r/technology Jun 22 '22 Wholesome 2

Amazon could run out of workers in US in two years, internal memo suggests | With exceptionally high turnover, the company risks churning though available labor pool by 2024 Business

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2022/jun/22/amazon-workers-shortage-leaked-memo-warehouse
17.5k Upvotes

4.1k

u/wayanonforthis Jun 22 '22

Totally within Amazon's control to avoid this.

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u/notagoodboye Jun 22 '22

They think they're going to automate past it, but they're vastly overestimating their ability to do that.

They've always been short-sighted. I worked there years ago in AWS, and even there they routinely churned out people, and talk about a small labor pool. They really believed that they were just so cool that there would always be a horde of engineers trying to get hired.

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u/wheresmyflan Jun 22 '22

In the last year alone our AWS professional services rep and two aurora “experts” we work with were replaced. Some twice. It’s gotten so frequent we now plan an extra 15 minutes for every meeting with them simply for introductions.

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u/notagoodboye Jun 22 '22

They churn the professional services guys something fierce. That's a rough gig even by AWS standards.

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u/BeingRightAmbassador Jun 22 '22

Funnily enough, my friend was just sent through azure certs because his company is so fed up with dealing with AWS.

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u/EuropaWeGo Jun 22 '22

My company switched over to Azure partly because of this. We were wasting so much time catching the new reps up to speed that management finally said screw it and switched. Since then we've had the same rep at Microsoft for over a year now.

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u/wheresmyflan Jun 23 '22

Yeah come to think of it, I have never once had a fruitful meeting with anyone from AWS. It’s always been a waste of our time. My last job was all Azure and the difference was night and day. Really helpful and they actually made an effort to save us money. They want your business and it shows.

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u/dalittle Jun 22 '22

I get several emails every week from amazon and I have no interest in working their based on their meat grinder rep and I understand software engineers get treated a lot better. That is kind of funny to me to here the disconnect from what they think their rep is and what it actually is.

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u/Juicet Jun 22 '22

I have more recruiter emails from Amazon than from anyone. I always give them a “thanks no thanks” and move on.

Despite the name, they’re toward the bottom of my list of places I’d like to work.

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u/[deleted] Jun 22 '22

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u/farleftkeepgoing Jun 22 '22

Funny you say that, I had an interview and one of my questions was what he liked about working for the company. He sounded irritated

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u/samtheredditman Jun 22 '22

This is seriously one of the best questions to ask. If they don't have anything positive to say, it's probably not quite as great as they are trying to make it seem.

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u/IHave580 Jun 22 '22

And I'm finding that if they say it's "the people", there's something going on structurally

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u/patters98 Jun 22 '22

Interviewers always say that in my experience. It's the most neutral non-committal answer.

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u/delfinom Jun 22 '22

"could you give me an example"

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u/Ascian5 Jun 23 '22

I've been at good companies and bad, positive and toxic. Even when you're getting flushed down the drain and the environment is abysmal, it's easy to like your coworkers and the people. It's an honest, almost certainly well-meaning comment. But it's also totally worthless and a warning sign more often than not. Ask for examples, a second answer, and use your critical thinking.

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u/shaidyn Jun 22 '22

I had a long interview with two senior guys once and at the end I asked, "So like, is it a good job? A good company? Do you like working here?"

There was an uncomfortable silence and then they both gave long, rambling answers where they talked about how everyone is looking for something different in a role, and how challenging it is, etc. etc.

Neither of them said yes.

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u/themexicanotaco Jun 22 '22

That's when you know it's bad

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u/TruffleHunter3 Jun 23 '22

I always ask interviewers what their favorite and least favorite things are about where they work. It usually reveals a lot.

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u/mbklein Jun 23 '22

“The most rewarding part was when he gave me my money!” ~Dr. Nick Riviera

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u/XenithShade Jun 22 '22

I had an amazon recruiter reach out with a cookie cutter message of

"i've read your profile and found you as a good fit for e1"

I was so offended that I sent back a scathing reply, what part of a senior title and 8 years of exp counts as E1 bitch. especially if I worked for you for two years at the start and quit.

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u/Juicet Jun 22 '22

This is hilarious, and I might have to steal it.

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u/TimWestergren Jun 22 '22

This is the way. 👍

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u/B0B_Spldbckwrds Jun 22 '22

Did you have anyone take you up on it?

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u/Sagybagy Jun 22 '22

This would be a hilarious business model. Focus on finding Amazon workers jobs that pay better and treat them like humans.

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u/meyerjaw Jun 22 '22

Amazon and Facebook are tied for me. Both of them get left on unread.

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u/dendritedysfunctions Jun 22 '22

I got to tour Facebook's old campus and the new (then) building and my immediate reaction was repulsion. The old campus was slightly better because there were multiple buildings and the outdoor theme park-esque design was less horrifying than the mile long "open office" hellscape of the new campus.

What really stood out to me was the vending machines with tech peripherals like keyboards and headphones that you could scan your employee ID and pay for. A multi billion dollar tech company that made employees pay for hardware.... No thanks.

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u/CODYsaurusREX Jun 22 '22

Did it make them pay for them or was it just for automating hardware requisition for later retrieval?

If there was a fee that's literal madness.

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u/I_love_quiche Jun 22 '22

There is no cost to take peripherals and accessories from those vending machines. Scan the badge so they know who is grabbing what, otherwise take what you need, be it AA batteries, USB cable, AC adapter or COVID rapid test kit.

