Amazon Warehouse Employees Handle A Lot Of Sex Toys
Amazon prides itself on being the everything store, and they mean it. Kyle, a picker who grabs items from inventory to prepare for shipping, tells Mental Floss that adult novelty items are steady sellers. Such as? Dildos, he says. Sex toys. I pull out a dozen every night. BDSM shibari straps. Stuff Ive never seen or heard of.
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Amazon Is Offering Work Opportunities To Support Local Communities
- Day Shift: £9.50 to £10.50 per hour
- Night Shift*: £10.50 to £12.46 per hour
- Overtime*: £14.24 per hour up to £21.00 per hour
Health and safety are a top priority with all of our roles and sites. We continue to consult with medical and health experts, and take all recommended precautions in our buildings and stores to keep people healthy. Amazon has taken measures to promote social distancing in the workplace and taken on enhanced and frequent cleaning, to name just a few.
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What Is Amazon Flex
Amazon Flex is a service offered by Amazon, where you are paid to deliver packages using your own car. Currently, Amazon Flex functions in more than 50 major cities.
The process is pretty simple you sign up with Amazon Flex, pick your timings and then start delivering your packages to their respective addresses.
Your total earnings will be influenced by factors such as your location, delivery time, and tips, however most Amazon Flex employees average around $18-25 per hour.
The current pandemic has led to an increase in online shopping. Amazons business has grown exponentially in the past two years and expands even more during the holiday season.
In order to meet demand, Amazon has added additional delivery methods. When demand exceeds their current delivery capabilities, they outsource some of their delivery, in order to meet customers delivery expectations.
This is where Amazon Flex comes in. These independent contractors use their own vehicle and fuel to deliver packages. Amazon saves on costs by not having to pay for things like delivery vehicles and is able to deliver packages in a timely manner.
Expect To Burn Plenty Of Unpaid Hours
I spent an inordinate amount of time figuring out how to qualify for HITs that paid more than pennies.
I needed to piece together bits of information from review sites, Reddit comments and forum posts to uncover tricks that seemed to improve my success rate, and even then, in very small increments.
Many times, I accepted a HIT that seemed promising, wondering why it was still available, only to realize it was technically broken in some way. Id have to return it without getting compensated for my time.
According to SwiftSalary.com, which reviews online make money opportunities, Navigating the main HITs page in an attempt to find good HITs can be difficult and involve a lot of clicking on bad HITs, reading how much work they expect you to do for a nickel, cursing under your breath, and closing the tab.
Again, MTurk doesnt compensate you for any of this downtime.
It felt more like a scavenger hunt with challenging, vague clues and pennies for rewards than a site that belongs in the Mount Rushmore of making money online opportunities.
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Drawback: The Environment Is Cutthroat
Working with highly competitive, world-class employees can have its disadvantages, especially when your co-workers might not have your best interests at heart. Amazons aggressive approach apparently isnt limited to the market it can be seen as part of the internal culture, too.
Amazon is built, quite deliberately, to be Darwinian, said a Seattle-based software development manager on Glassdoor.
Working In The Warehouse
The Amazon jobs that have gotten the most media attention have been those at the companys fulfillment centers, which is its nickname for warehouses. Amazon has about 75 huge fulfillment centers in North America that employ more than 125,000 full-time workers.
The tech company utilizes a variety of building types for fulfillment centers, and its largest ones are around 800,000 square feet in size. Typically, these warehouses employ about 1,500 full-time associates. In some fulfillment centers, Amazon employees work alongside robots that help sort, pick, and transport packages.
Amazon increased its minimum wage in late 2018, raising the rate to $15 per hour. The new wage covers full-time, part-time, temporary, and seasonal positions for about 350,000 employees who work in warehouses, customer service, and even at the newly acquired Whole Foods stores.
Full-time employees at Amazon also receive a generous benefits package, including medical, dental, and vision insurance, a 401-retirement plan, and up to 20 weeks of paid maternal or paternal leave.
Sounds like a sweet deal, right? The pay may be good, and the benefits may be comprehensive. Still, many reports from media sources and ex-Amazon employees say working in a fulfillment center is dangerous and intense.
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Drawback: Amazon Could Start Tracking Employee Movements
Access to advanced technology can exact its price in other areas particularly security and privacy. In early 2018, Amazon got two patents for a wristband tracking system approved, according to The New York Times. The idea was to streamline tasks by monitoring the location of employees hands relative to inventory bins and providing haptic feedback, but the wristbands could result in greater surveillance in the workplace if Amazon moves forward with manufacturing them.
You Get The Amazon Prime Badge
Amazon already has more than 80 million Prime subscribers. To this day, more and more buyers subscribe to Prime because of the free and fast shipping benefits that it offers, among many other privileges. In addition, having the ‘Fulfilment by Amazon’ tagged to your brand automatically earns consumers’ trust.
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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.
Record Profits Halted Raises
On Staten Island, workers began getting the dreaded warnings.
