I used to work for Amazon, both in the warehouse, and at home. I worked in the warehouse for a year, and another year working from home.

Proof: https://i.imgur.com/skafXgQ.jpg (This was the closet immediate proof I could give without taking a picture of my actual work ID, and these are the 3 things they gave us along with our work ID so we always had a reference of what to do and how to do it, and phone numbers that we were required to have)

Something needs to change with Amazon's policies and work environment/conditions. Clearly put, it is modern day slavery that is made legal due to "grey areas"

The number one issues I had when working with Amazon at the warehouse was the bathroom to performance issue. Basically, if you wanted to go to the bathroom, you had to worry about getting written up due to your rate going down because depending on where you are in the building (Amazon is a MASSIVE building, with a ton of security measures) it could take you anywhere from 5-10 minutes just to get to a bathroom, then when you get there there's still the matter of you actually using the restroom, then the time it takes you to get back to the area where you work, so lets say best case scenario it takes you 5 minutes to get to a bathroom, 1-2 minutes to use the restroom, then another 5 minutes to get back to the area you were before the bathroom break, you're down 12 minutes of productivity time now which dramatically affects your rate, and if your rate falls below a certain number (this number is picked by each warehouse, so the number is different for each, but for mine it was 120) so if you went below 120 at my warehouse, it was an automatic write up without the chance to explain why you went below, it's basically a zero tolerance policy on your rate.

What does this mean for people who work for the warehouse with Amazon? Well, you can starve yourself of water so you don't have to go to the bathroom, or you can risk being written up and/or possibly terminated because of your rate going down due to your bathroom break. While Amazon will NEVER say that they are writing you up for going to the bathroom because that would bring a mountain of bad publicity not to mention, it's illegal, so of course they're not going to say to the public, "Yes, we're against our employee's going to the restroom" No, instead they use grey areas, such as "You're being written up because your rate fell below the accepted mark" As for your reason as to why your rate is below target, they don't care.

Second issue I have is lunch breaks, and this is where my experience working from home with Amazon comes into play. At the warehouse with Amazon you get a 30 minute break, whereas working from home with Amazon, in the luxury of your own bedroom, doing nothing but taking calls all day, and no physical work what so ever, you get an hour break. This absolutely disgusted me. Why was I being given an hour break for doing a job that's not hard at all? And I mean not hard physically or mentally, the work from home job with Amazon was a cakewalk and by far the easiest and most pleasurable job experience I've ever had. To add, I worked 8 hours a day working form home with Amazon, whereas the warehouse I would work 10-12 hours a day.

But... working in the warehouse for Amazon... where I'm literally busting my ass physically and mentally, I get a 30 minute break for working a 10-12 hour shift? That's despicable and this needs to be looked at, and let me explain why.

So in the warehouse, your lunch breaks are done "Scan to scan" is what they like to call them, so, for instance, if your lunch is at 12:00 PM, as a picker you scan your last item at 12:00 PM, then you go to lunch, and just like the bathroom, depending on how far away you are from the punch in/out centers, it can take you 5-10 minutes just to get there, however this isn't as big of a deal when it comes to clocking out as it is when you're clocking back in. Then, once you clock out for your lunch break, you have to go through security, which can take anywhere from 2-10 minutes, depending on how long the line is, how many security lines are open, and whether or not someones being searched because something went off which in turn makes you take longer to go outside and enjoy your lunch. Amazon is "nice enough" to send food trucks for lunch, but unless you're one of the first people outside, it's a waste, because if you're not and you decide to get food from a food truck, you could wait in line for 5 mins, then have to wait for the food, I'll be generous and give this about 2 minutes for the food to come out, however in some cases it can take longer so keep that in mind. Then you still have to eat the food, and if the food is piping hot since it was just cooked, you'll likely have to wait for that to cool down.

Lastly, for lunch breaks, you have to clock back in from your lunch, then go back to where you were before you went on your lunch break, and do your last "scan" so since we went to lunch at 12 in this scenario, as a picker, we have to have our first item scanned at 12:30, so if you're supposed come back from lunch and be at the opposite end of the building from the entrance, that can take an easy 5 minutes to get there so that already shaves 5 minutes off of your lunch, and having your first item scanned at 12:31 means you're late from lunch, even if you are clocked in, and that results in a verbal warning for your first offense, and any time after that is a write up and can lead to termination. So all in all, in reality, your lunch break at an Amazon warehouse, is truthfully about 20 minutes, if you're lucky.

