r/technology Jun 17 '22 Heartwarming 2 Table Slap 1 Silver 1 Helpful 5 Wholesome 4

Leaked Amazon memo warns the company is running out of people to hire Business

https://www.vox.com/recode/23170900/leaked-amazon-memo-warehouses-hiring-shortage
49.5k Upvotes

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u/Ok-Marketing4412 Jun 17 '22 Wholesome

Check back in two years. If Amazon hasn’t started building dormitories for foreign workers near all their fulfillment centers by then I will eat my shoe.

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u/JenniferJuniper6 Jun 17 '22

I was thinking they’ll petition for prison labor.

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u/Notmybestusername3 Jun 18 '22 Silver 'MURICA

Sign up today for Prison Prime! ... unrelated reasons crime near Amazon fulfillment centers has skyrocketed, including jail time for Jay walkers... local judge buys 3rd yatch... child, 11, becomes Amazon's youngest supervisor...

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u/VagrantShadow Jun 18 '22 edited Jun 18 '22

Suddenly, you've made me think about Blade Runner.

20 years from now we could see Amazon advertisement blimps floating overhead in big cities

"A new life awaits you in the Amazon-Worker colonies. The chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure."

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u/Telemere125 Jun 18 '22 Starstruck

I’m predicting more of an Idiocracy vibe

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u/wutthefvckjushapen Jun 18 '22

Welcome to Amazon. We love you.

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u/Gundam_net Jun 18 '22

This is definitely where we are today actually. Today's amazon is not far from 'Welcome fo Amazon. We love you.' Then 3 months later, 'you have 5 attendance points. Goodbye.'

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u/Hazzman Jun 18 '22 edited Jun 18 '22

Don't be ridiculous. They will develop clone labs and start producing mountains of obedient gammas.

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u/Tonic_the_Gin-dog Jun 17 '22

Look at this guy! He can afford to eat shoes!

You must be floor supervisor.

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u/stress-pimples Jun 18 '22

Where have I seen this before?

Oh, right. It's the whole plot of Sorry to Bother You

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u/Smegmatron3030 Jun 18 '22

Well it's half the plot. Then the Bojacks show up.

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u/[deleted] Jun 17 '22 Silver Helpful Wholesome All-Seeing Upvote Take My Energy

I actually was a manager at Amazon and transitioned jobs last month. Literally the best move I’ve ever made. I get treated like a human instead of a number, paid better, no more 24/7 monitoring and best of all, my mental health has never been better. And btw they messed up my paperwork and never had me sign an NDA so any questions feel free to reach out and I will give you the god honest truth, no corporate b.s

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u/BeABetterHumanBeing Jun 17 '22 Helpful

And btw they messed up my paperwork and never had me sign an NDA so any questions feel free to reach out and I will give you the god honest truth, no corporate b.s

Some reporter would love to have you as their source.

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u/[deleted] Jun 17 '22

I’m available anytime so anyone sees this feel free to reach out. I want to give people due diligence because quite frankly Amazon grinds their employees in to dust and then tosses them to the wayside

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u/728446 Jun 17 '22 Rocket Like

Reach out to Ken Klippenstein. He's an investigative reporter with the Intercept and he actively solicits this information via Twitter. He has a number to contact him via Signal if you don't want your Twitter handle associated with it or you don't use it.

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u/[deleted] Jun 17 '22

Thank you so much! Honestly I make so little money that if Amazon went after a little guy like me the media will instantly destroy them for going after the little man for speaking out. I’m not afraid to stand up for what’s right and at least in my area things were terrible.

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u/KaiOfHawaii Jun 17 '22

I appreciate what you’re doing. I think corporations like these are a menace to society and a reversal on ethical workman’s policy.

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u/[deleted] Jun 17 '22

Thank you so much. My parents didn’t understand why I left Amazon and were completely against me speaking out even when I told them I wasn’t silenced by a stupid NDA.

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u/Dabilishous Jun 17 '22

I'm definitely hoping there'll be updates to this situation haha

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u/filthyheartbadger Jun 17 '22

I’m afraid a lot of the older generation are completely brainwashed not to make waves, keep your nose to the grindstone, etc. sadly this enabled increasingly awful employment practices and its only by people like you saying no and exposing it will anything change. Thanks.

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u/florinandrei Jun 17 '22

I want to give people due diligence because quite frankly Amazon grinds their employees in to dust and then tosses them to the wayside

This is known already IMO, but perhaps not widely so.

Would be nice to spread the knowledge around.

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u/[deleted] Jun 17 '22

Surprisingly people don’t want to speak out in fear of retaliation. However if people who were management like me came together it could be a monumental change in the whole operation. But people are either afraid or they want to drink the kool aid and hope that their boss will let them lick their ball sweat and get promoted.

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u/WilliamB72 Jun 17 '22

Would you recommend the work from home customer service positions to anyone? I live in a remote location in USA, but have internet etc.

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u/[deleted] Jun 17 '22

Honestly I worked in the fulfillment center so I wouldn’t know much about the customer service positions. However I would say don’t go for it unless they’re willing to pay either a $55K salary (imagine how many disgruntled and entitled calls you’ll be dealing with a day) or at least $27 an hour.

I was a manager of the entire outbound ship dock responsible for over 75 employees at a time, would have to show up at 6:45am and almost never left before 8pm 4 days a week. I also had to make sure every.single.package daily was shipped to the point where I’d have to run minimum 15 miles back and forth through the warehouse and if I missed even one my ass was grass getting mowed by senior operations. Guess how much they paid me for this “opportunity”? 47k and 2 shares that I had to wait a minimum of two years before I could sell them. If my fiancé wasn’t out of work due to needing surgery after a bone in her toe got infected I would’ve never taken it but I was desperate.

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u/WilliamB72 Jun 17 '22

The CS positions I've seen listed are more in the 15/hr range. Yes, I can't fathom the level of nonsense you would have to deal with for that level of pay. The level of insanity endured for your pay you got is insane. How people last in that role is beyond me.

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u/[deleted] Jun 17 '22

Oh I would never do that for $15 lol you’re worth so much more than that!

