Fortune


Amazons Jeff Bezos is Lazy

3 min read

Amazon has been in the news frequently lately. When you're one of the largest companies, that's going to happen. The New York Times did an extensive piece on what it's like to work there. It was eye-opening on several levels. Some of what they uncovered was not new. I knew Amazon paid people to quit but not to an extent of 150% turnover.

Then there's the whole peeing in bottles thing, which is very real, and Amazon is aware of it. Employees do it to meet their quotas. Despite being aware, Amazon raised drivers quotas anyway. They also defecate in bags. Rather than make conditions better for the drivers, they decided to punish them when they left their pee cups and poop bags in their trucks.[1]

Jeff Bezos's whole argument is people who are there too long demand too much. They'll want better pay, better benefits, better rights and become unhappy if their needs aren't met. And they might form a union and strike to get it. In a nutshell, he believes people are inherently lazy and want to expend as little energy as possible to get what they want or need.

Only what Bezos described is people who want to be treated with respect and receive fair compensation for their work. The true lazy one is Bezos. He wants maximum profits while compensating his employees as little as possible. He'd rather churn through millions of workers and stop them from unionizing than put any effort into the most basic benefits and rights. They even fired Christian Smalls who was trying to organize a union there. Amazon claimed he violated the company-imposed 14-day quarantine after he came into contact with an employee who tested positive for the coronavirus.[2]

Bezos is lazy and ruthless when it comes to everything. Rather than make a good diaper, he sought to purchase Diapers.com. When they wouldn't sell, he decided to undercut their profits as much as possible by selling cheap diapers. They were willing to lose 200 million a month to do so.[3] Eventually, they bought them at a lower price because Diapers.com had no choice. When congress asked about it, Bezos conveniently could not recall what happened. Of course not. I would forget the details leading up to a half a billion-dollar purchase too. We all would.

Work is essentially paid slavery. That's how Bezos and the majority of companies in the United States view it. Not much has changed in hundreds of years. Obviously, real slavery was terrible and way worse. But work today is the same concept. The people and the bottom do all the work and receive as little compensation as legally possible.

In contrast, the people on top do as little as possible while knowing as little as possible but reap all the money. At one point, Bezos made $2,537 per second. That's how much an Amazon worker getting paid their new minimum wage of $15 an hour makes a month.[4]

Unless the government steps in to stop it, there's no reason for any company to change its practices. There's no such thing as a caring billionaire. There's no way you can become a billionaire unless you screw someone or something over along the way.

Yes, Bezos did do something good for once when he took Wally Funk into space with his Blue Origin rocket. Funk had been dying to go to space ever since she joined the Woman in Space program in 1961. But she kept being denied because she was a woman. But I highly doubt he did this out of the goodness of his heart. I'm sure he did it to drum up good publicity for himself.

When he returned, he also claimed space changed him. He even thanked his employees and customers for making it happen. That's a start. But I highly doubt anything will change at Amazon. Even if he does change, he doesn't technically work there anymore. But the culture he created there will live on forever.


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