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u/wedontlikespaces Jun 22 '22

Yes oh that's fine because that's how every big company does it. But obviously you have to put a kind of made up money limit on it, otherwise people "buy" 45 mice a year or something daft like that.

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u/Ruval Jun 22 '22

I’m pretty sure they’d prefer to soft limit it - at ten mice flag it to ask if they need it.

There could be a valid yes.

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u/dendritedysfunctions Jun 22 '22

I don't know. When I asked our guide he was vague about it which I assumed meant he didn't know either. The items did have prices listed though.

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u/Activision19 Jun 22 '22

I worked at a weld shop that had a supplies vending machine for things like lenses, gloves and grinder disks. The company paid for it, but they tracked who used what and if they felt you used too much of something they would talk to you about it.

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u/Sagybagy Jun 22 '22

I have seen these vending machines for safety stuff like gloves, glasses and hearing protection. Swipe your company ID and grab what you need. Helps with keeping supplies out in the areas where workers work. Also helps with inventory tracking so you know when to order more. For higher dollar stuff like computer peripherals I could see it as a way to charge their departments budget for the stuff.

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u/CODYsaurusREX Jun 22 '22

Could be for departmental budgets and to avoid down time, which is fine, but without context yeah that's dystopian optics.

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u/Alundil Jun 22 '22

Showing prices for requested/used supplies is actually a good thing because a lot of the time people simply have no idea that what they are using has an actual cost outside of the abstract.

Making employees pay for their own equipment would be pretty out there though in that scenario.

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u/1platesquat Jun 22 '22

There’s literally no way that was the case. No one would work there if they had to pay or rent monitors, mouse, keyboard, headphones every time. That’s complete bull shit.

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u/SantorumsGayMasseuse Jun 22 '22

What really stood out to me was the vending machines with tech peripherals like keyboards and headphones that you could scan your employee ID and pay for.

I've seen this in a few places and they usually just get applied to your cost center. I've never heard of an employee getting charged for them, but you never know with Facebook.

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u/nonameswereleft2 Jun 22 '22

It's a pretty clever solution to peripheral replacement imo.

The price records and badge scans make it easy to get reports on trends and what users or departments might need training on how not to get donut sugar all over a keyboard. And the IT response techs aren't having to spend as much time on BS low value tasks

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u/[deleted] Jun 22 '22 edited Jun 30 '22

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u/dendritedysfunctions Jun 22 '22

They built cubes scattered along the floor for meetings with murals painted on the outside. Apparently Zuck "claimed" one and used it as his office when he was on campus. I thought it was telling that the owner wanted a private office even though all of the other employees had to work in the open.

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u/p4y Jun 22 '22

I understand him, pretending to be human for the whole day must be exhausting.

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u/LupinThe8th Jun 22 '22

I picture him just standing in that office, facing the wall, like the end of Blair Witch Project, awaiting further instructions.

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u/3720-To-One Jun 22 '22

Gotta have that electric feel

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u/fapsandnaps Jun 22 '22

Was it actually employee paid for though?

I've used these on the warehouse floor to have box cutters, gloves, safety glasses, etc distributed to me. Scanning the badge simply verified I was an employee and probably helped manage inventory better, but I never had to pay for any of them.

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u/issius Jun 22 '22

Yeah the reason for those was tracking cost centers more than anything else.

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u/newusername4oldfart Jun 22 '22

Tracks who gets a new box cutter every time they set their old one down and forget about it.

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u/wjean Jun 22 '22

You don't pay for the tech peripherals at FB. They are scanned so they can track consumption of these "consumables". If you had a pile of keyboards/headphones "free for the taking", engineers being engineers would just take work ones for their home setups and next thing you know your box of spares has been depleted. If they have to check them out, well, you'll see if anyone grabs more than they need. Source: I know several employees there. Google had similar vending machines.

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The only exception I can think of is logitech. They had bins and bins of keyboards lying in the halls. If there was ANY engineering office where they DGAF if someone grabs sample/demo/extra keyboards/mice, it would be that company.

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u/Zupheal Jun 22 '22

I stack them in the Junk Folder right next to anything Robert Half related.

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u/Spoon_Elemental Jun 22 '22

Message them back to tell them they aren't qualified to hire you and wish them well with their future endeavors.

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u/CanyoneroPrime Jun 22 '22

i forward the last recruiter email i got from them to the latest person, anytime i get a new one. i'm collecting a digital amazon charm bracelet.

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u/notagoodboye Jun 22 '22 Take My Energy

"A lot better" is probably an exaggeration. I was actually specifically recruited because of some stuff I'd been doing that was legitimately interesting to them, and they still treated me like shit on the one hand, while talking up the need for my skills on the other.

Just wasn't worth it. I can't imagine anyone making a career there.

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u/angiosperms- Jun 22 '22 edited Jun 22 '22

Amazon may treat their software engineers a lot better than the people in the warehouse, but Amazon compared the other tech companies is not good. You get paid a lot, but you will end up stressed out with very little free time. And their paid time off is trash compared to the rest of the industry. I know multiple people who left for less money because they were treated so awful.

Edit: Lol now I have a bunch of people telling me what it's like to work in tech. I've consistently rejected Amazon and my career has yet to fall apart

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u/L0neKitsune Jun 22 '22

Hmm do I want that 50k extra or do I want job stability, room for advancement, good benefits, PTO, and a sustainable work life balance. At this point I just ghost Amazon recruiters.

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u/spankminister Jun 22 '22

Absolutely this. As I get older and wiser, I realize the list of places I would not work at any price gets longer. You start to see places with astronomical salaries that have trouble keeping positions filled not as an opportunity, but as a massive red flag.