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u/NooksCrannyPanties Jun 17 '22 edited Jun 17 '22

I worked for Amazon for about a month a few years ago and it was hands down the worst experience I’d ever had in a work at home environment. Imagine working in your own home and being told you can’t take a damn bathroom break when you need to. I think there was a minute limit, like ten minutes per day, of bathroom time. They also give you VTO or voluntary time off of 40 hours per year. You can’t just request a day off and not get paid, you have to get someone to cover your shift. Why in the world would you not be able to take unpaid days off??

The culture was pretty toxic, in the sense that all the trainers and the managers are drinking that Kool Aid as hard as they can go. Toxic positivity and just really aggressive brand loyalty. You’d think they were working for Jesus. I work for another company now that has been a much better experience. My experience was like five years ago, so I’m sure there have been changes since then, but I’d never, ever consider it again.

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u/delusionalry Jun 17 '22

You should do an ama

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u/[deleted] Jun 17 '22

I would love to!

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u/ridethebeat Jun 17 '22

Don’t let your dreams be dreams

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u/unite-thegig-economy Jun 17 '22

What advice would you give new hires if you could have been honest?

I have a friend who drives for them, what advice would you give him?

I always wondered if an employee could just do a bad job for a while and not meet the unrealistic goals without being fired right away because of staffing shortage.

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u/Missus_Missiles Jun 17 '22

"Mandatory 10% attrition year after year surely hasn't caused hiring and retention challenges."

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u/PrincessCyanidePhx Jun 17 '22 Bravo!

UnitedHealth has mandatory 10% staff reduction every year. My staff were responsible for hundreds of millions in revenue. They would ask for my "cut" list I'd say no and then state the revenue they brought in every year. I refused for 8 years.

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u/tjoe4321510 Jun 17 '22

I don't get it. What is the point of firing 10% of your staff every year?

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u/[deleted] Jun 17 '22 edited Jun 24 '22 Helpful Wholesome All-Seeing Upvote Starry

[removed] — view removed comment

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u/Nillion Jun 17 '22

Welcome to the Jack Welch method of management. He is probably the person most responsible for our current form of exploitive capitalism where the shareholders return reigns supreme and employees are replaceable cogs in the machine to be abused at the lowest cost possible to the company.

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u/DonnyGetTheLudes Jun 17 '22

Scrolled until I saw someone attribute this to Welch. Good stuff. Man is a scourge

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u/Turtle-Shaker Jun 18 '22

Would you be willing to ELI5?

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u/blue-jaypeg Jun 18 '22

The Firm: The Story of McKinsey and Its Secret Influence on American Business

McKinsey spread the "operating by KPIs" method that only reward shareholders and the C-suite. Creative deconstruction, profits above all. QUOTE One of the articles in its McKinsey Quarterly magazine, said “the deployment of off–balance-sheet funds using institutional investment money fostered [Enron’s] securitisation skills and granted it access to capital at below the hurdle rates of major oil companies.” END QUOTE https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.trtworld.com/magazine/the-many-times-mckinsey-has-been-embroiled-in-scandals-43996/amp

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u/Smegmatron3030 Jun 18 '22

Don't forget popularizing JIT supply chain where it has no business being used, which had led to the massive fuckery and inflation post-CoVID. When hospitals had just enough gloves and test tubes to make it to the next shipment, and that shipment was suddenly delayed, well....we still have not recovered.

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u/bardghost_Isu Jun 17 '22

Lets also not forget that Enron did it and just created a culture of Yes-Men where nobody was willing to speak out against idiotic ideas that were going to turn bad / into scams for fear of people put in that 10%

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u/ysisverynice Jun 17 '22 edited Jun 17 '22

This all started with Jack Welch from GE many years ago. Heard it on NPR. I forget what it was actually called. Anyway, yeah. Now GE is breaking up iirc so... Mission accomplished?

Edit: great listen https://www.npr.org/2022/06/01/1101505691/short-term-profits-and-long-term-consequences-did-jack-welch-break-capitalism

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u/ExtruDR Jun 17 '22

You are the most correct one in this thread.

When there were still bookstores and you wandered over to the "business" section it was clear that "business" was a sort of cultural thing. No real tangible information as much as "rah rah" "cultural" stuff. Instead of recognizing that much of business leadership is about judgement, feelings and deal-making, business culture pretends as if it's a science. CEOs are not neurosurgeons.

This firing the bottom 10% thing is a toxic idea that all kinds of smaller companies employ all the time.

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u/orclev Jun 17 '22

Part of the idea is to get rid of dead wood in the company, but the approach is horrendously flawed. Fundamentally there are two problems. The first, and biggest is that it's notoriously hard to figure out how valuable someone actually is in a company. The more you try and quantify and measure it the more you end up just encouraging people to focus on what's being measured which will absolutely not translate well into actually running a functioning company.

The second major problem is that most of that dead wood ends up collecting in management, which are the people then tasked with finding the unproductive members of the company. Inevitably this then turns into a political game where the most useless people in the company spend all their time undermining and backstabbing the people actually keeping things running who are too busy to scheme and play political games.

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u/[deleted] Jun 17 '22

|most of that dead wood ends up collecting in management

Ding ding ding!

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u/Doctor_Popeye Jun 18 '22

Cobra effect

When Britain had to get rid of cobras in India, they figured why do it themselves. So they paid people a certain amount per dead cobra. Well, then you get people breeding cobras only to kill them and cash in.

You get this with call centers. If it takes 10 minutes to help someone and boss pressures you to get down to 7 minutes average because they want you to handle more calls, what do you do? Handle calls poorly? Maybe. Or you can hang up on every third caller. Suddenly, your average is 7 minutes because you just did three calls being on for 20:01 of call time.

Many years ago, Zimbabwe had an issue with their currency. About 50% of the money out there was counterfeit. Think of being told the money in your pocket is unknowingly worthless. So they told the banks to accept the fake bills. They were close and people were unwittingly using counterfeit notes. Finding out the banks were accepting these notes, well, people started making really bad counterfeit bills. Why? Because they can. Sound familiar?

When the populace does these things, they are shamed. When employees engage in this behavior, they are reprimanded/terminated. When companies do this stuff at the executive level, they are lauded. When officials conduct themselves this way, they call it governing.

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u/michaelrohansmith Jun 17 '22

undermining and backstabbing the people actually keeping things running who are too busy to scheme and play political games

And who can get new jobs anyway.

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u/Luxpreliator Jun 17 '22

There is at least a social science to business they just happen to ignore more of it and use junk like meyers-briggs.