Mr. Cavagnaro, who had worked with Alberto Castillo, had taken a leave from Amazon. He suggested a June return date on a doctors note, but couldnt reach the company to ask questions or discuss coming back. Amazons attendance systems recorded him as a no-show, and he began getting job-abandonment notices. Unable to get a reply, he threw his hands up and allowed himself to be fired.
After The Times asked Amazon about his situation, the company offered him his job back.
Health insurance that Amazon provided covered most of the medical bills, but Ms. Castillo discovered that her husbands short-term disability payments had stopped. I kept sending in medical forms but couldnt tell if anyone on the other end was actually receiving them, she said. The house they had hoped to buy was a vanished dream now she was counting every penny and accepting donations from friends.
JFK8s human resources manager apologized and set the 10 weeks of missed payments right. Amazon said the documents Ms. Castillo had submitted never made it to his case manager, a systems issue that had affected others as well.
As workers returned, Amazon informed employees nationwide that it was ending the $2-an-hour raise and double overtime pay. The extra wages had not been hazard pay, officials said, but an incentive to show up.
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Is Publishing On Amazon Worth It
If youre asking the question, Should I ? its time to assess what you want out of this and what youre willing to put into it.
Self-publishing is not a hands-off approach to getting your book out there. Its up to you to make sure your book gets everything it needs to have its best chance at becoming a best seller:
- Professional formatting / interior book design
- Professional book cover design
- A compelling book description for the sales page
- Book reviews from beta readers and/or your launch team
- An effective book launch strategy
- An effective book marketing plan
The first three things can cost a considerable amount, but if your book is carefully edited, neatly formatted, and wrapped in a gorgeous cover, youre far more likely to sell enough copies to more than break even.
Competent editors, formatters, and cover designers are worth the money they charge. The most successful self-publishing authors recognize this when theyre building their own self-publishing team.
Just as they expect to earn good compensation for their writing, they value the work of their editors, formatters, and cover designers enough to pay them their quoted rates.
It takes a great team to create a book your readers will love and recommend to others.
If you doubt your book is good enough to sell thousands of copies , the cost of the self-publishing route will probably outweigh the benefits even if you shortchange your book creation team or do all the work yourself.
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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These awesome beer chiller sticks fit right into a beer bottle and can keep beer chilled all afternoon. You no longer need to finish your beer quickly at that barbeque because these sticks keep it nice and cold. All you do is stick them in the freezer for at least 45 minutes and then they are ready.
Customer Service And Return Management
Lets face it, most of us dont want to deal with the hassles of customer service or returns. Its disappointing, painful and takes way more time than it should.
A great return policy makes people a lot more likely to buy your products and Amazons return policy is one of the best out there. Right or wrong, Amazon has trained people to expect a virtual no questions asked return policy. If you dont want to deal with that hassle, Amazon FBAs customer service and returns management team can be a lifesaver.
No more answering calls, emails or chat messages in the middle of the night? No more messing with reverse logistics? Thats a pretty good selling point.
However, like free shipping, Amazons free returns are only free to the customer. Youll still have to pay a returns processing fee for any items returned using this service. Its a lot cheaper than hiring a customer service team, but it definitely isnt free.
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Positively Influencing The Culture
Despite being stationed behind a screen since starting her job in January, Richelle Minor, a senior program manager, has found other ways to get involved during her short time at Amazon. One of the highlights of my time so far has been joining the Black Employee Network affinity group, and being able to take a cooking class during Black History month. I really enjoyed the classalong with my familyand meeting others while cooking.
Amazon has 13 affinity groups, also known as employee resource groups, with more than 90,000 members across 190 chapters. The groups bring Amazon employees together across businesses and locations around the world. Affinity groups play an important role in building internal networks for creating a community, advising Amazon business units, leading in service projects, and reaching out to communities where employees live and work.
Gary Bushrod, a diversity, equity, and inclusion business partner, said the two reasons he joined Amazon in January were impact and disruption. It is no secret that Amazon is known for its ability to reinvent and improve itself. They are constantly disrupting the status quo, and doing so while rapidly growing, he said. As a DEI leader, I wanted to be instrumental in positively influencing the culture and people behind one of the largest machines on Earth.
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.
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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.
A Company Bigger Than Some Countries
Amazon has a market value of $1.14 trillion, making it one of the worlds largest and most valuable companies. To put that in perspective, Amazons revenues in 2017 were higher than the total GDP of Kuwait, according to BusinessInsider.
Because its such a colossal company, Amazon has often been the target of criticism for its workplace culture and safety concerns. Nevertheless, the tech giant now employs nearly one million people worldwide, pays good wages and provides generous benefits, and is an economic powerhouse.
The experience of working for Amazon depends on many factors, as warehouse workers, corporate employees, and delivery drivers report both pros and cons. During the pandemic, warehouse employees have protested in the U.S., France, and Italy. But the company also instituted a temporary $2-per-hour raise in pay that lasted from March until June.
The best way to find out what its like to work for Amazon is to, well, apply for a job there. Job listings for the company have decreased since a huge hiring boom in March, but there are still around 30,000 open positions.
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