Life

Amazon users undeterred by reports of poor working conditions

The convenience of online shopping has changed our retail experience and no one wants to give that up.

Whoever thought ten years ago that today my family and I would be able to get our Christmas shopping done from our couch or even from our beds? 

Shopping at the mall can be one of the most painful things to do. You start off by telling yourself “I’ll just go to that one store “ which turns into five stores or, “it’ll only take me half an hour” which then becomes three hours. This past weekend, one teenager at the mall said to me, with a sigh of frustration, “Shopping at the mall is such a hassle.” Later as he exited the store I noticed he was empty-handed.

Complaints similar to these are what have helped the success of Amazon. A student from Alpha Secondary said, “Amazon has done a great job on making finding what you want quick and easy.” That is a popular sentiment about Amazon, but that convenience comes at a cost to the workers who deliver the package and those who work in warehouses.

A worker from Amazon told me about what he called his “miserable” experiences in the warehouse. One complaint is that the working environment is incredibly isolating and incredibly busy. “We are completely on our own,” he said, “constantly getting things to pack or store.” 

And he can’t music for relief. He explained that Amazon has strict rules against wearing headphones. 

Many Amazon users rave about how quickly their products are delivered, no matter the size of the purchase. “Buying Amazon Prime was the best-spent money I spent,” one user reported. “I can purchase anything and it’ll be on my doorstep the next day.” 

But to achieve this level of service, delivery workers are constantly put under pressure due to the company’s policy. The company expects that workers deliver 999 out of 1000 of their orders on time. Along with a minimum of 250 packages per day, jumping to 400 or more during holidays. Packages are delivered directly to your doorstep whether or not you have an Amazon Prime account. 

I spoke to over a dozen active users, and not one mentioned any sort of problem. One Amazon user even said he has been using Amazon Prime for the past three years and is yet to run into any incidents, despite ordering products monthly. 

Despite the stories of the difficult working conditions that Amazon employees toil under, consumer’s remain enthusiastic about the benefits Amazon is bringing to them. “If you don’t have Amazon Prime, you need to seriously invest in an account.” Said a local Amazon Prime user. 

Image Credit: Flicker/Amazon eCom Jeff Bezos 

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