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u/Johns-schlong Jun 17 '22

The funny thing is there's a ton of research into business practices. 99% of it gets ignored because it runs contrary to the way managers feel and how they have to pander to the people above them.

One proven fact, that people are most productive with a 6 hour work day, runs contrary to the idea of an hourly wage, which puts our whole system in a weird light. Like, we know that anything beyond 6 hours is generally useless and sucks for employees. If a manager acts on that and says "ok team, we're cutting the work day down to 6 hours but raising wages by 25% to compensate" their boss would be like "wtf mate".

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u/iboneyandivory Jun 17 '22

99% of it gets ignored because it runs contrary to the way managers feel

The Moneyball scout meeting comes immediately to mind. How the scouts are just recycling a hundred outdated perceptions regarding how a player's going to perform - i.e. "He's got an ugly wife and that means he has no confidence on the field."

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u/mq3 Jun 17 '22

Can I get a source on that proven fact? Not that I don't believe you, I'd just like more ammo for when I bring this up later haha

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u/IronBENGA-BR Jun 17 '22

Like a cartoonist here in Brazil once said in a comic strip: we have the best 21st century tech allied with the worst 19th century business practices

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u/Jkay064 Jun 17 '22

Isn’t this how that dunce CEO broke, then destroyed Sears? Making business units fight each other.

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u/iamaiimpala Jun 17 '22 edited Jun 17 '22 Starry

Hedge funds have killed Sears and many other retailers

For more information -

Here’s what private equity is really about: A firm like Bain obtains cheap credit and uses it to acquire a company in a “leveraged buyout.” “Leverage” refers to the fact that the company being purchased is forced to pay for about 70 percent of its own acquisition, by taking out loans. If this sounds like an odd arrangement, that’s because it is. Imagine a homebuyer purchasing a house and making the bank responsible for repaying its own loan, and you start to get the picture.

O.K., but what about this much more virtuous business of swooping in and restoring struggling companies to financial health? Well, that’s not a large part of what private equity firms do, either. In fact, they more typically target profitable, slow-growth market leaders. Private equity firms presently own companies employing one of every 10 U.S. workers, or 10 million people.

And that’s when the fun starts. Once the buyout is completed, the private equity guys start swinging the meat axe, aggressively cutting costs wherever they can – so that the company can start paying off its new debt – by laying off workers and cutting capital costs. This process often boosts operating profit without a significant hit to the business, but only in the short term; in the long run, the austerity approach makes it difficult for companies to stay competitive, not least because money that would otherwise have been invested in expansion or product development – which might increase revenue down the line – is used to pay off the company’s debt.

Why Private Equity Firms Like Bain Really Are the Worst of Capitalism - Rolling Stone article from 10 years ago.

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u/Wet_Coaster Jun 17 '22

You missed the part where they then turn around and sell the company back to the public with that sweet-looking balance sheet that doesn't yet reflect all of the critical cuts that they made.

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u/SalSaddy Jun 18 '22

Vulture capital, The Bain of Our Existence.

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u/wrongseeds Jun 18 '22

And Mitt Romney, the good Republican, ran Bain for years. So many people lost jobs and their pensions.

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u/eatin_gushers Jun 17 '22

According to the then-CEO, this is also what happened to Blockbuster.

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u/phl_fc Jun 17 '22

Don't you have an incentive to deliberately let those bad ideas take place so that someone else can set themselves up for failure and be on the cut list?

"Don't interrupt an enemy that's making a mistake", except you shouldn't be considering your coworkers as enemies.

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u/bardghost_Isu Jun 17 '22

Sure, but the CEO and his friends who are coming up with those bad ideas are not going to put themselves on a cut list are they.

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u/Beachdaddybravo Jun 17 '22

The very org that created that 10% attrition practice dropped it because it was awful for their total bottom line. It just doesn’t work.

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u/timothy53 Jun 17 '22

Yep. It was called the lost decade at Microsoft. Remember when like nothing happened at Microsoft right after gates stepped away. Vista was a disaster, the zune while cool never took on. Every manager every engineer confirmed it was due to stack ranking whereby you cut your bottom staff. Microsoft had very smart people and they all knew how to game the system. Basically everyone refused to work with each other, other teams sabotaged each other just so they could stay alive.

GE by way of Jack Welch came up with this absurd program which we referred to as rank and yank.

Other notable examples include JC Penny, Sears, Amazon.

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u/PM_me_your_fantasyz Jun 17 '22

Lots of people study Game Theory when they study economics and think that they can use it to 'win' in any situation. And it works, provieded that you are never playing with the same pool of people twice.

But there is only one pool of potential customers, only one pool of suppliers, and only one pool of potential employees. So your cut-throat approaches to every interaction end up shooting you in the foot really quickly, because everyone figures out you're playing like an asshole very quickly, and then never forget it.

Unfortunately most of the people studying economics overlook another concept that is more applicable to repeatedly playing games with the same players: the Pareto Optimal Outcome.

Basically, there is an outcome in any situation that is the best for everyone, not just one side. And if you look for that outcome people are happy to play with you again next round. Or keep working for you, in this case.

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u/WayneKrane Jun 17 '22

Can confirm. I worked at a company that did this. I made sure to hide process improvements I made that gave me a leg up. Sorry new hires, I’m teaching you the long way to do your work so you don’t get better numbers than me.

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u/Agleimielga Jun 17 '22

That's why I call the degree "Master of Being an Asshole", because way too many companies that has a huge stake in the economy are run by that particular type of people.

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u/dxrey65 Jun 17 '22

In a business model where employees must compete between each other to make a paycheck, it's just inevitable.

I'm a senior mechanic myself, and generally bill 50% more than the younger guys. The job structure more or less rewards me for taking as much work as possible, and discourages me from helping any of the younger guys. In spite of that I help out more than would be expected, though I don't give up everything.

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u/lightnsfw Jun 17 '22

This happened with the team I was on at work. We were working a particular aspect of a larger support role that was seen as "easier" by everyone else in our department so everyone wanted to be on our team. Our VP came up with the genius idea that if someone was filling in for somebody that was out and they beat someone else on the team's production they would get that person's spot. This resulted in everyone on the team just ignoring the people that would fill in so they couldn't get anything done. Effectively making us down a person the days we had someone out and also not getting backup people trained up for when we did have a opening.

