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Inside Amazon

By on August 17, 2015 3:37:41 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Borg999

Join Date 02/2006
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http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/16/technology/inside-amazon-wrestling-big-ideas-in-a-bruising-workplace.html?_r=1

http://money.cnn.com/2015/08/17/technology/amazon-nytimes/

A bunch of weak kneed whinny types are accusing Amazon of hurting their feelings.

Those who say Meritocracies are just a cover for dirty corporate politics, are liars.

The best and brightest rise to the top and the rest can go back to unworthy hole from which the came.

Amazon is the finest example of the virtues of social Darwinism.  A model all businesses should strive for!

Ayn Rand would be proud! Don't you agree?

 

 

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August 17, 2015 7:36:33 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Ayn Rand should read Lord of the Flies, oh, never mind, Rand is dead, just her 'social jungle' 'survival of the sleaziest' writings remain.  And I am totally, like totally unbiased.  You read it here first.      :0

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August 22, 2015 12:18:02 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Ah yes, the Klingon Promotion. "Advancement by assassination."

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August 22, 2015 4:39:31 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Jeff Bezos is the future, a dystopian future, where the "elites" manipulate good people who can't hack the pressure cooker they've created.  Those "losers" should go home and die under a rock.  Die anywhere, just not here; you clocked out first right?  

Jeff will keep screwing over young people who don't know anything about the history of the labor movement in this country.  They can't keep the unions out indefinitely but they might be able to hold them off until the General Industrial-Purposed Robot (pronounced Gipper - in honor of President Reagan) is available.

Dystopia: A dystopia is an imaginary community or society that is undesirable or frightening. It is literally translated as "not-good place", an antonym of utopia.  Wikipedia

 

Remember it's not the fall it's the sudden stop at the end you have to worry about. 

 

 

backs out of the room slowly... 

 

Just a taste of the sh*t sandwich Jeff and his brethren are serving up:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/22/opinion/joe-nocera-jeff-bezos-and-the-amazon-way.html?_r=0

The bad side is the way he and his company treat employees. In 2011, the Allentown, Pa., Morning Call published an eye-opening series documenting how Amazon treated the workers at its warehouses. The newspaper reported that workers “were pushed harder and harder to work faster and faster until they were terminated, they quit or they got injured.”

The most shocking revelation was that the warehouses lacked air-conditioning, and that during heat waves, the company “arranged to have paramedics parked in ambulances outside” to revive workers who were overcome by the heat. “I never felt treated like a piece of crap in any other warehouse but this one,” said one worker. (After the exposé, Amazon installed air-conditioning in its warehouses.)

In Jeff's defense he noted in a letter to shareholders "It's not easy to work here." Oh, then that's okay then.  We can all look the other way now.  

Good night.

 

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August 22, 2015 5:19:01 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

No, the article is bullshit, obvious bullshit.

 

Warehouse employees are one thing, they really don't need to work that hard to find replacements, but the absurdity of the rest of the article shows it to be written by manipulative pieces of shit that are just working an agenda.

 

If I'm some genius software designer working for Amazon, I'm having to fight employers off with a stick if I mention that I'm looking for a job.  Amazon would be bleeding talent so fast that they wouldn't be able to maintain development cycles if the article were even half true.  It takes weeks or even months to get even the best and brightest up to speed in large scale software development, people that can simply walk into a new job and rapidly be productive can probably be counted by hand.  They're the Einsteins of their field, there aren't enough of them on the planet to even begin to keep Amazon operational if they're running most of their employees off crying a few months into the job.

 

Customer service, maybe, warehouse employees, definitely, but this being the culture in their high tech, six figure jobs?  Please.

 

Even the warehouse example isn't actually bad.  Air conditioning is a recent invention, being in Hell myself(southeastern Oklahoma), I'm well aware that many of the older businesses still don't have it on account of sweating like a stuck pig on entering them.  Auto shops, furniture stores, hardware stores, you name it.  This is something that is still in the process of changing, and the older generations that have lived and worked without AC end up having to fire people that can't hack it all the time.  If you live in your nice, sheltered home, and then go to work in an unconditioned welding shop when it's 115F outside, you're either going to get fired for not working, or get hospitalized, whichever happens first.  Calling the paramedics in when some guy that can't take the heat gives himself a heat stroke isn't being evil, it's the only thing you can do when an employee makes themselves life threateningly sick by ignoring their limitations in pursuance of a pay check.

