Whenever you mention that you buy something but don't have the time or the drive to do it, everyone just says "Order it off Amazon!" Without thinking, we go to Amazon and find whatever it is that we're looking for and in 2 business days it's sitting on our front porch. Sounds great right? No need to dig deeper right? Wrong.
First, let's start with how misleading the history of Amazon is. This picture has gone viral many times and is often associated with a caption like "This was Amazon's first office, now Jeff Bezos is the richest man on Earth." That may seem inspirational and all, but are also highly misleading. Jeff Bezos started Amazon using his parent's money. Within 30 days, the website was making $20,000 a week in sales. A year after the company was founded, Kleiner Perkins donated $8 million to the company. There was never really a time when Amazon was without money.
If you have spent any time on the internet, you have probably also seen the stories of Amazon workers working in some of the most unethical work environments. There have even been stories of people peeing in bottles to avoid losing their jobs. With a very high, and ever increasing, demand for fast service, Amazon workers tend to skip bathroom breaks or use bottles in order to ensure that they are not wasting time on the floor and risk losing their jobs. There have also been stories of employees who have suffered personal unfortunate incidents being phased out instead of given leave.
Working for Amazon is a high-stress job, as work follows you home in the form of emails and follow-up emails and follow-up texts. Some people just see the job as mundane and tedious because counting boxes isn't the best of jobs. However, like one employee wrote, sometimes it's the best some people can do. When the interview process consists of mainly "Are you a U.S. citizen?" and "Can you read the alphabet?" almost anyone can get the job. This may seem great for people with a number of physical and mental disabilities and those with little to no working experience, or those in a pinch for a job to make ends meet.
Amazon's over-demanding and misleading jobs include more than just the floor workers. Amazon has introduced Amazon "Flex," an Uber-like program to help get packages from the local distribution centers to your doorstep. These drivers receive little to no training and can deliver packages via their personal vehicles or even public transportation. While the job may seem like a great way to make money, much like Uber or Lyft, but it can be so much more demanding. There have even been stories of people having to drive through flood waters after hurricanes to get packages delivered.
The main takeaway from working at Amazon seems to be "don't work at Amazon." Many workers have reported new mental health issues or a decrease in mental health since they began working there. Most workers also stated that they would not apply to work for Amazon again.
Now the question consumers have on their mind is "Am I a bad person for shopping through Amazon?" And the answer is, it depends. Many people are able to see past the flaws of the Amazon corporation because people chose to work there and also have the choice of quitting, so they don't see anything wrong with it. Others believe that they shouldn't be buying into a company with unethical business practices in any way.