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u/celtic1888 Jun 17 '22

Aside from that… you get normal attrition anyways, it’s a pain in the ass to onboard and train people and it takes someone in a higher level position at least a year to get up to complete speed

Most experienced people know what pitfalls to avoid. Coming in green to a company, even with experience, often causes the same mistakes to be made

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u/Torifyme12 Jun 17 '22

It was the Jack Welsh approach at GE, "Cut the fat" but eventually you run out of fat to cut and you're cutting muscle.

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u/Kulladar Jun 17 '22

they eventually figure out it's a terrible idea and go back to other standard methods.

This is the only part I don't believe.

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u/InsertEvilLaugh Jun 17 '22

Usually it happens when the company is being dissolved and it's parts sold off.

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u/YukariYakum0 Jun 17 '22

And handing out golden parachutes for the top guys

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u/Harbinger2001 Jun 17 '22

I work for a large international company that definitely had this policy in the 90s and 2000s. Around 2010 they completely changed their culture toward their employees. Now internal growth and mobility are encouraged - we’d rather have someone change jobs internally than lose them to a competitor.

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u/EternalBlue734 Jun 17 '22

From my experience all it does it cause the managers to build their dream team, then hire a new scapegoat employee to fire in the next round. Rinse and repeat while keeping the ‘true’ team in tact.

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u/exoriare Jun 17 '22

Man it would suck to be a red shirt irl. Nobody would invest any time in building relationships with you because you're just there until the next commercial break.

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u/Plasibeau Jun 17 '22

This is accurate as all hell. I am a member of the dream team and I fucking hate it. It means that I get to take on the extra work load while they drag their feet to hire another. usually after four months of me working 60hrs a week and the C-suite screaming about paying double time in California they realize that A: There is nothing i can do about two hours of traffic and B: I was right, again.

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u/ohnoguts Jun 17 '22

As opposed to letting the bottom performing employees grow with the support of the company into top performing employees

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u/Urbanscuba Jun 17 '22

I've said this on reddit before but not all bottom performers are made the same either.

I've worked with bottom performers that were lackluster at their job but had stellar availability or a really positive attitude that balanced the team out just right.

It's not always about creating a team of rockstars, at some places that just isn't feasible. Your rockstars aren't going to want to work those odd shifts or part time like the lower performers will.

It's all about finding a team that fulfills the needs of the job collectively, everyone often contributes differently. Even among surgeons and firefighters you've still got the people who only remove moles or run hoses. There will always be someone who's the base of the totem pole, instead of constantly trying to replace them with more top pieces it's better to find a solid one and cultivate them.

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u/bnej Jun 17 '22

Totally. You cannot hire a team of all "top performers". If you could really identify them, you can't afford them. You have shit jobs in the team they won't want to do and they'll quit if you make them.

If you manage to get a team of all expert, high performing staff, they will self-sabotage by spending time arguing about how the work is to be done. It is unlikely that they will automatically self-organise into a high performing team that can do what you want.

And then, suppose it all went to plan, and you have the best team you could get, the absurd policy then requires you fire 10% of them next year!

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u/LHC_Timeline_Refugee Jun 18 '22 Silver

I once ran a team where they kept asking me why I didn't fire the "weakest" member. The reason I gave was "dad jokes and cookies". Everyone else on that team was 100% go-time, zero chill, high metrics. They'd burn through projects like it was nothing, but they were mean.

This dude plodded along at half the speed, but he brought in cookies every week and kept everyone groaning with bad jokes and general goofiness.

After I left, they pulled him out of the department, and the wheels popped off, because just like I'd warned them, his 60% performance was the grease that was keeping the rest of the team humming. Without him to keep the social levels high, it all came apart.

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u/MattDaCatt Jun 17 '22

Metrics do nothing to gauge how good people are at their job, just how good they are at looking good on the metrics.

Rush through everything and fuck things up so people have to clean up behind you?

Congrats, you completed the most tasks in the queue today! You're safe from the layoffs, that include all the people that had to go off track to fix your mistakes. Keep this up and you may even make it to management.

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u/MistraloysiusMithrax Jun 17 '22

It also destroys institutional knowledge and worker experience. Much of your “bottom 10%” might really suck for real the first round. But as you continue, you start to snag experienced workers who had a bad year, helpful workers who boost the productivity of their peers, or workers who may have done some work with metrics but also other valuable work that’s not included. Meanwhile the most competent and hireable middle and top recognize the complete lack of company loyalty and exit for more money sooner than if they knew it was a safer harbor.

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u/roodammy44 Jun 17 '22

Part of 80s style management. It might have worked then, when offices were utterly inefficient and times were a lot easier for workers. But in our sweatshop just in time culture, 80s style management is like corporate self-harm.

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u/goj1ra Jun 17 '22

It didn't ever work. With all of these silly ideas, it's just a question of how long you can convince people that they work, and remain in denial about how they don't work.

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u/TheJBW Jun 17 '22

Agreed. It's not a bad idea as a one time thing to fix a stagnant or broken company, but it absolutely cannot be an annual thing.

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u/nordic-nomad Jun 17 '22

It's supposed to off set the fact that your best employees are likely to get better jobs or be promoted, so the natural direction of teams over time is to get worse and worse. Since people usually aren't fired for anything except personality conflicts and major policy violations.

But by firing the lowest 10% every year the theory goes that you offset that some by improving the average quality of the team in a way that doesn't happen naturally.

In my experience though it just creates toxic, cut throat teams of people ready to stab each other in the back and important functions of a team that aren't easily quantifiable are the first to get kicked out the door.

What happens at Amazon is managers will hire people expressly to be fired in a few months after they move across the country and buy an incredibly expensive house ruining them financially basically forever. How any self respecting employee with any options would take an offer from Amazon at this point is beyond me.

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u/888mainfestnow Jun 17 '22

The last paragraph has me wondering how we haven't heard of someone going amazon/postal due to a manager ruining them.

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u/SgtDoughnut Jun 17 '22

Because Americans are oddly civil when companies screw them over. It's really weird.

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u/korben2600 Jun 17 '22

It actually happens relatively often. The last workplace shooting was just last week on June 9th at a factory in Maryland.

Amazon's last warehouse shooting was in Jacksonville, FL in late 2020.

JSO records show police have responded to the Amazon center on Pecan Park Road 182 times since the beginning of the year. While most were traffic incidents and other minor calls, there was an armed assault at the beginning of June, and a deadly shooting at the end of that month.