 

The reason they're changing to air conditioned warehouses and such is because it's getting harder to find employees that actually can handle the heat, ones that can't aren't worth much as they sluggishly go about their tasks.  Heat exhaustion doesn't make for a good worker, it's cheaper to keep them cool.

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August 22, 2015 5:35:48 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Be it as it may it's at most a temporary problem. Physical warehouse jobs are definitely those jobs that should be replaced by automation. Regardless of how good and jovial the boss is. There simply isn't any reason why a human should do it. Other than him costing less than the robots, that is. Currently. Which is just a matter of time. The automation itself is an easy problem.

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August 23, 2015 9:05:05 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Petri Kokko,

Be it as it may it's at most a temporary problem. Physical warehouse jobs are definitely those jobs that should be replaced by automation. Regardless of how good and jovial the boss is. There simply isn't any reason why a human should do it. Other than him costing less than the robots, that is. Currently. Which is just a matter of time. The automation itself is an easy problem.

I find that very offensive. Giving paying jobs to robots is a horrible thing to do when there are starving people in the world. Gee, why don't we just move all Amazon jobs to foreign countries too while were at it!

My son worked for Amazon for several years at three different locations and he never had a complaint. They paid him well and provided medical insurance coverage too, and if he wanted extra hours, they gave it to him. When he wanted to move to Arizona, they found him a job there. What more could one ask for?

I think you will find that most of the complainers are just that, whiny complainers. I doubt very seriously if their complaints have much merit to them, and if they do have merit, then the person causing that complaint should be fired immediately. People in general though are becoming nothing but a bunch of whiny complainers anyway, they want to get paid for doing nothing.

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August 23, 2015 10:48:07 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

There must be now a misunderstanding. I genuinely don't understand why you'd think that offensive. Certainly didn't mean to do that. In no way did I imply that people are "whining" or anything else like that. My point was that they are simply doing the wrong jobs.

Replacing simple low-skill physical jobs with automation is a good thing if we have the technology to do it. It's better for the workers, the business owners, and the society in general. Also, outsourcing the jobs to foreign countries isn't automation at all. You are still putting a human into a job that shouldn't be done by a human in the first place.

Note that humans have brains that are better than our best AI designs by a factor of millions, if not billions. People are very smart whereas robots are generally dumber than a cockroach. It's a horrible, horrible waste of education and brain power to put a human into a job that a standard automatic system can do. This is what I meant when I said humans shouldn't do these kind of jobs. They ought to be employed in tasks that make use of our creativity, intelligence, flexibility, and understanding. Doing otherwise is like putting 100 people into shoveling a ditch when there's a perfectly good excavator available. It wastes human talent and basically makes no economic sense whatsoever. When one man digs the ditch with a machine the 99 others can do something else that is more productive and we are all the richer for that.

I'm sure we have all read enough sci-fi stories to know by now that if a technologically advanced society routinely uses people for low-level physical labor that could be done better, faster, and cheaper by machines, it means that society is either decadent or plain evil, or that the plot sucks.

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August 23, 2015 11:44:26 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

I am just saying that in no way should a job being done by a human being be changed to a robot doing it. The human being needs the money to feed himself and/or his family, pay bills, etc. and the robot does not. It does not matter if robots can do it faster, people matter, robots don't. We need to have human beings doing jobs, period. Also, jobs being outsourced to foreign countries because they don't have to pay those workers as much is downright evil when people in their own countries need those jobs. Corporate greed is disgusting.

You say automating jobs is better for the workers, but then where do those workers go for a job? Many, many people are uneducated in the United States because they cannot afford the high cost of education. Sadly, a menial type of job is the only thing they can get, so replacing them with robots would really hurt the lives of a lot of people.

