snopes.com  

Go Back   snopes.com > Non-UL Chat > Business Bytes

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 29 August 2018, 04:55 AM
Mouse's Avatar
Mouse Mouse is offline
 
Join Date: 11 July 2003
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 7,425
Bang Head Why Bezos Wants Amazon Employees to Wake Up Terrified Each Day

Why Bezos wants Amazon employees to wake up terrified each day

I honestly yelled, "Seriously?!" so loud when I stumbled onto this article. Bezos isn't even trying to sound less like a younger Mr. Burns.

Though I suppose who knows what would happen if his workers were given fair wages and no longer had to constantly fear losing their houses, getting sick or hurt. I mean, if they no longer worried about such luxuries as food, shelter, and medicine, or meeting incredibly punishing quotas, they may not develop stress-related ailments that develop as a result of, well, all of the above. Sure, treating them like people would improve moral, make the employees feel like they have a stake in the company, and increase productivity, which leads to increased profits, but god knows what will happen if the employees no longer have to resort to peeing in bottles and pooping in bags to meet their quotas.


But god forbid Bezos be forced to spend a small fraction of his estimated 158.6 billion net worth on the people who make it possible.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 29 August 2018, 06:18 AM
crocoduck_hunter's Avatar
crocoduck_hunter crocoduck_hunter is offline
 
Join Date: 27 May 2009
Location: Roseburg, OR
Posts: 12,742
Default

Your link doesn't seem to be working.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 29 August 2018, 02:01 PM
thorny locust's Avatar
thorny locust thorny locust is offline
 
Join Date: 27 April 2007
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 9,523
Default

Is it this article?



-- to be fair, what he seems to mean isn't that they should be afraid of not making the rent, but that the company as a whole might lose market share; and he seems to think that fear is a useful motivator for himself.

It may be so for some people; but for me it produces the reverse, a state of tension in which I can't think clearly about what to do next and therefore often don't do anything -- and then can't sleep for worrying about not having gotten anything done, which only makes the situation worse because then I'm in a daze for lack of sleep.

And I find myself wondering whether Bezos is himself actually waking up every morning terrified; or whether he's confusing a state of paying attention to what might go wrong with a state of actual fear. He can hardly be afraid of winding up homeless, after all; at least, not on any rational level.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 29 August 2018, 03:05 PM
Seaboe Muffinchucker's Avatar
Seaboe Muffinchucker Seaboe Muffinchucker is offline
 
Join Date: 30 June 2005
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 18,745
Glasses

I note that they're quoting a 20 year old statement, and then discussing the retirement of the CEO of a completely different company.

Seaboe
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 29 August 2018, 03:10 PM
Steve Steve is offline
 
Join Date: 19 October 2002
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 4,869
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post

And I find myself wondering whether Bezos is himself actually waking up every morning terrified; or whether he's confusing a state of paying attention to what might go wrong with a state of actual fear. He can hardly be afraid of winding up homeless, after all; at least, not on any rational level.
The letter is from the late 90s. Bezos wasn't poor back that, but Amazon wasn't guaranteed to become the behemoth it is now, so I'm guessing he worried quite a bit about losing customers.


As for the OP, I'm not sure if Mr. Burns ever included headings like "Work Hard, Have Fun, Make History" in his letters, but I'm guessing not. The letter really doesn't sound very ominous despite that one paragraph. And it was written when Amazon had 2,100 employees, and the current Amazon system wasn't in place.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 29 August 2018, 03:12 PM
ChasFink's Avatar
ChasFink ChasFink is offline
 
Join Date: 09 December 2015
Location: Mineola, NY
Posts: 893
No

I'm with Thorny.

The stupidity of the title, and of Bezos' advice to the workforce, is that fear isn't the best way of dealing with the situation. What he should be saying is concern for the future of the company, coupled with vigilance in looking for threats to their success, is what's needed. Fear doesn't help you win the battle, it just makes you crap your pants when the attack comes. Of course by using the word fear, he's justifying making the workers fear for making the rent, because hey! we've got to keep it lean in order to stay on top.