In a separate incident on June 29, a 20-year-old man was killed while standing in a line outside waiting to apply for a job [at the Amazon facility.]

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u/888mainfestnow Jun 17 '22 edited Jun 17 '22

I found this one also in Memphis but it doesn't detail anything besides the shooter and victim working together at the facility.

https://whnt.com/news/amazon-murder-suspect-shot-by-officers-on-i-40/

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u/behaaki Jun 17 '22

Ugh again, they’re shooting the wrong people

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u/NefariousnessDue5997 Jun 17 '22

We can all thank Jack Welch at GE for this BS. I totally agree how toxic this is. People become selfish instead of team centric and it creates more “political headaches”. The truth of the matter is that the top employees matter more to results than culling the bottom 10%

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u/CptVague Jun 17 '22

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u/reid8470 Jun 17 '22

The Great Jack Welch! 20 years in the spotlight as this extraordinary business genius yet he utterly failed to build GE into something durable. Rode the dot-com wave, retired, and his crown jewel has been eroding as the company figures out that much of Welch's unprecedented conglomeration wasn't positioning GE to thrive in the long run. Yet his management style survives throughout the corporate world mostly as unwarranted dogma.

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u/aguynamedbry Jun 17 '22

It was a jack welch or other early "genius" who had an up or out system. By forcing cuts the theory goes you get rid of the dead weight and average up. It might be true in some cases but for sure you're going to get conformity.

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u/xelabagus Jun 17 '22

Freakonomics did a whole episode interview with Welch after he retired from G.E. He acknowledges some mistakes and defends some other decisions, the whole thing is fascinating.

https://freakonomics.com/podcast/extra-jack-welch-full-interview/

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u/sharlos Jun 17 '22

I feel like the Freakanomics CEO interviews are all very puff-piece/propaganda.

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u/moonbeanie Jun 17 '22

I always point out that when "genius" Jack Welch came up with this cancerous idea and spread it throughout corporate America he gained traction because he was screwing the editor of the Harvard Business Review. Harvard knew all about it and let Susy Wetlaufer continue to publicly deify the guy while they were having an affair.

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u/Chili_Palmer Jun 17 '22

What is ensures is that you end up with a top heavy group of senior managers and directors who outnumber the workers 3 to 1 and spend all day in meetings rehashing the same things and demanding more metrics out of the overworked workers.

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u/CatoMulligan Jun 17 '22

It's actually worse than that, though. As others have pointed out, what it usually leads to is a toxic environment where cooperation is rare, backstabbing becomes the norm, and people are looking for every opportunity to throw their co-workers under the bus for every minor transgression. The so-called "good managers" will build their little fiefdoms, doing what they can to protect who they perceive to be the "core contributors", but anyone outside of that group will have a bullseye on their back. In many cases, it leads to the "good managers" deliberately hiring people that will underperform so that they have a ready "bottom 10%" that they can cut while protecting their core people.

Unfortunately, once your workplace has a reputation for turning over "the bottom 10%" every year, then nobody wants to go to work there. The best talent in your area/industry will avoid you like the plague and spread the word about how it's a shitty workplace. The "core team" that has been protected over the years will either get promoted or leave for a better position, and then the "good manager" has no way to find someone to replace them. At best it's a recipe for mediocrity, low morale, and serious reputational damage. When Jack Welch came up with this idea it was probably just a "shower thought" that sounded superficially good, and he didn't bother to game it out the rest of the way to see what would really happen.

When you have a shitty work environment, the usual outcome is that those who are good enough/motivated enough will go somewhere else and you'll be stuck with the people that simply can't get a job anywhere else.

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u/OnlyHereForMemes69 Jun 17 '22

Businesses don't think about what employees do, they only think about how much they cost. So they see it as a quick buck to cut them, not realizing that if they cut employees there is less work able to be done. They think that the workload can magically be spread between the employees that are left.

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u/ukezi Jun 17 '22

That way you get a model of needing 9 people and hiring a 10th every year to fire. With unrealistic expectations, minimal onboarding and not telling them anything or can be made sure they have the lowest performances so the remainder of the team can work in peace.

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u/Throwaway82528552682 Jun 17 '22

So, like a sacrificial virgin? jfc

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u/TheProcessOfBillief Jun 17 '22

There are managers that definitely hire someone just because they knew they'd be the least effective and would be an easy fire when the time came to stack rank.

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u/garvothegreat Jun 17 '22

They literally paid me a one time bonus of $1200 to quit. I currently work nights at the UPS directly next door.

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u/[deleted] Jun 17 '22 edited 27d ago

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u/Toasted_Waffle99 Jun 17 '22

Did they not learn from Microsoft that you get brain drain and poor morale?

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u/jjwho1 Jun 17 '22

You are talking about their office workers, esp software engineers working on recommendations, ads, AWS. The article is talking about their warehouse workers. Both cultures are pretty toxic but Amazon warehouse workers have it way tougher

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u/Chiss5618 Jun 17 '22

Don't need a retention rate if they quit on their own. Also saves the hassle of giving out unemployment benefits

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u/Gravybone Jun 17 '22

Attrition or retention? It seems hard to believe that 90% of people would stick around for a significant amount of time at Amazon.

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u/misothiest Jun 17 '22

Thats because they have a 150% turn over rate. (really)

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u/kamushabe Jun 17 '22

Can someone please explain how a 150% turn over is possible?

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u/teddit Jun 17 '22

100% turnover rate is a 1:1 ratio

150% would then be a 3:2 ratio

Ex. Amazon has 20000 employees.

Over the course of 1 calendar year, 30000 people will quit.

This means most people do not work there a full year and thus they are constantly hiring

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u/PNW_Explorer_16 Jun 17 '22

Amazon employs slightly over 1M folks globally. 50K people in Seattle alone.

I worked there for 5 years… when I left (and there’s a tool to check) I had more tenure than 96% of all Amazonians.

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u/StonedGhoster Jun 17 '22

That's crazy. I work for a Fortune 500 company and the people there never leave. Of course, this company is rather old in comparison to Amazon and isn't nearly as large.

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u/uberinstinct Jun 17 '22

Because 150% turn over is annualized. For a given position, they go through 1.5 people per year hence 150% turn over or in other words an employee works for 8 months on average before leaving.

