Amazon worker: 'It's like every bad job you've had - at once'

By Frank Chung

A chorus of former employees have been calling out the working conditions at Amazon's logistics centers. Photo / Getty
A chorus of former employees have been calling out the working conditions at Amazon's logistics centers. Photo / Getty

Ever wondered what it's like to work at Amazon?

"Amazon is like every single bad job you've ever had - at once," according to one former employee, who has offered a glimpse inside the work culture at the world's biggest online retailer.

It comes as Amazon embarks on a hiring spree, advertising more than 100 roles in IT, marketing, sales and HR as it prepares to launch in Australia later this year.

The company opened a Sydney office in 2015, and last year leased extra space at No. 2 Park St as it prepares for an aggressive rollout which will include its grocery delivery service, Amazon Fresh.

But the former logistics worker, speaking to news.com.au, hit out at the company's work culture and technology, describing it as "broken". She also warned that employees routinely had their phones spied on by the retailer.

"I quit because I worked the logistics side [and] I was literally tired of the fact that there are a huge amount of packages that are misdelivered every single day," she said.

"Amazon knows exactly where that package is due to their geodata software. We were not allowed to tell the customer anything other than 'your package is lost' when in reality it was most likely delivered to a house one street over.

"I have no idea why we weren't allowed to tell customers about misdelivered packages. I had so many cases where the package was delivered to the wrong address, wrong apartment number, wrong city.

"We were not allowed to report the drivers or offer feedback on them. Granted Amazon would replace or refund, but that's not really the point. Their system is broken."

The former employee from Seattle in the US backed a report out of the UK which found drivers working for Amazon urinated and even defecated in their vehicles to meet crushing deadlines.

"The reason I say their system is broken is because most of their delivery personnel are contract workers," the former employee said. "They are treated very poorly. We [support staff] are not allowed to assist them in doing their jobs nor were we allowed to offer advice or feedback. We could offer directions if they were lost. That's it."

Amazon "could be a good thing", she said. "For me, it was - in the beginning. If you're someone who wants to work from home, they have positions that allow you to work fulltime from home, [which] I did. The pay was low - $US10 an hour. No pay increases until after a year.

"Their delivery idea could be awesome, but it's not. There are so many misdeliveries, drivers who are worn out, overworked. Staff who are treated poorly.

"That story [about the drivers] really hit home. I had talked to so many over the phone, that it was dead on. No time for breaks, very stressful, so many afraid of doing something wrong.

"What kind of job is that? One that makes you fearful? We have all had that one job that was a chore, but Amazon is like every single bad job you've ever had - at once."

- news.com.au

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