Third issue is the physical stress this puts on your body. Let me start off by saying I'm no stranger to hard work, I've done plenty of truly hard working jobs, both physical and mentally. So hard work doesn't scare me, but this is by far the worst I have ever had the misfortune of doing as a job. The back pain that came with this job was grueling, not to mention the number it does on your feet? I would literally come home from work and do nothing but flop on the bed and just lay there. Didn't bother eating, didn't bother cooking, didn't bother spending time with the wife, didn't bother getting out of the house, if it involved getting out of bed and moving my body, I wasn't doing it, so for the year that I survived at the warehouse my life was literally work, bed, work, bed. Bed in this case doesn't always mean sleep, I'll admit, but it did mean that I was just laying in bed doing absolutely nothing else until I had to go back to work.

It pains me to even say this publicly, but countless times I've thought about committing suicide at the Amazon warehouse facility, there's 3 floors to an Amazon warehouse, and when I was on the third floor, I would sometimes look over the rails and imagine the different ways I could end my life. If it came down to it, I would honestly go homeless first than to go back to working at an Amazon Warehouse.

Lastly, the heat, oh good lord the heat... In the winter it's not so bad, but dear god in the summer you'd think your below the earth in our deepest dug coal mines where it's about 60 Celsius. There's no windows, there's no air conditioning, you just have fans in every couple isles or so, fans that do no good because it's so hot in the building, the fans are blowing hot air on you. Because of how hot it is in the building, you die of thirst, but then comes the fear of losing your job or being written up which can lead to being terminated, because if you drink water, you'll eventually have to go to the bathroom, and God forbid you have to make a trip to the bathroom during working hours. Which by the way, correct me if I'm wrong, but according to OSHA, it is unlawful for any work environment to be above 76 degrees Fahrenheit, according to OSHA, your work place environments temperature must be between 68 and 76 degrees and I guarantee you without a doubt that each and every warehouse for Amazon is hotter than 76.

Now, Amazon likes to give the public the bullshit line of "Come take a tour of our facility" any time the terrible working conditions are mentioned and put on the news. Here's the problem with that. All a tour of the warehouse is going to do is show everyone that it's your typical every day warehouse. A tour doesn't show how employee's are treated, it doesn't show the ridiculous rates and quotas that employee's are expected to meet on an hourly basis, it doesn't show how a lunch break session begins and ends, it doesn't show any of the important things that could get the warehouses shut down or at the very least force them to make changes. You want this fixed Amazon? Offer PUBLIC Job Shadowing instead, and one that's not blatantly controlled by Amazon to make them look good in the spotlight.

Here's the problem, nothing will change unless we can manage to get a group together and file a lawsuit against Amazon for the god awful working conditions. One person filing a lawsuit against them will almost always lose, they have too much money and too much power, but if you can get a large number of people to agree to open a lawsuit against them together, I believe we can force Amazon's hand to make some serious changes.

This is modern day slavery, and the government allows it because of "Grey areas" that Amazon takes clear advantage of. This job can and will take a toll on your health and well being. This job will suck the very life out of you, it's time to step up and quit allowing this to happen.

Comments: 2333 • Responses: 22  • Date: 

economyischinesehoax1022 karma


Kaynetal1374 karma

No, but there were people that would stop what they were doing to piss in a bottle.

economyischinesehoax465 karma


Kaynetal1494 karma

To be completely honest with you, I have no idea, I've never asked. Though I've heard plenty of women saying they would starve themselves of water to not have to use the bathroom. This was actually one of the "tips" given to me on my first day of work.

giverofnofucks524 karma

Did you not find your job... fulfilling?

Kaynetal464 karma

With Amazon? Absolutely not. Though... I see what you did there, you sly dog.

Mrbiigstuff480 karma

Did anyone ever try and steal?

Kaynetal880 karma

All the time, as a picker it was my job to find each customers order in the warehouse, put it in a bin, fill that bin up, and put it on the conveyor belt when full, so I was the one that had to literally find your order, and in doing so, you come across a lot of things like candy and gum that have been torn open because I assume someone wanted a piece. However, the only items I ever saw stolen were just that, candy and gum.

mkhello371 karma

Thoughts on the recent Amazon Prime Day strikes and people boycotting Amazon on Prime Day? And thoughts on possible unionization of Amazon workers?

Kaynetal465 karma

Truthfully I can't comment on that without sounding ignorant, I don't know enough about what happened at the recent Prime Day protest to give an educated response. I do know the protests had something to do with the work conditions, but that's as far as my knowledge on the protest goes, and I support them 100% on that end, I fully believe the conditions need to change.

threenamer180 karma

How long until the robots take over?

Kaynetal231 karma

Unsure, the robots came after I was already long gone.

sugitime80 karma

Why do people still work there if it’s that bad? I could be wrong, but aren’t Amazon Fulfillment centers typically in large metropolitan (or adjacent) areas? This would make other jobs easier to come by. You could probably work 2 fast food jobs, make the same amount, and have less stress.