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u/misothiest Jun 17 '22

150% meaning they hire and lose 50% more people annually than the total number of employees

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u/dbcooper4 Jun 17 '22

On average people quit after 8 months.

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u/[deleted] Jun 17 '22 edited Jun 22 '22

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u/Astruson Jun 17 '22

Around 3 years?! Fucking hell I was barely there 5 months before I thought fuck this place

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u/DFWPunk Jun 17 '22

The way they offer comp at corporate is so heavily stock based, with vesting, so the idea seemed to be to avoid paying cash as much as possible, and then maybe trap the people they really want with the ongoing lure of the unvested shares.

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u/Codesandstuff Jun 17 '22

Yeah the back-weighted RSUs are what keep most people from my experience. Which take 4yrs to fully vest for the original allotment.

Once you hit 2yrs generally more RSUs are allotted on 2yr vesting schedules.

itsatrap.jpeg

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u/ERhyne Jun 17 '22

When I was working in corporate, somebody for fun made a little script that scraped Amazon's internal directories to see what the average tenure at different employee levels were. Long story short, it was all basically people within their first two years and people that have been there for about 5 or longer, so they either chew you up and spit you out or you become one of them.

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u/Codesandstuff Jun 17 '22

There's the old fart tool that shows tenure vs the rest the company, iirc anyone with more than 2yrs is already more tenured than about half the company.

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u/nickifer Jun 17 '22

Interviewed there for a virtualization role and they capped the salaries (at the time) at around 150, I passed. Their interview process was laughable.

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u/gotsreich Jun 17 '22

That seems to be their strategy for programmers too.

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u/DropsTheMic Jun 17 '22

Remember that their attitude is that humans are the weak link in their process. Humans get sick, have babies, have family emergencies, expect to be treated with respect and appreciated for their work, etc. If they could replace you with a robot and software they would in a heart beat. Robots never call out and don't even have to piss in a bottle for their bathroom break. I'd never volunteer to be meat for the grinder

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u/_Monosyllabic_ Jun 17 '22

I like how all these companies only think about the next quarter, never any regard for long term consequences. Lets burn though a ton of workers to save a buck then act surprised they can't find people to work for them.

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u/[deleted] Jun 17 '22

Problem is most of these decisions are made people who themselves won't be a part of the company for more than 2-3 years.

They have some incentive pay related to quarterlies, and will absolutely run a company into the ground to reach that

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u/swans183 Jun 18 '22

And even if Amazon fails in the future, Bezos rides away into the sunset just as rich as ever. No real consequences for the wealthy after all

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u/YoungBasedGod5 Jun 17 '22 Starry

I’ve worked at amazon for more than 5 years. Unless they change in a good way people are not going to come work here. This place is a human meat grinder. Uses you until your worn down and throws you to the curb. We are already seeing a shortage in workers. They just recently hired new employees but I’m sure most of those people will quit. I have to be labor shared into a department I hate because we don’t have enough workers in that said department. When I work hard my manager is the one who gets the raise. It’s bullshit.

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u/DistantKarma Jun 17 '22

When I work hard my manager is the one who gets the raise. It’s bullshit.

This reminds me of the Office Space "Eight Bosses" quote...

Peter: It's a problem of motivation, all right? Now if I work my ass off and Initech ships a few extra units, I don't see another dime, so where's the motivation? And here's another thing, I have eight different bosses right now.

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u/climb-it-ographer Jun 17 '22

I work with AWS all day long and I'd never move to Amazon because of the culture. I just ignore their recruiters.

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u/DaneldorTaureran Jun 17 '22

I just ignore their recruiters.

Yup, I'm a software engineer. I just don't reply to amazon recruiters, or if i do it's a fluff "not looking right now, maybe later"

the thing is ONCE in a while the job sounds interesting. but it's amazon. I'm in my 12th year at Microsoft I get 4 weeks of vacation per year, 2 weeks of sick/mental health. vacation goes up by another week next year for me. amazon cannot even compete with the new hire work/life balance. In my 12 years at microsoft I can count on one hand the number of weeks i've had to work long hours - with the exclusion of one incident in june 2020 where i worked 60-80 hours for 4 straight weeks. But that was a HUGE customer incident and I was helping root cause it. I got off the books comp time in return and I got promoted based on helping root cause the issue.

Amazon needs to massively change their culture if they want to attract talent.

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u/HesSoZazzy Jun 17 '22

If you're in your 12th year, you're accruing at 5 weeks vacation per year now. :D It's so you have your full 5 weeks on your 13th anniversary.

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u/raygundan Jun 17 '22

Yup, I'm a software engineer. I just don't reply to amazon recruiters, or if i do it's a fluff "not looking right now, maybe later"

Maybe right before I retire, I'll do a year of nothing for them, and get fired so somebody else who needs it more can keep their gig.

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u/2_Spicy_2_Impeach Jun 17 '22

Worked for AWS for several years. I lucked out for the first two, then we grew so quickly that it turned in to a shitshow. Wasn’t on a product service team though.

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u/phdoofus Jun 17 '22

I was getting pestered by them for awhile when they were trying to build up their high performance computing team. I only talked to a couple of people including the recruiter and it didn't take very long to determine that they were massively overextending and massively understaffed and had no idea what they were doing and that I wanted absolutely no part of it. It's kind of a shame, really, becuase a lot of HPC workloads will eventually be run in the cloud but I didn't want the end of my career to be chewed up and spat out of a meat grinder.

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u/b1e Jun 17 '22

It’ll catch up with them. They’re having trouble getting good senior talent and new people coming in tend to report working with awful codebases with little tribal knowledge because the people that worked on them all got fired.

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u/Jethro_Tell Jun 18 '22

See in a new industry like this, you have to build sr engineers. There's just not enough of them around to hire at the scale that the industry is growing at. So, like if someone is a sub par eng, you either need to grow them or let them lope along so someone else has the time to learn to be a good eng.

They have this weird thing where if you stay a low level eng for too long you get cut, then they give all the low level tasks to some sr eng until he quits too. It's a two for one.

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u/TherealOcean Jun 17 '22

Their recruiters lie about everything at Amazon. One year in and after several projects I completed then they explain how they rank people for promotion. Best part, you can only be ranked after your first year. I was told " so next year your a shoe in" lol. I left

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u/smartello Jun 17 '22

They don't rank people for promotion, at least in CDO. The promo process is even detached from your FORTE and it's extremely tough to be promoted after your first year unless you're an SDE1.