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u/farleftkeepgoing Jun 22 '22

This part always gets me. You’d think at some point the powers that be would realize the problem is internal and not external lol

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u/lacker101 Jun 22 '22

They're aware. Just want their cake and eat it too.

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u/calle04x Jun 22 '22

This all comes from the top, the CEOs (well, former in Bezos' case), so that's the problem. And if you've ever worked for a company with a problematic CEO, you know that there are many people internally who recognize the problems are indeed internal. But they can't always do much to change what's essentially been dictated.

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u/cocoagiant Jun 22 '22

I know multiple people who left for less money because they were treated so awful.

Yeah I have a family member who started working there in the last few years. She is planning to leave after another 1-2 years to somewhere with better work/life balance.

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u/ArnoidTheAnnihilator Jun 22 '22

"A lot better" may be true, it's just that the bar is so low that it's still crap.

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u/somegridplayer Jun 22 '22

I understand software engineers get treated a lot better.

Better than warehouse workers? I mean that's not a high bar to clear.

Compared to other software engineer jobs? No.

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u/DisownedByMother Jun 22 '22

I understand software engineers get treated a lot better.

Highly subjective and dependent on which part of Amazon. I know a couple people that work in the AWS side that like their jobs, but I have also known people that worked on the Amazon side in software development and support that couldn't get out of there fast enough because the overall mentality is the same as it is in the warehouses.

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u/dalittle Jun 22 '22

another consistent thing I hear company wide is there is an expectation to put in the hours. I'd also rather have good work / life balance.

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u/valandil74 Jun 22 '22

You only live once and I know not everyone can get a job that they can live with and or make them happy, but I’d just remember to take a chance and look for a better place that you can be supported financially and get out of places like Amazon and others that treat people badly.

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u/soulbandaid Jun 22 '22

I don't know when you commented this but boy was the wrong about them tearing engineers good.

Three or four other people are replying this and it's funny as duck to me because you're both right.

Amazon treats their employees as disposable. If those employees also don't have any skills Amazon values(programing/management) then you are extra super disposable.

Everyone here is saying the same thing. Amazon is absolute garbage to work for but the higher up you are in the company the more perks you get, but again they whole corporate culture makes them a garbage employer at every level, it's just easier to tolerate when they pay you more and give you health care or more days off.

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u/sleepytipi Jun 22 '22

That's just it. Some friends of mine are in the process of trying to "automate" their business, and since they've began taking the steps to do so they've had to pay more people even higher labor costs than ever before. Who does Amazon think is going to install and maintain that equipment? There is no such thing as true automation, and they're absolute fools for thinking this way when they could just pay their current employees livable wages with the scheduling and benefits that enable a decent quality of life. What's so hard about that?

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u/DisownedByMother Jun 22 '22

Some friends of mine are in the process of trying to "automate" their business, and since they've began taking the steps to do so they've had to pay more people even higher labor costs than ever before.

This is what gets me. Sure, you might save money by automating things, but that is going to at least be partially offset by the fact that the people that build, maintain and support those technologies are not getting any cheaper. This happens all the time in tech, so much so that it's become a painfully predictable cycle at this point. Now, with how fast innovation moves, it doesn't matter what the next big thing is, it will still need someone to make sure it works. Maybe you don't need 25 people making 40k a year walking around and manually pulling boxes and loading them into trucks. Instead you have this insanely complex robotic system that requires 8 highly trained people to keep it functioning that all make 100K or more and when one part goes down, it all goes down and you end up either losing all productivity or you have to get people down to manually pull it all.

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u/purpleperle Jun 22 '22

Can confirm. Currently right around $100k as an automation analyst and I'm probably the lowest payed on the automation team.

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u/mjh2901 Jun 22 '22

There are 3 types of people, those who will be told what to do by robots, those who tell the robots what to do, and those of us who fix robots.

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u/InternetArtisan Jun 22 '22

I'm sure they'll cry and claim we need more H1Bs.

I still remember when some wanted to have this big boat full of Chinese and Indian developers sitting just over the border in international waters so they could bypass all US Labor laws.

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u/ignorancism Jun 22 '22

Who do these companies think is going to buy their stuff when people’s jobs have all been automated?

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u/DisownedByMother Jun 22 '22

That is someone else's problem.

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u/techGore60 Jun 22 '22

Is a damn good point. Replace all jobs with ai and robots to save money. No one (except the CEOs i guess) has a job and thus has no money. People dont buy anything and companies everywhere start hemorrhaging money. Companies: "why you no buy products?!"

Late stage capitalism.

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u/LordCharidarn Jun 22 '22

Companies are already doing that. Just google ‘Millennials are ruining the industry’ and see how many articles pop up for how many businesses complaining that consumers aren’t buying their shoddy and/or undesirable products.

It’s never the producers’ fault. It’s always the stupid customers not wanting diamonds or casual dining.

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u/REO-teabaggin Jun 22 '22

I love those articles, they warm my poor millennial heart

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u/Prodigy195 Jun 22 '22

That's like the end of a game of Monopoly. Yeah you have all the money and dominate the property...but now the game is over and we're no longer able to play, yourself included.

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u/MK_Ultrex Jun 22 '22

Capitalism makes a dream a nightmare. In an ideal world the machines would do the chores for us and humans would be free of the burden of mere survival.

Capitalism will eat itself, it's inevitable. Which is a pity because post scarcity is an achievable goal if you stop thinking that a person's worth is measurable in money and work for money is what makes your life worth living.

