Online, mega-marketplace Amazon may satisfy its customers, but according to recently released statements from current employees, “Amazon is an amazing company. As long as you don’t work here.”
The company is truly dedicated to its customers, putting them first above everything–and everyone else. This includes their employees, who are forced to work long hours at startling paces. One anonymous source said, “Everyone is so tired, all the time. Dark eye circles, muttering under yawns, all.”
In addition to exhausting its employees, the company also motivates their crew to work harder not by incentivizing them, but with bullying and threats. The same anonymous source continues, “When I walk through the doors my head is ringing with regret, mind-numbing repetition, and expectations of browbeating. My expectations have never once gone ungratified.”
Though they’re so seemingly miserable, the Amazon employees understand the situation. Retail is a highly competitive field with extremely slim margins. Another source explains, “On account of that we need to work hard: people who can’t compete are weeded out the same way they are in any other highly competitive company.”
The source who touched upon the exhaustion of his or her coworkers rebuttals, saying, “Isn’t the job of management to motivate people from every background to believe in one objective and then reward them for driving at it?”
“There’s an annoying point system that treats you all like children for being late, late with checking in and out for breaks, or other infractions,” says a different source inside Amazon. “If you claimed to be sick you needed to actually bring a doctor’s note. That was particularly insulting.”
Considering the sheer size and magnitude of the company, it’s hard to imagine how it could have grown to such proportions by treating its most important assets–its human resources–as liabilities. The company’s $34 billion annual revenue is actually larger than that of half the world’s countries’ GDPs. What’s more, its web sales are five times that of Buy.com, Target, and Wal-Mart’s combined.
“If companies provided their people with the right kind of ergonomically designed furniture to make it possible to work these long hours, employees might not have these low morale issues” says Alec Lopez, CFO of SitBetter.
Though the current system seems to be working well for Amazon, just how long can Amazon go on treating its employees in such a way before its profits start to fall? Can such a work culture really be sustainable?
The arrow of the Amazon logo points from A to Z (meant to indicate that they have everything from A to Z) and doubles as a smile, but its dissatisfied, miserable employees make it clear that only people associated with the company who are happy are the customers.