Is there some sort of growth opportunity, or benefit to working there?

Maybe to ask this a different way, what was your favorite part about working at the fulfillment center?

Kaynetal111 karma

Probably because it's $15/hr and 4 day work weeks, least it was for me and that's why I went in. Plus when I went in I had no idea how bad it was, I was completely in the blind.

My favorite thing about working there was the VTO (Voluntary Time Off) which they would send random people home if they (they meaning business and orders) were slow enough unpaid of course.

sugitime24 karma

Do they have a lunch/break area inside of the secure zone? Like somewhere you could store your lunch and go to without having to wait in that long security line?

Kaynetal46 karma

There is a lunch/break area yes but you still have to go through security to get to it because it's right next to the exit doors. So you're still stuck waiting in line for security checks. And if one of the metal detectors goes off on someone in front of you they have to search that person making you wait longer, which actually happens more often than not due to belts.

payden_cromwell74 karma

Ask you anything you say? Well then, if you had one chance to go skydiving would you?

Kaynetal90 karma

Oh man... It's only a dream of mine! One day, one day soon I will!

squid50s72 karma

Will people rip open and eat/use things prior to packaging them? For example, if they were packing candy, will anyone eat some of it before packaging it?

Kaynetal126 karma

Not that I have ever seen personally, no. The most I've ever seen were just opened bags of candy or gum that someone obviously tore into because they decided they wanted a piece of it and just left the bag in the bin for someone else to see, and if the next person is a decent human being they'll put that item in the red bin which was labelled for "damaged" items and these items would not be sent out to customers.

MsNamkhaSaldron26 karma

I’ve definitely heard that the warehouses can be pretty bad, so now you are confirming that so vividly. I’m sorry you had to go through that. It sounds worse than prison, and all for $15/hr!!

I am a bit more curious about the at-home call center job. Did you just go to amazon.jobs for that job too? What was the interview/hiring process like?

Kaynetal54 karma

Also, just as a precaution, all of Amazon's jobs will be done through amazon.jobs. If you ever get a job offer from amazon.net, it's a scam. I say this only because I've seen this scam done to several people before.

Kaynetal32 karma

Yeah, amazon.jobs for the work at home job, the interview is just your basic interview with a few scenarios thrown in where you need to pretend your interviewer is a customer, and you just go through a scenario with your interviewer as the customer and show how you would handle a situation they pick out over the phone. During the application process it throws you in a dummy training session to see how fast you are at handling calls, gives you a couple of different customer scenarios and asks you how you would handle each situation, though this one is multiple choice as to how you'd answer that, seeing as it's a dummy training session built into the application process.

BeepBoopWorthIt13 karma

How long ago did you work there? I ask because I wonder if the inclusion of robots (which you state above came in well after you left) might have changed the conditions some.

Kaynetal19 karma

About a year and half ago is when I quit.

Kaynetal9 karma

Working conditions are still the same though, I still talk to a couple of the people I worked with, and the only thing that's changed is now that they increased pay to $15/hr minimum, they train you in every department now, other than that, everything remains unchanged.

purpleglitteralpaca9 karma

Was this your first warehouse position? A lot of what you described are the same as any warehouse/manufacturing facility. Most call centers use that same system you described about the bathrooms for tracking loss of productivity. If you are having an “issue” they would prefer you just call out.

Kaynetal28 karma

It wasn't. My first warehouse job was with TRANE and it was light years better than Amazon.

Kaynetal17 karma

Also, yes, if you're having an issue, you're better off just calling out, but for a simple trip to take a leak? No excuse for that to count against you, especially if the bathroom is 5-10 minutes away from where you currently are in the warehouse. Now don't get me wrong, it wasn't always like that, there were times when the scanner would send me to an isle 2 seconds away from the bathroom, but it was very rarely like that.

Avatarius87-21 karma

How did you get hired? They usually have very low hiring standards and its a big reason why there are so many entitled people protesting the "harsh" working conditions.

Kaynetal9 karma

I just went to amazon.jobs and applied to the fulfillment center near me. A large majority of the people are hired on through temp agencies however which I was never too sure as to why, because Amazon does not interview you, not for a warehouse position at least. They just drug test you, background check you, and give you a start date.

Avatarius87-1 karma

Thanks for answering my question! I went in for a job interview after seeing an ad, but it was a room filled with people sitting at amazon provided computers waiting on someone to help them fill their application in and submit it to the website. They said no interview was needed. I walked out and went to the next interview I had lined up. It seemed like the quality of new hires was very low and I can only imagine the turnover rate.

Kaynetal10 karma

Yes, and the reason no interview is needed I assume is because the turn-over rate at the warehouse is so incredibly high that they just want bodies to keep up with the amount of people they lose on a weekly basis.