I've been lucky to have had few bosses who propagate an atmosphere of fear. When I did have one, my productivity and loyalty to the company both suffered immensely.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 29 August 2018, 08:56 PM
Errata's Avatar
Errata Errata is offline
 
Join Date: 02 August 2005
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Posts: 13,160
Default

He's talking about fear leading to innovation and experimentation, which to me, implies that he's not talking about the vast majority of his work force. I've never seen any indication that he expects or wants his warehouse workers to experiment with how they do their job. If anything, they'd want them to be more robotic.

If he wants the executives at his headquarters to be afraid, that's not a corporate culture that I'd want to participate in, personally, but I think those executives have options to go do something else. They're not high on my list of concerns.

If he wants his army of low level warehouse workers to wake up afraid every morning, about things beyond their control, that's just evil. It's entirely possible that he does, of course, but that doesn't seem to be what he's talking about here. Regardless of the intent, there's plenty to be criticized about how they are treated and compensated.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 29 August 2018, 09:41 PM
E. Q. Taft's Avatar
E. Q. Taft E. Q. Taft is offline
 
Join Date: 30 July 2003
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 14,257
Default

Related:

Amazon, in a rare political response, calls Bernie Sanders' claims of poor worker conditions 'inaccurate and misleading'
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 30 August 2018, 12:02 AM
thorny locust's Avatar
thorny locust thorny locust is offline
 
Join Date: 27 April 2007
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 9,523
Default

From that article:

Quote:
In the U.S., the average hourly wage for a full-time associate in our fulfillment centers, including cash, stock, and incentive bonuses, is over $15/hour before overtime.
-- what's the actual cash pay at starting levels, I wonder?

For that matter, what's the average cash pay, not including stock and "incentive bonuses"? And what's the mean, which may be significantly different from the average? What do you have to do to get incentive bonuses? What percentage of the workers get them?

-- anybody on these boards work at Amazon and want to weigh in?
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 30 August 2018, 12:41 AM
crocoduck_hunter's Avatar
crocoduck_hunter crocoduck_hunter is offline
 
Join Date: 27 May 2009
Location: Roseburg, OR
Posts: 12,742
Default

I worked at a book distribution warehouse that fulfilled Amazon orders before they had their own network.

"Average full-time associate" meant management. The actual people working the floor were part-timers making minimum wage with no benefits or stock options.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 30 August 2018, 12:49 AM
GenYus234's Avatar
GenYus234 GenYus234 is offline
 
Join Date: 02 August 2005
Location: Mesa, AZ
Posts: 26,273
Default

Indeed's listing for floor worker says that $12.68 is the average salary. Their SEC required salary listing shows that the median wage at Amazon is $28,446, which would equate to $13.68 an hour, assuming no overtime. (At $12.68, it would be about 100 hours of overtime per year.)

Note that the salary in the filing does not appear to include stock.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 30 August 2018, 01:49 AM
ganzfeld's Avatar
ganzfeld ganzfeld is offline
 
Join Date: 05 September 2005
Location: Kyoto, Japan
Posts: 23,630
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
And what's the mean, which may be significantly different from the average?
Maybe you mean something different from mean. Median? Midrange?
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 30 August 2018, 03:27 AM
thorny locust's Avatar
thorny locust thorny locust is offline
 
Join Date: 27 April 2007
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 9,523
Default

Whoops, sorry. Yes, I meant median.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
I've decided to move...and I'm terrified Magdalene SLC 50 30 November 2015 03:32 PM
Jeff Bezos' rocket lands safely after space flight Psihala Business Bytes 6 24 November 2015 11:59 PM
Washington Post to be sold to Jeff Bezos BrianB Business Bytes 20 06 August 2013 09:44 PM
'Terrified' Sorority Girl Spends Night in Jail; Authorities Mistake Water for Beer Avril Police Blotter 23 04 July 2013 12:05 AM
Wake up America! snopes Politics 13 17 March 2008 07:57 AM


All times are GMT. The time now is 11:58 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.