the companys hiring practices, and people who interview there are expected to know its 14 leadership principles. One of those principles is Customer Obsession, which Amazons website describes as working vigorously to earn and keep customer trust.
Amazon corporate employees make between an average of nearly $60,000 to almost $153,000 per year. This is a bit lower than Amazons big tech competitors, but its employees have an excellent benefits package, including bonuses and stock options.
If you want a job at Amazon corporate, it wont be easy. Various reports over the years have claimed the company has an extremely competitive workplace culture.
Daves Recently Sold Business
Andrew: No commission. I wouldnt have charged you anything. So I know youre probably not gonnamaybe as to the buyers you mentioned that getting into too nitty-gritty, but can you give us a sense of like what was the business, and in a general sense, the niche industry, and how long did you run it for?
Dave: Yeah. So we were selling boating products and we had about 200 different boating products, mostly private labeled. All are coming from China. And at the time of sale, we were doing about $2 million a year in revenue.
Andrew: And how long did you run it for? Did you start it yourself or did you buy it from someone else?
Dave: So I started it in in about 2008 when I was finishing up university. And when I started it, it was just kinda something that get a little bit of beer money on the side. And once I graduated, I kinda have had taken it a little bit more seriously and solely grew from there. So, yeah, since 2008 is when I started it.
Amazon Warehouse Employees Have Some Complaints About Break Times
Because Amazon monitors activity, employees tend to adhere pretty strictly to the allotted 30-minute and 15-minute break periods. The problem, according to Kyle, is that these windows dont account for the fact that it takes time to navigate the massive facility to get to a break room, bathroom, or to the parking lot.
When you take a break, you log out and are supposed to come back within 30 minutes, so theres no more than 30 minutes between the last time you scanned an item and the next item, Kyle says. But the problem is it takes five to seven minutes to walk to your car or to the break room, so its not really a full 30-minute break.
Taking a load off at your workstation, at least in Kyles warehouse, is off-limits. Youre not allowed to sit on things at a station. There are no chairs provided. You can make chairs with totes or sit on the steps. I usually choose to go to my car.
Recommended Reading: Readamazon
Amazon Warehouse Employee Fakers Get Put On Broom Duty
“A lot of people would make up stuff just to get off the floor,â a former worker says. âSome people would just confuse being tired with being hurt. Theyâd say, âMy legs hurt!â No, youâve just been walking around forever.” If the nurse can’t find anything wrong with you but you insist you’re unwell, the supervisors will find an easy job for you to do that doesn’t require any heavy lifting. More often than not, this means broom duty. “That’s only good for the first hour,â Mided says. âTwelve hours of pushing a broom is the most mind-numbing thing on the planet. But that still doesn’t prevent people from faking.”
How About Vacation Time
Employees earn paid time off and receive six company paid holidays a year.
The number of vacation days are accrued on a per pay-period basis and depend on whether a worker is part time or full time. Full-time workers, for example, accrue a weeks vacation after one year and two weeks after two years of working for Amazon. After six years, they get three weeks of vacation.
Amazon says it grants paid sick time based on local, city and state ordinances.
Read Also: Amazon Driver Hours
Experts Share 3 Tips Every First
For much of the past 16 months, Amazon’s warehouse workers have faced grueling pressure to keep up with the demand from households for online goods during the pandemic. Now, workers must endure the stress of meeting a spike in orders from Amazon’s summer shopping holiday, which kicks off Monday.
I Spent A Week Working At An Amazon Warehouse And It Is Hard Physical Work
But then there are more than 100m items on its UK website: if you can possibly imagine it, Amazon sells it. And if you can’t possibly imagine it, well, Amazon sells it too. To spend 10½ hours a day picking items off the shelves is to contemplate the darkest recesses of our consumerist desires, the wilder reaches of stuff, the things that money can buy: a One Direction charm bracelet, a dog onesie, a cat scratching post designed to look like a DJ’s record deck, a banana slicer, a fake twig. I work mostly in the outsize “non-conveyable” section, the home of diabetic dog food, and bio-organic vegetarian dog food, and obese dog food of 52in TVs, and six-packs of water shipped in from Fiji, and oversized sex toys the 18in double dong .
Right now, in Swansea, four shifts will be working at least a 50-hour week, hand-picking and packing each item, or, as the Daily Mail put it in an article a few weeks ago, being “Amazon’s elves” in the “21st-century Santa’s grotto”.
