But hey, that's white-collar work. There are worse fates than having to stare at spreadsheets all week, and the pay probably makes the sacrifice at least somewhat worth it. The same cannot be said for Amazon's warehouses, which annihilate one's body and soul in exchange for a paycheck insufficient to afford most of what Amazon offers.
One survey found that 74 percent of Amazon warehouse workers avoid bathroom breaks to "prevent disciplinary action." Over half said they'd become more depressed or anxious since joining. Exhaustion is common, as is intimidation from management, dangerous working conditions, and warehouse temperatures exceeding 100 degrees or dropping below freezing. Injured employees have been discouraged from seeking treatment, pushed out, or fired. Drivers don't have it any better. Amazon legally considers them "temporary workers," even if they remain on the job for years. That means random firings, inconsistent payments and scheduling, and 11-hour driving days that force them to relieve themselves on the road. Everything that gets out about working at Amazon makes the back of an Arby's look like paradise.
A three-and-a-half-week undercover stint by a British journalist confirmed and expanded on much of what's been made public, including demerits for calling in sick, even with a doctor's note (six demerits would equal one firing), electronic reminders when a worker was behind pace, and the discovery of a bottle of urine presumably left by a worker trying to avoid exactly that. All for what Amazon says is a median warehouse salary of $28,446 a year ... assuming your nine-month contract gets renewed.