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If you thought your last job had some harsh conditions, you might be surprised to learn what some Amazon employees may be going through. The harsh work culture that’s been alleged by multiple headlines in recent years is depressing to read about and unjustifiable even if you’re a fan of Amazon as a brand.
But is there more to the story than these allegations suggest? Either way, there are some powerful lessons to learn here.
What the allegations claimed.
One of the most prominent attacks on Amazon’s work culture came from a scathing piece in the New York Times back in 2015. The piece alleged that employees were told that if they “hit the wall,” the only solution was to “climb the wall.” The article alleged that employees were expected to stay late, attend long meetings designed to force employees to tear apart one other’s ideas and respond to emails as late as midnight.
It even alleged that the company had a policy that encouraged employees to send anonymous feedback to supervisors as a way to sabotage one other and ruthlessly climb the corporate ladder. One employee, Bo Olson, claimed, “Nearly every person I worked with, I saw cry at their desk.”
Of course that was three years ago. But, more recently, a New York Post story reported on undercover investigator and author James Bloodworth’s attempts to infiltrate an Amazon Warehouse in Rugeley, Staffordshire, in the U.K.. Bloodworth alleged, “People just peed in bottles because they lived in fear of being disciplined over ‘idle time’ and losing their jobs just because they needed the loo.” He likened the warehouse to a prison.
An independent survey this year seemed to validate these concerns. Originally published by Organise.org, the survey found that about three-quarters of U.K. fulfillment-center employees were hesitant or afraid to use the restrooms during the day…