 

When one man digs the ditch with a machine the 99 others can do something else that is more productive and we are all the richer for that.

The problem with that is, there is nothing else for the 99 others to do. No jobs... because they have been outsourced to foreign countries, or as you seem to like, replaced by robots.

 

Oh, and sci-fi is fiction, it has nothing to do with real life.

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August 23, 2015 11:53:07 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Utopian dreamland that lacks perspective on people.

 

Not all of us want to be creative, intelligent, flexible, and understanding.  The day we get rid of grunt work is the day the hobo population explodes.  Hobos already exist for the same reason, they're not self motivated enough to even do grunt work, typically because they prefer being drunk to being sober.  Most grunt workers are capable of far more than they're utilizing, but some aren't actually that capable either.  A pretty significant portion of the population is incapable of doing high tech work, regardless of how well you try to educate them.  Their brain simply isn't wired right for it, the kind of social engineering required to "find" everyone jobs once you've automated out manual labor is scary Orwellian shit.

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August 23, 2015 12:25:11 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

People are letting their lack of imagination get in the way.  When each grader took the place of hundreds of workers, we didn't need 'social engineers' to help them.  They just figured it out.  And progress happened.  Dystopia is a world full of 'social engineers' if you ask me.

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August 23, 2015 1:11:51 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Ayn Rand was a soulless harpy from hell. I find it funny that some of the most religious politicians love her. She was an ATHEIST. I am pretty much an atheist myself but that doesn't mean you have to be douche bag. Ayn Rand is all about me first and damn everybody else or anybody who gets in my way. Maybe that's how the world is becoming but that doesn't make it right.

Anyway I take the NY Times article with a grain of salt. Amazon employs thousands of people and "over a 100" were interviewed. That's not enough info for me to damn the whole company.

Some of the accusations made are valid if they are true. People with illness or people having to help others in the family for one reason or another being forced out. How can anyone justify that?

Putting in place a system to rat out fellow workers. That sounds like something Hitler would approve of or Ayn Rand for that matter. Tell me how that is right or a good practice?

Providing a safe work place should be a given. Amazon is not a hole in the wall repair shop in Oklahoma. There's no justifying people having to work in a warehouse that is over a 100 degrees inside. Rather than being a good thing, having ambulances in the parking lot is pathetic. There is no excuse for that.

From the 70's to the early 2000's I worked for a newspaper that was so busy that a lot of folks there couldn't hack it. In order to be successful you had to to put in the hours and produce. I become a manager for 20 of those years. It was tough. I'd probably do well at Amazon, the me of those years. I'm 63 now so those days and my ability to be a "mover and shaker" are pretty much behind me now. What happened was that paper got sold to a much larger company that had a lot of other papers as well as mine. The formula used to improve and modernize our organization ruined it and ran it into the ground. Common practice now a days. I was a casualty of that. Coming from that background has colored how I approach any job since. Seeing how newspapers are dying the ones I've worked for since aren't the same as the one I worked for back in the day. You kind of feel like the string quartet on the Titanic. You are still playing but you know the ship is sinking. People aren't motivated because they know there's no future. I still have what I consider a strong work ethic and I've learned to put blinders on because I can no longer change what I see going on around me. I can't motivate useless people or discipline useless people anymore. I've had some frustration in this regard to this day.

Having a competitive and busy environment is good. Those who choose to put in the hours thrive. Those who don't, don't. That's just common sense.

A bunch of weak kneed whinny types are accusing Amazon of hurting their feelings.

Those who say Meritocracies are just a cover for dirty corporate politics, are liars.

First off as much as I would like to think we are all equal, we are not. Some simply cannot hack putting in 65 to 70 hours a week at a job. Some folks can't work their ass off in a 100 degree warehouse all day. That does not mean they are "weak kneed whinny types". I learned that long ago. There are times when person A simply can't do what person B can do. Person A will probably never do any better. It's up to management to make a judgement that person A is really working at their potential or not. It takes a good manager to determine if person A is slacking and if they are it's the managers fault. Bad management creates a bad work place. Maybe the manager is a weak kneed whinny type. I've worked with other managers who fit that description and their crew usually didn't fare too well. You have to have good managers. Not all managers are equal. So on and on right to the top.