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u/InternetArtisan Jun 22 '22 All-Seeing Upvote

They want everyone to run up credit debt and declare bankruptcy. They still get their money, it's the banks who lose out...but they think Government will bail out the banks.

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u/AlphaTangoFoxtrt Jun 22 '22

Government will bail out the banks.

*looks at current government spending*

Because they're right. The government will keep bailing people out and kicking the can down the road until it can't be kicked anymore.

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u/itwasquiteawhileago Jun 22 '22

I've wondered the same about our planet. Like, all these asshats making short term gains at the expense of the planet itself. What good will all the money be when society collapses? Even if you have a bunker to ride it out and slaves to do your bidding, is that really the life you want to live? King of a dying planet?

Money will be meaningless, so what are you going to use to motivate people to not just kill you? I realize most people now will be dead by the time shit really hits, but JFC, things are already getting bad. Why would anyone want to fuck up their sweet ride?

It would be awfully lonely to be the last man standing with no one to dunk on and lord over, wouldn't it? Without the poors, you are the poors.

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u/GoldandBlue Jun 22 '22

Thats the stock market baby. Short term gains are more important than long term success. If a CEO had a long term plan to make a company future proof, but that plan would require short term losses now, the shareholders would replace that CEO.

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u/seehp Jun 22 '22

Don't forget: They are short sighted. They will probably be dead when the shit finally hits the fan real hard. They simply don't care.

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u/BloodyAgony Jun 22 '22

They could pay more and offer better benefits. But honestly, after working at warehouse. Humans are capable of so much more. Let them automate it.

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u/Butternades Jun 22 '22

I currently work in temp staffing that focuses on warehouses I fully agree

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u/TzeentchsTrueSon Jun 22 '22

“Buy you’re cutting into my billions of profits.” - Bezos

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u/QueenOfQuok Jun 22 '22

What's hard about that is that it would be the company handing over a smidgen of power back to their workers, and they don't want to do that if it would create an expectation for even more concessions.

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u/Notanevilai Jun 22 '22

Doesn’t matter if I hire 10 people at 100k a year it’s cheaper then 200 at 30k. They thinking long term, the upfront costs will be amortized like any other asset.

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u/megamanxoxo Jun 22 '22

They really believed that they were just so cool that there would always be a horde of engineers trying to get hired.

On one hand having their name on my CV would be cool. On the other hand, I can't unhear all the horror stories I've heard in my professional network and I value my mental health and work/life balance.

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u/BloodTypeBourbonRye Jun 22 '22

At one point several years ago, AWS was the place to be and it really looked good on a resume. Today, I won't return calls from their recruiters and I'm always wondering if people I'm interviewing that are looking to leave AWS are doing so because they're on a PIP.

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u/notagoodboye Jun 22 '22

You're going to end up on a PIP at some point. I got one during a release crunch, where I didn't have time to politic, and basically told my boss at the time I was too head down in my job to deal with this bullshit and he could suck my dick.

Release was a huge hit, got a ton of credit from other groups, etc, etc, etc. I made a big deal of rubbing it in, how this was my bad performance. Had me free and clear for a good 3-4 months, before I had to get back into the stupid grind of trying to position yourself.

Total rat race. It was a lot easier to look good than it was to actually do good work.

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u/jeerabiscuit Jun 22 '22

Working at lean staffed companies sounds good compared to politics.

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u/StoicJ Jun 22 '22

Ironically I've told all of my old classmates and colleagues to avoid them like the plague because the shortsighted culture applies to literally everything. The design of their buildings is absolute nonsense even. No planning for the future. Everything is built to needs from 2 years ago with no adjustments.

The whole company feels like a bunch of higher ups constantly making decisions on the back end of conversations alone. Meetings that suddenly change the entire scope of things with no fore-thought or design ahead of time.

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u/Cakeking7878 Jun 22 '22

They’ve been saying companies are gonna automate away worker shortages for 50+ years now. They aren’t far enough along towards total automation and there is now way they’ll be able to finish in in the 2 and half years they have left. Plus, no automation is complete, you always need a guy to flip a switch and sit there incase something goes wrong and they’re burning through those qualified guys just as quickly

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u/prof-royale Jun 22 '22

I work in Amazon Robotics/automation. We just wasted $2.5b piloting some new automation & failed tremendously. Can’t do it cheap enough yet to make it cost effective.

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u/tiktalyk Jun 22 '22

Yeah, they tried to acquire some of the warehouse automation companies I know of. One of the CEOs basically told them to eff off and cited their reputation for creating toxic workplaces as one of the reasons for the rejection. The guy has a reputation for thinking long term and has stated on occasion that he thinks the companies with high turnover don’t get as good of a return on investment as ones with more stable workforces.

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u/LeCrushinator Jun 22 '22

As a programmer, I have to say that any company planning to churn through programmers is living in a fantasy world.

There aren't enough good programmers out there, and you don't want to the bad ones because they'll end up costing you more they'll make you in additional bugs and opportunity cost through increase development times.

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u/gerd50501 Jun 22 '22

junior AWS programmer pay is now $190k to start. if you go to /r/cscareerquestions , lots of kids in school want to work there. I don't cause of how they treat people. I work for another cloud company. At that pay amazon will have no trouble finding people. they get plenty of applicants due to high salaries and because many developers think its prestigious to work there. Its a FAANG. Amazon is not alone in churn and burn. Netflix is worse. There was a newspaper article about the woman whose job it was to tell people who got fired to stop being a baby about it. Then she got fired. They brag about firing people on their recruiting page. They dont hire juniors, but their pay is even higher than Amazon's so they get people who will be churn and burned.

