Josh's Blog

Well that was quick!

Well that was quick!

I lasted 5 days with Amazon. Long enough to get my first paycheck and confirm just how lousy working for this company – at least as “Sortation Associate” is. Now to be fair, I heard from a fellow employee that some Amazon sites are better to work at than others. Like myself, he was appalled at how atrocious the treatment of workers was at this Bromley by Bow location.

In a nutshell, here are the key issues:

  • Poor management – no clear cut procedures were established.
  • Micro-management – everything you do is monitored by a computer, if you take too long, you will be approached by supervisory personnel.
  • Lack of trust – Amazon will literally hire anyone for this role, and as such, I reckon they’ve been taken advantage of. This means that new folks do not have any benefit of the doubt for having a good work ethic.
  • No breaks – here in England employers can work you for 6 hours before they are legally required to give you a break. Amazon takes full advantage of this, and while they tell you you can take breaks in ‘training’, I’ve found this to be mostly untrue. The break room is monitored, and while on the floor sorting goods, everything you do is timed.
  • Rude staff – All us new folks agreed that as a new “amazonian’, management hates you. You are shouted at, you are pointed to, you are disrespected, on a constant basis. One lady I worked with said she felt like she was treated like a slave, as she was constantly being hounded for not moving fast enough.
  • Management is Disorganized – Several times you are assigned to an isle full of parcels that another associate is already in. Covid 19 restrictions prevent you from enetering the isle with the other person, so you have two courses of action:
    1. Pressure the other associate into moving aside so you can get your parcels.
    2. Wait for the associate to finish, then enter the isle.

Remember that everyone is being timed here, so the solution is always at you or the other person’s expense. So now, on top of being hounded, you have conditions ripe for employee conflict.

  • When you are approached, management will make the extra effort to really animate they are looking at your nametag, this way you know that they know who you are.

Okay so I could go on and on. Inconsistent Corona virus precautions, the use of equally bad temp agencies, I’ve yet to receive my first pay stub, etc…

The fact is, this place is a depressing and spiteful Amazon hub to work at. They take advantage of the high unemployment numbers out there and use them to bully the workforce into unreasonable and unmonitored labor demands. Dignity and Respect are what should be at the forefront of any employee’s basic treatment expectations here in the civilized world. You will not get that here.

Another thing to point out is that I was hired by a temp agency called PMP. They definitely deserve huge credit for the abysmal working conditions as well. It is extremely difficult to contact anyone, and I doubt they care about any issues one might have. This is a BIG contract they have with Amazon, and as the insane turnover suggests, they will plow through the numbers not matter what the cost.

Anything good?

Well it isn’t bad pay for a position that requires zero skills or work experience. I was making somewhere in the £10.50 per hour, which adjusted to USD is about $14.

Amazon provides you with the appropriate safety wear, including steel toed boots and a hi-visibility vest.

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