When I put the question to Amazon, it responded: “A small number of seasonal associates have been with us for an extended period of time and we are keen to retain those individuals in order that we can provide them with a permanent role when one becomes available. We were able to create 2,300 full-time permanent positions for seasonal associates in 2013 by taking advantage of Christmas seasonality to find great permanent employees but, unfortunately, we simply cannot retain 15,000 seasonal employees.”
You May Like: Apple Pay Amazon
Amazon Warehouse Employees See Some Crazy Orders
If thereâs one thing all Amazon warehouse workers will tell you, itâs that people order some weird things. âThe amount of stand-up life-size Justin Biebers I saw was unnecessary,â Mided says. âAnd a lot more sex toys than you would think. Really odd ones. Even grown men or women warehouse workers are still kinda like a 12-year-old when they see that. Amazon really does sell everything.â
Pros Of Working At Amazon
In fact, Amazon pay is so good that it has been putting an upward wage pressure on other industries such as restaurants and retail stores.
Not only is the money good, perks and benefits such as prepaid tuition are also among the best in this industry. Other benefits include :
- Dental, medical and visual insurance
- 401 savings plan
- Paid time off
- Vacation, sick and personal days
Stable shift scheduleGreat for introvertsGood workoutCan make great friendsEasy job to get
Don’t Miss: Where Is The Amazon Gift Card Code
A Look Inside An Amazon Warehouse Where Profits Are Placed Ahead Of Workers
The writer’s first-hand account of working at an Amazon warehouse.
A shipment moves on a conveyor belt at an Amazon fulfilment centre on the outskirts of Bengaluru, September 18, 2018. Photo: Reuters/Abhishek N. Chinnappa/File Photo
Sunlight is a privilege when working for Amazon, especially in winter. Amazons warehouse workers or to use the company nomenclature, fulfilment associates are nocturnal on nightshifts and light sensitive on dayshifts. They see by the fluorescence of streetlights, the fluorescence of bus lights, and the fluorescence of endless rows of light fixtures bolted to every ceiling surface at Amazons fulfilment centres. After a month of mandatory overtime shifts, turning 40-hour weeks into 50, I learned to savour the darkness of sleep at the end of each long day.
In the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, many have come to see Amazon as an essential service and a public good. Jeff Bezos could not have found himself in a more powerful position. But his strength was leveraged off of our backs the backs of Amazons half-million unseen employees. Behind every purchase on the Amazon marketplace is a team of workers picking, packaging and shipping products for a paltry wage.
Now that COVID-19 has necessitated the introduction of PPE and physical distancing, communicating and organising in the warehouse workplace is basically impossible.
An Amazon fulfilment center at Baltimore. Photo: Maryland GovPics/Wikimedia Commons CC BY 2.0
Multiple Fcs In A Region Take Specific Items
The warehouse I was working at was the regions Oversize warehouse. If youve made an FBA order for 1 Oven and 1 Oven mitt and had it go to two different warehouses in the same state, this is why. Ditto if your order requires special prep not every warehouse is set to handle specific types of items.
With that being said, Amazon has a constant stream of trucks ferrying items back and forth between their warehouses. So for example, if a customer made an order on Amazon for that same Oven and Oven mit, Amazon would put the oven mitt on a truck and send it to the oversize warehouse so the two items could ship together and save on shipping costs.
You May Like: Does Amazon Prime Give Twitch Prime
Do Your Job Right Take A Dog Nap
Dave: I mean I think the kind of the running story of the oversized warehouse was that, it was a lot more laid-back than a standard sized warehouse. So I talked to people who had worked at both this standard sized warehouse and the oversized warehouse, and people picking the small items, they sound like they were working like crazy. But at the oversized warehouse that I was at, it was a little bit more laid-back. I mean you have to keep a little bit of hustle, but you werent timed, all of that is aggressively as you would be in some of the other warehouses.
And the story I always tell people that I was working with a guy and he had been working there for a few weeks. And he had realized that if you just really hustled for the first half and hour or so of the shift, that he could basically take a nap for half an hour and nobody would ever say anything. So he had found some guy that had sent in this dog bed, an FBA seller. He took this dog bed and he put in the corner of the warehouse. And every day for about half an hour, he would go take a nap on this dog bed, and nobody ever said a word to him.