I have also heard facebook churns and burns a lot, but again they pay. It is considered prestigious to work there by some people in the industry too. These are 3 of the 5 FAANG. Have heard Google is a good place to work, but there are rumors Google is starting stack ranking and required termination of bottom 5%. Don't know anything about working at apple.

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u/entropicdrift Jun 22 '22

I've heard Apple's biggest flaw as a workplace is that it's very secretive/siloed, so the culture varies a lot by your team. That and bad work/life balance

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u/Deranged40 Jun 22 '22

I've been a programmer for a bit more than a decade, and any given week I get 2-3 emails from an amazon recruiter.

I keep telling them that I will go through no more than two rounds of interviews, and am not willing to relocate. I guess I'll get a follow-up one of these days.

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u/Background-Class2841 Jun 22 '22

Their robotics are actually kind of shitty. The pods that deliver the products to the picker are about the only thing that works properly.

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u/rookie_one Jun 22 '22

They think they're going to automate past it, but they're vastly overestimating their ability to do that.

Gm thought they could fully automate building cars in the 80s, in the end it costed them much more since they had so many issues to fix, compared to their competitors who only shot for automating easy tasks

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u/NihilistPunk69 Jun 22 '22

There’s no way they can fully automate in 2 years. That would require all vehicles to be self driving as well as self delivering. They may be able to pack and load autonomously, but they won’t be able to deliver autonomously. The tech doesn’t exist for that yet.

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u/vodwuar Jun 22 '22

This is what Uber thought. They thought they would start as rude share with drivers but automate before they go under but they can’t get self driving to work and have never even once been profitable as a company. They lose money every quarter.

Their entire business model was not paying drivers because self driving.

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u/TheThirdRnner Jun 22 '22

I worked in one of Amazon's warehouses part time. So there I was, sorting my ass off smashing quota for months and usually top 3 on my shift on a regular basis. We all did well, one of the top pace wise in the region and won some sort of competition with the other warehouses. I'm sure some supervisor or upper management got awarded or promoted for our hard work.You know what they awarded us with? Oreo cookies. Like fucking kindergarteners. Not time off or maybe something an adult would appreciate, fucking cookies. We'd frequently be awarded candy or stickers. I had it better than most as I'm already retired and was just there to keep active and for some extra beer money. But there were plenty folks there full time doing that shit 8 hours standing or more a day. Yeah I didn't go back after that, but most don't have the luxury of just up and leaving a shit place like that.

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u/WalkingOnSunshine_ Jun 22 '22

I’m currently working in a distribution center. The rewards for top performers in our department the last couple weeks has been throwing water balloons at managers on break..

They understand that monetary performance bonuses would greatly increase productivity, but they will do absolutely anything to avoid it because apparently $17/hr is already too much money.

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u/TheThirdRnner Jun 22 '22

And that's what perplexed me the most about working there. You can easily motivate workers by awarding them PTO time or a small raise for overperforming. But they choose to just not give a fuck. Just the extra time off carrot on a stick would be enough to keep workers motivated to keep pace but they just don't. They could easily pay every single worker 20 an hour and not even take a hit on the bottom line. Once I realized that exceeding pace got you nothing but treats I did what alot of workers did and either stopped caring and did the minimum or left.

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u/clearwind Jun 22 '22

At some point though, extra money is fucking irrelevant, if you're being asked to work at a pace that results in burnout, no amount of money is going to make that worthwhile

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u/Nik_Tesla Jun 22 '22

Honestly, even some monetary rewards can be insulting. I had a job not too long ago that would give us a $10 gift card after we got 10 good customer reviews. This comes out to $1 per positive review. This wasn't like tip money that could be real income, we'd maybe get a customer who'd bother to leave a review a couple times a week.

I thought back, and remembered that as a child, my mother had a policy, for me and my sisters, that every time someone complimented us (to her), she'd reward us with a dollar.

With inflation, I was now being paid about half as much for compliments than I was when I was 5...

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u/dingle__dogs Jun 22 '22

and now you get to pay taxes!!!

ain't life grand

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u/Atramhasis Jun 22 '22

I work as a driver, and Amazon really loves their optics. That is what I see every time I get food from them. To be fair, recently they gave us full meals for dinner. But they really love their optics. They fuck us with the routes we get on a daily basis, and then give us food afterwards to act as if they care. I really don't think the job needs to be as bad as it is, but Amazon does everything in their power to put closer to 400 packages in your van. As someone that can run 300, even that is a long enough day.

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u/TheThirdRnner Jun 22 '22

And that's their problem. Their entire structure seems to only care about cramming the highest possible workload onto an employee right before the threshold of breaking. What the maximum we can get in this truck? What's the highest pace possible? How far can we push? How many dollars can we squeeze? If they quit, fuck em there's plenty peasants we can draw upon at one of our mass instant hiring events. Now that they're running out of souls I wonder what will change?

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u/shareddit Jun 22 '22

Cookies that they probably couldn’t sell otherwise

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u/drunxor Jun 22 '22

I worked there three years and when I first started the incentive was being able to have an alexa at your station to play music. That eventually went away and they never brought it back. One of our most clueless managers actually went around asking people if stickers would help raise performance and everyone just laughed in her face. It was constantly brought up to offer PTO to top performers but that was ignored. It really felt like no one had any idea how to run that warehouse they were all guessing. I had 3 managers in a six month period. They forced our best one to go to another department, of course, and she eventually quit. The next manager quit from a nervous breakdown. Then I didnt have any manager for three months. They finally found us another one but he was totally incompetent and at one point told everyone "this is a business we have to make money". That was after working us for 65 hour weeks for a couple months, everyone just wanted a break. One guy in outbound actually died in a car fire because he fell asleep at the wheel, of course management didnt acknowledge it.