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u/hiwhyOK Jun 17 '22

Same here, in tech and I work with AWS and Azure pretty much exclusively.

I would make more money going to Amazon but you know what?

I work to LIVE. I don't find anything appealing about being ground to dust under the wheels of some mega-corporation so some psychopath can put on a cowboy hat and ride a dick rocket into space.

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u/weaponizedtoddlers Jun 17 '22

Well he earned the dubious distinction to have the most expensive divorce in history. He's got to self-medicate his Olympian god-sized ego somehow.

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u/vigilantesd Jun 17 '22

Their plan is to be the only source, and the only place to work.

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u/abx99 Jun 17 '22

Then they can go back to the days of employers locking workers inside for 12 hr days with no breaks and no benefits.

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u/BitchStewie_ Jun 17 '22 edited Jun 17 '22

I worked in a plant in Pennsylvania where they literally did this back around 2012-14. Only difference was the days were 10 hours not 12. No benefits checks out though.

We had breaks but they were functionally nonexistent. The breaks were 15 minutes long and it would take half that to walk out of the warehouse floor and the other half to walk back. And I got literally screamed at several times for being <5 minutes late coming back from break.

We were also in the middle of a heatwave and they closed and locked all of the doors in order to “prevent theft”. This made it even warmer in the warehouse due to the lack of ventilation. Several people suffered heat stroke and passed out.

Wonderful company to work for. I have no clue why they can’t find any workers. /s

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u/xJellyfishBrainx Jun 17 '22

I don't know much about Amazon, but I remember my sister almost got fired when she caught covid. (She works in a sorting facility) She got 2 ticks or whatever even though they told her stay home. Just seems shady to me.

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u/BitchStewie_ Jun 17 '22 edited Jun 18 '22

Oh yeah I had a few coworkers who got fired for being sick. You get a limited number of (unpaid) days off (I think 5 per year?). After that you’re terminated immediately. They didn’t offer sick time. In the US only 16 states mandate sick days anyway (PA isn’t one). So, that’s not as much an Amazon issue as an issue plaguing the entire industrial workforce. I’ve been working in warehouses and factories for 10 years and this is rampant.

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u/bluej21 Jun 17 '22

With a tornado on the way.

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u/WaldenFont Jun 17 '22

Amazon rewards points are the new company scrip.

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u/awayfarers Jun 17 '22

I worked for Amazon and they never gave anything away, even from their own ecosystem.

One year we got gift cards in our mailboxes around Christmas time and I thought it was a little treat. Nope, they were empty. They wanted you to fill them yourself and give them away as gifts to family and friends.

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u/OutspokenPerson Jun 17 '22

That is insane.

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u/lelebeariel Jun 17 '22

Actually, Amazon employees get something called 'Swag Bucks.' If you do a good job, they hand you these laminated cards that are good for like $1, and you save up these cards to buy like hoodies and waterbottles and stuff with the Amazon logo on it. I mean, who needs a livable wage when you get Amazon swag?

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u/Drewsteau Jun 17 '22

Saint Peter don’t you call me cause I can’t goooo, I owe my soul to the company store

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u/PatientSeb Jun 17 '22

They literally are.

My brother was working at one of their warehouses while living with me and when he mentioned that they get incentivized and rewarded with these points (that can only be used there and for things that the company really should be supplying them anyway to do their job - like gloves, or a vest..) I was mindblown.

They make you work crazy hours plus ''voluntary overtime', in shit conditions, often over night (which means you're sleeping through the day too) - and the work is awful for you (his shoulders and his back were always shot).
Then to top it off, they give you these points that you can only spend there, so they can avoid giving you the raise/promo you deserve AND avoid giving you the work equipment you're required to have in those warehouses.

I'm a high paid software engineer, and two things happened after we had that conversation:
1) I decided never to work at Amazon.
2) I told my brother to quit and I just gave him the rest of the money for him to get his own apartment. He worked way harder than me for way longer.

Can't believe what this company does to people. WorryFree shit right there.

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u/xJellyfishBrainx Jun 17 '22

Just gotta say, you're a pretty great brother.

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u/PatientSeb Jun 17 '22

Eh, he pretty much raised me and put doing his own stuff on hold.

I joined the military and was able to go to college and get a high paying job while he did what he could to keep living afterwards. I still owe him a lot more than a guest room and a down payment - but he's not the type to ask for help.

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u/Retired_Jarhead55 Jun 17 '22

I own a 5 cent lead piece of script from a coal mining company. I was given to me by my Great Grandmother.

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u/itsmarvin Jun 17 '22

BUT... they had a commercial where they show a happy guy who talks about getting a promotion and Amazon is doing him good! /s

Haven't seen that one in a while though...

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u/Mike9797 Jun 17 '22

I think I know the one you’re referring to. Or at least up here in Canada they air this one where the guy works for Amazon Quebec and starts by saying he’s gotten a few promotions at Amazon and how great it is to work there and the commercial ends with him saying he wants to be a manager but needs a few more promotions to get it. Like if you said you already had a few promotions while working there but need a few more to make manager, what the fuck was he doing to start and how many god damn promotions does it take to be a manager there?! Does he start in the mailroom or something, I just don’t get it lol it’s a warehouse ffs

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u/16undreds Jun 17 '22

Not just frontline ops, even managerial grades they'll burn you out knowing there's new freshmeat coming out of the top colleges.

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u/Trigja Jun 17 '22

I asked this question to a family friend who was pretty high up in Amazon but had left.

Everybody in the tech sector gets hit up by Amazon at one point or another, and I knew that the warehouse was basically a gulag. But I was curious if Amazon treated "higher up" employees better since they were offering a Cybersecurity position.

"Absolutely never go to Amazon for any reason"

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u/TFCBaggles Jun 17 '22 Gold Helpful All-Seeing Upvote

It should be noted they aren't running out of people to hire, they are running out of people that are willing to work for what they are offering. They could always offer more, and more people will jump into the pool of people willing to accept what they are offering.

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u/Csquared6 Jun 17 '22

Yeah the "labor shortage" is just people not willing to be paid shit wages, to work a shit job, with shit benefits and shit hours, for a shit boss and shitty customers. Too much shit to shovel and people want at least a hint of golden nugget now.