What those people are reporting isn't a matter of hurt feelings. They are bringing up real grievances if those grievances are accurate. 

I think that there is a good case to be made for the fact there is more of a chance that abuses can happen in a meritocracy. It all depends on what sort of people are running it. Any environment can go bad. It depends on the folks running it. There's good companies and bad companies. All are not equal so to say those people are liars is not a valid statement. There are bad corporate policies that exist.  Not all corporations are good. Some are bad and some are good. You can't make blanket statements like that and expect to be taken seriously at least by me. Unless you actually work there you don't know and even if you worked at Amazon, the place is so huge there's no way you'd know what goes on everywhere there.

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August 23, 2015 1:23:58 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Well said Chasbo! 

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August 23, 2015 4:03:30 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

My statements were tongue-in-cheek....

 

Quoting Chasbo,

First off as much as I would like to think we are all equal, we are not. Some simply cannot hack putting in 65 to 70 hours a week at a job. Some folks can't work their ass off in a 100 degree warehouse all day. That does not mean they are "weak kneed whinny types". I learned that long ago. There are times when person A simply can't do what person B can do. Person A will probably never do any better. It's up to management to make a judgement that person A is really working at their potential or not. It takes a good manager to determine if person A is slacking and if they are it's the managers fault. Bad management creates a bad work place. Maybe the manager is a weak kneed whinny type. I've worked with other managers who fit that description and their crew usually didn't fare too well. You have to have good managers. Not all managers are equal. So on and on right to the top.

What those people are reporting isn't a matter of hurt feelings. They are bringing up real grievances if those grievances are accurate. 

I think that there is a good case to be made for the fact there is more of a chance that abuses can happen in a meritocracy. It all depends on what sort of people are running it. Any environment can go bad. It depends on the folks running it. There's good companies and bad companies. All are not equal so to say those people are liars is not a valid statement. There are bad corporate policies that exist.  Not all corporations are good. Some are bad and some are good. You can't make blanket statements like that and expect to be taken seriously at least by me. Unless you actually work there you don't know and even if you worked at Amazon, the place is so huge there's no way you'd know what goes on everywhere there.

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August 23, 2015 11:44:12 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Putting in place a system to rat out fellow workers. That sounds like something Hitler would approve of or Ayn Rand for that matter. Tell me how that is right or a good practice?

 

You're calling them Nazi's for having a feedback system where employees can decry or applaud the behavior of their peers and superiors?  God forbid we actually want to know if our employees are doing a good job or not...  I guess the USPS must be the perfect company to you, they don't even fire people for not working, they just hire more people to do their job.

 

Providing a safe work place should be a given. Amazon is not a hole in the wall repair shop in Oklahoma. There's no justifying people having to work in a warehouse that is over a 100 degrees inside. Rather than being a good thing, having ambulances in the parking lot is pathetic. There is no excuse for that.

 

Many warehouses are local outfits, contractors doing a job for national and global companies that don't even own warehouses.  I wouldn't be at all surprised to find just that, a "hole in the wall" local warehouser with an Amazon contract.  Further, said warehouse was in PA, which has high temperatures in the mid 80's.  Few warehouses would have AC, those that do would likely have it for the units being housed, not the employees.

 

If you actually read up on the instance the article refers to, you find that complaints even mention this fact, people that worked at other warehouses complained that Amazon didn't open the loading doors to help circulate air during their unusually strong heat wave as other companies did, a lack of AC was the norm, and probably still is.

 

Your view of what is beyond justification doesn't at all fit with the legal requirements either, OSHA doesn't even recommend shutting down, let alone require it, at temperatures in excess of 100 degrees.  They recommend fans, breaks, proper hydration, and, the kicker, medical personnel on site!  Those terrible working conditions led to less than 1% of the work force needing treatment for heat related issues, none of which were serious, all of whom returned to work after cooling down and re-hydrating.  Amazon was exceeding OSHA recommendations by also providing ice bandana's and vests.

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