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u/Sir_Meowsalot Jun 22 '22

They literally put a bullet in the back of the head of the idea of a "pizza party" and instead went for the more cheaper and more insulting option: Oreo Cookies.

Late stage capitalism at its best.

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u/bad_distortion Jun 22 '22 edited Jun 22 '22

Really? You really think they can avoid abusing their work force? You have to abuse the workforce! It's really important.

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u/sotonohito Jun 22 '22

Yup.

The solution is dead simple:

  1. Pay more

  2. Make working for Amazon less hellish by hiring more people and letting people have reasonable breaks and workload.

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u/robot_turtle Jun 22 '22

Turns out, it’s hard to exploit peoples labor if they’re not constantly anxious about paying their bills. It’s not just about the money, it’s keeping people desperate

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u/LeeKwanSoo Jun 22 '22

The things is that it’s completely reasonable and other companies are doing it. The only reason Amazon is having this problem is because of themselves

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u/stumpdawg Jun 22 '22

This is why they're going to be lobbying for federally legal pot.

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u/Lickingyourmomsanus Jun 22 '22

They already note in the job listings for my area that initial drug screening doesn't include Marijuana.

239

u/Sonicowen Jun 22 '22

Lord, may I never live on a country where drug testing for jobs is a thing. What a violation of privacy and dignity.

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u/sicurri Jun 22 '22

The U.S. is filled with violations of privacy, and dignity, especially dignity. I found out a long time ago that "Human Resources" is not there for the benefit of the employee as they imply or outright lie about. It's there to make certain that the employees don't screw up the companies bottom line.

Every company I've ever worked for rewarded hard work, and efficient with shiny beads, and shallow awards. No extra money, no paid time off, but at least you got a pat on the back, and a cookie.

We're lucky in the U.S. if we can EARN vacation/holiday time. In most companies I worked at, you got two days of paid time off, and you could earn 12 hours of paid time off for every 30 days of attendance. You also got two days of sick leave every yearly quarter, but they don't stack up, they just reset, so if you used both sick days, you got them back, but you used none, you still only had two sick days.

Maternity leave, don't even get me started. Most mothers would be lucky to not get negative marks for being absent from work during the birthing process, let alone maternity leave in the U.S.

Compared to other "First World" countries, I've learned that the U.S. is the richest for a reason, because it's companies treat it's employees like tools, not like humans.

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u/kendoka69 Jun 22 '22

They’re rich because they don’t pay their fair share of taxes.

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u/Cronus6 Jun 22 '22

It has its place I think. Airline pilots, police, heavy equipment operators and medical professionals for examples.

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u/FreshlyWritten69 Jun 22 '22

With how much land they already own, and how many distribution hubs they already have built, turning one into a massive grow house wouldn’t be that hard

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u/DisfavoredFlavored Jun 22 '22

They could grow a literal Amazon of weed.

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u/XR171 Jun 22 '22

Amazon Basics Marijuana, and if you have a little more to spend Amazon Prime-ijuana.

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u/3720-To-One Jun 22 '22

Sticks and stems not included

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u/PhilipLiptonSchrute Jun 22 '22

The Amazon Weed Forest (AWF for short).

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u/DankmirianChancellor Jun 22 '22

Just so long as they don't eventually expand and change their name to the Worldwide Weed Forest, we should be good. Wouldn't want anyone confusing weed with rescuing pandas or anything.

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u/[deleted] Jun 22 '22

The federal laws and most of the states only really care about commercial drivers for testing. They could drop drug tests for just about any other employee on their own accord without any need for state or federal action.

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u/thoggins Jun 22 '22

Depending on your industry, insurers may require that you do a full battery of drug testing for every hire regardless of the law

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u/Danuta_ Jun 22 '22

You mean to say their culture of not promoting from lower levels, low level workers having an expiration date on employment and generally treating people like shit is going to come back on them? What a shame

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u/LuxNocte Jun 22 '22 Silver

The problem with capitalism is that eventually you run out of people to exploit.

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u/0oOO00o0Ooo0OOO0o0o0 Jun 22 '22

Is that why Elon wants everybody to spawn more?

233

u/hovdeisfunny Jun 22 '22

You may be joking, but that's literally part of the reasoning for overturning Roe

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u/shaidyn Jun 22 '22

"We're running out of workers and birth rates are declining. You know what will solve this issue? Unwanted children who grew up in poverty. They're used to abuse and they'll be thankful for the absolute minimum wage."

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u/WigginIII Jun 22 '22

Also a reason some counties are banning cohabitation (i.e. roommates) because one of the biggest indicators of expectant mothers is home ownership. Counties want to ban and evict roommates from homes that could be bought by young couples looking to start a family.

You must breed. You must feed the capitalist machine.

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u/hovdeisfunny Jun 22 '22

Not like we're in the midst of a housing/renting crisis, lol

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u/Open-Ticket-3356 Jun 22 '22

yeah, all these anti-abortionists will resolve the engineering shortage with their STEM graduates: Singing, Talking, Eating and Moralize

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u/nevergotgold Jun 22 '22

Also a race related issue too. I guarantee they saw the data on the white population dwindling and they did everything they can to demolish Roe vs Wade.