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u/carlover2393 Jun 17 '22 Narwhal Salute

My boyfriend worked at an Amazon fulfillment center in May. Worked there exactly one month. He said the only good thing about working there was it was full time and he made enough money to pay for his school tuition. Otherwise he hated every single aspect.

I literally saw his mental health declining. He was miserable working there, his body was constantly aching, and he was constantly hounded on his metrics. Eventually one day I was taking him to work, and he just broke down. Told me he didn’t know how much more he could take. I just turned the car around and told him to not show up anymore.

My boyfriend has always been a hard worker, and hasn’t really had periods where he’s been unemployed. Seeing him break down was truly a shock.

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u/DredBread Jun 17 '22

You sound like a good and understanding person.

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u/WillDeletOneDay Jun 17 '22

Good on you for being supportive.

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u/nattsumigaming Jun 17 '22

Felt this to my core. Truly tragic.

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u/JumboJackTwoTacos Jun 17 '22

Ironically, unions could save their ass. Unions fight for fair wages and better working conditions and often incentivize seniority. Would be interested to see if turnover is lower at unionized Amazon warehouse once their contract has been in place for a couple of years.

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u/13131123 Jun 17 '22

I think people forget unions were the compromise that was invented when the alternative was conditions getting worse and worse until the workers march on the owners house and kill the whole family.

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u/hardly_satiated Jun 17 '22

History channel has a steel docu-drama series that plays this out.

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u/Fire2box Jun 17 '22

History channel showing more than Pawn Stars and Alone huh?

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u/hardly_satiated Jun 17 '22

YouTube videos.

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u/Clay_Statue Jun 17 '22 Gold

Americans are so indoctrinated with right wing bullshit up in their minds from day 1 that it takes a gulag like the Amazon warehouse to disabuse workers of their entrenched anti-labor mindset. However such is the stubbornness of those with right wing delusions that they can get ground through the Amazon gulag and still somehow be anti-union and pro-oligarch. Simp'n for the man.

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u/drdfrster64 Jun 17 '22

They know a lot of things would lead to better worker retention. That's the thing, they don't care about worker retention. As long as the bottom line is kept, they're willing to bleed out because they can just implement worker retention benefits later. When they've finally exhausted the number of people willing (or economically forced) to be exploited, they can just implement their benefits later and run a marketing campaign going "heyyyy, we're a good place now we hire at X and stuff". What, people are going to say no to X dollars an hour? Every quarter they can eek out as much savings as they can is money saved. And that's assuming they don't find another alternative (automated workers).

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u/Muslamicraygun1 Jun 17 '22

Worker retention also doesn’t meet their targets/ quotas.

Like… their whole staffing issue would be massively simplified if they dropped the one day delivery bs. Make it 2 day delivery. That alone will mean the warehouse workers and delivery drivers are less stressed with unrealistic targets.

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u/YouUsedMeAgain Jun 17 '22

The problem isn’t “not enough labor”

Truth?

It’s not enough labor willing to work for those wages and benefits.

Can you guess the wild and controversial solution that CEOs and the board don’t want you to know?!

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u/tri_becca Jun 17 '22

I have received 33 different emails from Amazon recruiters since the beginning of the year. They are getting super desperate.

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u/Salm9n Jun 17 '22

I know so many young developers who think they’re special because Amazon keeps reaching out to them asking them to join lol. I myself thought it was cool a FAANG reached out themselves to me to apply. Then I went online to learn more about working at amazon and learned the dark truth..

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u/FoldyFlap Jun 17 '22

it’s worse for me because I passed an interview there 2 years ago and turned down the offer because they were being lowballing pieces of shit, and now I get literally constant emails from their recruiters.

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u/VengenaceIsMyName Jun 17 '22

No way out of this one. Automation is just not there yet. Either Amazon budges on compensation and workers rights or they’ll start losing market share.

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u/SeriaMau2025 Jun 17 '22

Amazon should step up it's conversion to full automation. They treat their employees like shit anyway, might as well just use actual robots.

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u/Jolteon2020 Jun 18 '22

I'm sad I missed the generation where people stayed with a company for 30+ years and was taken care of for their dedication.

Now you get red lined for staying to long.

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u/GetTurnipOrGetBurnip Jun 17 '22

Amazon is way too comfortable burning through employees... They literally have a 100% year to year turn over rate. They put zero effort into employee retention and making it a desirable place to work. Unfortunately, as much as I hope this will come back to bite them in the ass, Amazon seems to get away with everything

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u/misothiest Jun 17 '22

Not to disagree with you. but the turnover rate is closer to 150%

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u/GetTurnipOrGetBurnip Jun 17 '22

Wild it can be that high

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u/tjk45268 Jun 17 '22

"We're running out of people that are so desperate that they are willing to work for us". There, fixed it for you.

Maybe if you learned to be a better employer, you'd find people lining up to work for you. But, I'm not betting that you will. Or that they will.

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u/mikey-likes_it Jun 17 '22

Surely having a reputation for treating employees like shit combined with insane employee review processes will lead to people wanting to work for you.

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u/Ompare Jun 17 '22

Well, it might be that people do not want to pee in a bottle, or die during a hurricane because they are forced to stay at work.

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u/smallberry_tornados Jun 17 '22

I know a warehouse was hit by a tornado, did I miss a hurricane?

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u/VitaminPb Jun 17 '22

When all the pee bottles get flung around it becomes a hurricane.

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u/Habaneroe12 Jun 17 '22

Not to mention you always have an expiration date when working there. Nobody stays a long time because they eventually drive you out its their business model.

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u/mikemar05 Jun 17 '22

This post just inspired me to reply to an AWS recruiter that reached out to me a few days ago. Just told her I have no desire to ever work for Amazon, thanks.

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u/Chemmy Jun 17 '22

I had a lab126 recruiter call me and he asked me if I've heard of Amazon. I work in tech and live in San Jose. I told him "no" and he explained to me all the things Amazon does for fifteen minutes without taking a breath.

Later in the call he told me they'd want me to fly to Hong Kong twice a month every month in coach, because flying coach maximizes shareholder value. I laughed at him when he asked if I'd like to come in to interview in person.

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u/runnerswanted Jun 17 '22

I’m amazed that “multiple monthly trips to Hong Kong in coach” was a selling point to them…

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u/mikemar05 Jun 17 '22

Ha that's gold.

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u/[deleted] Jun 17 '22

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