Andrew: That is awesome, or at least they will until someone hears this episode inside the warehouse and go searching for it. You know, whats like the starting wage for a picker or a packer where you were working?
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.
Read Also: How To Connect Your Twitch To Amazon Prime
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.
Lessons As A Future Amazon Seller
Andrew: What are you gonna do differently? I mean youve got a new venture thats gonna be using Amazon heavily as a lot of e-commerce stores are going to, now that youve been on the floor and worked there, and seen the, you know, inside the beast, so to speak, what are you gonna do differently in terms of , as like an eCommerce store owner?
Dave: The biggest thing I learned from working at the warehouse was just like the randomness of products that people are selling on the FBA, like people were sending in kayaks without a box, just a plain 12-foot kayak with a bar code on it, replicas of the statue of Michael Angelo statue. There was absolutely everything from every spectrum of the whole product possibility.
So I mean I think thats a huge opportunity. These oversized items which people are totally ignoring, like, you can ship anything into an Amazon warehouse and theyre gonna figure out a way to pick it, and pack it, and ship it.
Andrew: Any thoughts onit doesnt make interesting opportunity, but they also charge the arm and the leg for oversize it seems. So any thoughts on being able to tap an opportunity without having to just get eaten alive on the fee size of things?
You May Like: How To Buy Food On Amazon With Ebt
Secrets Of Amazon Warehouse Employees
When we last checked in with Amazon warehouse workers in November 2015, the consensus was that life as an employee at one of the companys 110 domestic fulfillment centers was physically challenging but financially rewarding. On their feet for most of the day, these Amazonians receive, stock, sort, pick, pack, ship, and problem-solve the hundreds of thousands of items carried by the e-tailer in massive facilities between 600,000 and 800,000 square feet in size. Each can employ over 1500 full-time associates.
These days, the pay is going up. Amazon recently announced hourly raises between 50 cents and $3 for 500,000 warehouse workers and other fulfillment jobs, adding to the existing minimum starting wage of $15. Employees generally agree that if you dont mind some manual labor, you can find benefitsjust not Prime benefitsinside these massive buildings.
For more on the job, Mental Floss reached out to several current and former employees. Heres what they had to say about working with robots, finding time to pee, and the overall experience of what social media has dubbed Amazon vest life.
Tiktok Videos Are Recruiting Workers
Alexis Barajas said she started working at a Nevada warehouse because of TikTok. That looks easy, she said of the videos she was seeing.
It was just them, like, working and, like, putting, like, a random caption or, like, dancing to, like, some type of music, she said. So it didnt seem so bad.
When she arrived, however, the reality of the warehouse didnt live up to the picture painted on TikTok. I worked graveyard shift. So I would wake up at midnight and go in at 1:20 a.m. and get off at 11:50 a.m., she said. Its pretty draining.
Barajas said she made her first TikTok video to break up the monotony of warehouse work. I was bored, she said. Itll give me something else to do.
Her first video was about colleagues who asked for her social media handles in the warehouse. Barajas said Amazons human resources department had mentioned that asking for contact information like phone numbers or social media handles on the job could be an invasion of privacy or even part of harassing behavior.
The video quickly blew up and became the talk of Barajas warehouse.
Despite a public and private warning not to post TikTok videos after the video went viral, Barajas posted three others from inside the warehouse.
Barajas said shes still weighing whether she wants to continue working at the warehouse.
I will give myself another month, she said. I cannot mix working at Amazon and school, because its like, harsh hours and graveyard.
Don’t Miss: Can I Apple Pay On Amazon
Not Every Amazon Warehouse Employee Has A Horror Story
There have been dozens of stories portraying Amazon warehouses as inhumane, hellish workplaces, and while some workers may have been subject to these conditions, the ones I spoke to hadnât. âIt is certainly hard work,â said Brant Ivey, who spent six months in one of Amazonâs hubs lifting oversized objects. But âthe conditions at the warehouse were on par or better than most other warehouses that I have been in.â One of the biggest complaints is that the warehouses are too hot. In 2012, after a lengthy expose revealed brutally hot summertime conditions, Amazon announced plans to spend $52 million to install air conditioning in its U.S. warehouses.
One Reddit user put it bluntly: âThe work does suck, but all warehouse work sucks. I have experienced FAR worse conditions and been treated terrible by other Fortune 500 companies.â