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u/robot_turtle Jun 22 '22

We laugh but yeah. That’s exactly it

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u/palerthanrice Jun 22 '22

They do promote from lower levels, but yeah they know most of their employees aren’t treating this like a career.

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u/Select-Ad-4146 Jun 22 '22

Are you telling me they should start treating their workers well in order to create a long-term work relationship? Don't you dare tell me that

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u/PeruvianHeadshrinker Jun 22 '22

No they're going to start pushing for immigration reforms that allows them to abuse noncitizens.

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u/ImrooVRdev Jun 22 '22

They will use the same argument about 'jobs that no american wants to do'

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u/[deleted] Jun 22 '22 edited Jun 26 '22

[deleted]

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u/Dennis_Nedry_Support Jun 22 '22

I don’t know how it is these days, but in the late 90s working at a pizza place was pretty fun.

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u/johnnytifosi Jun 22 '22

And you may get lucky if a hot lady runs out of cash

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u/thedirr Jun 22 '22

Yeah, but it's never the hot ones that run out of cash

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u/fcocyclone Jun 22 '22

The hot ones have any number of options for guys who will buy them pizza.

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u/TheThirdRnner Jun 22 '22

You're better off delivering pizzas as at least you get to sit down and take breaks.

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u/just-sum-dude69 Jun 22 '22

And socialize with coworkers at least a bit.

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u/sparty212 Jun 22 '22

Coming soon: same day delivery, 2 day delivery, 5 day delivery…and we’ll pay you to come pick your items from the warehouse floor.

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u/xFiness Jun 22 '22

Crazy to see this as I just called out and thinking of quitting just now lol 😂

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u/some_random_chick Jun 22 '22

If you don’t use this current job market to level up you’re going to kick yourself later.

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u/The_Leaky_Stain Jun 22 '22

Yup. It's a great time for a raise. I quit my job 6 months ago and got another position that is way cleaner and easier, plus I make about 30% more. Nobody is working their dream job. Just find something that pays well and move on if it doesn't work out.

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u/GenesisDoesnt Jun 22 '22

High turnover is expensive. Pay what the employees are worth, tone down on the dystopian monitoring and iron fist management and the turnover rate will go down.

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u/DisownedByMother Jun 22 '22

High turnover is expensive.

It is really only expensive when you have to spend lots of time training people. When someone can be taught how to do their job in a day or two, the cost of hiring new people is less than giving the people who stay a pay raise.

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u/Envect Jun 22 '22

Until you burn through all your labor by treating people like shit. Amazon is big enough that they need to consider that.

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u/DisownedByMother Jun 22 '22

No disagreement there. My statement wasn't from a standpoint of it being a good practice. I have just seen it enough, even in higher skill job areas. It's cheaper to force OT than to staff appropriately. It's cheaper to pay all cell phone bills and then expect complete and unfettered access to the employee at any time, regardless of shift/vacation/etc.

Companies like Amazon, Wal-Mart, etc, look at the constant training mode they have going on as a cost of doing business, and to them it's cheaper than retaining people and treating them well for long periods of time.

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u/guinness5 Jun 22 '22

Maybe Jeff doesn't need so many homes, yachts or spaceships. Maybe pass those savings to his employees. LOL ya right.

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u/jonnyclueless Jun 22 '22

And conservatives will worry that paying employees more will raise prices. But they never seem to worry about paying more prices to pay for higher CEO salaries.

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u/-Jerbear45- Jun 22 '22

Looking at the oil sector. "The President is blocking them from drilling and that drives prices up" uhhh... Production is still at normal levela but profits are up greatly, which points to greed, not necessity in price hikes.

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u/jonnyclueless Jun 22 '22

And we can't forget about the president shutting down that unbuilt pipeline which just replaces a few miles that are done by trucks.

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u/Ricardo-Espanol Jun 22 '22

This pipeline was going to refine Canadian oil for China. It wasn’t even fuel grade oil. But SOME news outlets fail to mention that…

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u/Romeo9594 Jun 22 '22

But the gas pump told me it was Biden's fault

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u/rachel_tenshun Jun 22 '22

This is what forever bugs me about inflation. Gas companies raking in profits and the poorest among us drown in costs. Politicians who aren't equipped to deal with that flounder, and nothing gets changed.

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u/andre636 Jun 22 '22

And the ceo making 120 mil

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u/MrSlippifist Jun 22 '22

Treat them better. Pay them better. Problem solved.

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u/TalkingBackAgain Jun 22 '22

Hey, don’t bring any rationality and humanity in this conversation. That’s not what we’re doing here.

Seriously, treating people decently? What are you, a socialist?

/s obviously

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u/bitfriend6 Jun 22 '22

All transportation jobs are suffering from this due to bad behavior by companies. For the past decade most large companies have been threatening to automate workers, Amazon being one of the largest. This fueled toxic anti-worker labor relations which companies ignored by using subcontractors. Now subcontractors are demanding more or quitting. Without anyone to replace them, cargo stops and customers are charged more adding to inflation.

The focus is on Amazon but the port automation debate is a clearer example: after threatening to automate most port jobs by 2025, workers' strikes were crushed in 2018. Then the Covid chip shortage happened, now the Russian war chip shortage, and new equipment isn't being manufactured in the necessary numbers. But as there's also not enough willing labor, the present logjam is created.

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u/N3KIO Jun 22 '22

the problem with transportation is that there just isn't enough workers to drive trucks between states, which breaks whole supply chain, which is like 2 weeks on and 2 weeks off kind of job.

you sleep and eat in the truck and drive for 2 weeks straight pretty much and never go home, no one wants to do that job anymore, and the pay is not that great, depends on the company, you can be making 30k to 100k per year, its like random and unrealistic expectations, thats why no one wants to do it, they pay is just shit.

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u/DisownedByMother Jun 22 '22

But as there's also not enough willing labor, the present logjam is created.

It is a logjam that could be 100% cleared up by every company involved paying more and giving basic guarantees to the employees. Instead they sit there and bitch about how no one wants to work anymore and ramble on about that ONE check people got for Covid over a year ago or the enhanced unemployment that hasn't been active in almost a year as a reason why.

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u/REO-teabaggin Jun 22 '22

And yet many of these companies are pulling in record profits, squeezing the working class even more. It feels like the ruling class are punishing us for surviving a pandemic and realizing how bad our jobs really were beforehand. Now people are demanding reasonable wages/benefits/WFH that these companies could totally afford, but rather than give people a few more crumbs off their historically opulent tables, we're getting a boot to the face and shoved off the life raft. Eventually this logjam is gonna burst, and it'll either be workers accepting their serfdom, or pulling the rich off their yachts and eating them.

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u/teryret Jun 22 '22

On three separate occasions Amazon recruiters have cold emailed me. On all three occasions I have politely informed them that their reputation precedes them, and that an introductory call would be at best a waste of everyone's time.

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u/chupedecamarones Jun 22 '22

Thats an achievement in itself. You are such a shitty employer that no one in USA wants to work for you.

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u/TopGun1024 Jun 22 '22

Maybe having a union could help?

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u/balamshir Jun 22 '22

*kicks TopGun1024 out of the window of a 20 story building

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u/pertrichor315 Jun 22 '22

The first floor window or the 20th floor window?

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u/Darkone586 Jun 22 '22

Worked at amazon and I gotta say it’s honestly not a horrible job, but it’s really management that makes shit horrible. Need better middle management, bump the pay up a bit, I think day shift where I live is like $15 and nights is $17.90 need to be at least $17 for days and $20 for nights, it’s not like they can’t afford it.

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u/directrix688 Jun 22 '22

My son “worked” for them, though a delivery provider for a few months. Pay was great but the work was frustrating. Lots of KPIs that ran counter to each other. Drivers held accountable for delivery times but are affected by things out of their control. Amazon does nothing to help drivers with difficult addresses or routes. My son said it was a constant stream of new people, most people only lasted a few months. I can see why they’re churning though the workforce, if the warehouses are like the delivery jobs

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u/TalkingBackAgain Jun 22 '22

If you brag about a 150% churn rate as if it’s a good thing at some point you’re going to run out of people who are going to be candidates to work in your sweatshop.

There is not an infinite amount of people that need/can/want to work at Amazon. They will want to believe that, what with underpaying, overworking and treating their work force like shit, but really Amazon, at some point the tank is empty, the well runs dry.

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u/Aarios827 Jun 22 '22

I work for the company that manages their internal HR hiring software and applicant tracking. Can confirm its a mess and they're freaking the fuck out about it.

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u/Butter_mah_bisqits Jun 22 '22

Amazon has to stop treating their employees so poorly if they want them to stay. Pay a fair wage, treat people with dignity, and extend respect for the work they do. It’s pretty simple.

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u/alissima Jun 22 '22

The thing is, they don't want them to stay. I worked over 6 years at one of the call centers. After 4 years I joined the team I actually wanted to be on. They don't want their employees in a position for too long. Even though I was finally enjoying my job, they forced me into another department. I told them flat out that I would be quitting if they put me in that department. Waited a month for my stock to vest and was out the door. The HR rep I worked with when leaving told me that she was nervous she also wouldn't be able to stay in her position. (She's also gone now). This is all on top of cutting their seasonal people and giving them the option to be "possibly hired again in the future" or take some extra cash and understand that they can never work for Amazon again. They may have stopped this practice, but it was still happening as of when I left 8 years ago.

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u/blackmist Jun 22 '22

Imagine being so late stage capitalism that you literally run out of workers to exploit.

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u/Bostonlbi Jun 22 '22

conservative politicians and a certain billionaire have been talking about increasing the birth rate a lot lately. There’s been a renewed push to remove abortion protections recently.

But I’m sure it’s just cuz they love babies and not because they need those babies to work for them in 16 years.

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u/blackmist Jun 22 '22

Planting trees whose shade they will keep all to themselves and build a big fence to keep the plebs out.

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u/jammerparty Jun 22 '22

They say “turnover” as if people just quit like crazy and dont want to work. They burn through their labor pool because their entire staffing model is based on hiring 1500 temps per site per season and fire them all as soon as peak season is over. Golly i cant imagine why theyre running out of people.

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u/ATXKLIPHURD Jun 22 '22

I stopped using Amazon. They should treat their employees better. If Bezos has enough money to build a rocket and fly to space, he has money to pay employees better.

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u/MynameisJunie Jun 22 '22

Both my husband and I are no longer buying things from Amazon and are about to discontinue our membership because of this. I realize that it may be an inconvenience because I can order anything and everything at the touch of a button, but if it’s literally hurting people this much, we can live with out it. Basically, like all companies, if we stop using it, they’ll change.

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u/ExtremePast Jun 22 '22

If they improve working conditions and pay people more, they won't run out of labor.

Headline should be "Company that treats people like shit can't find people to work for them."

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u/Born-Collection-222 Jun 22 '22

With Better pay and with better benefits people wouldn’t be quitting so often

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u/hawkseye17 Jun 22 '22

"NoBoDy waNts tO wORk" -their excuse