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  • Amazon says you're fired, it's nothing personal

    Posted on Bluetrix Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums Outside the box Rants Amazon says you're fired, it's nothing personal

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      • #1173914 Reply
        AskWoody MVP

        Nothing personal, fine words those are, unless those words are directed at you. Contrary to saying “Nothing Personal”, firing someone is personal. It’s rarely a joyful experience for a boss or the employee. At best it can only be a meeting of minds.

        During my time as a manager and later as an owner, I’ve had to let people go. Only once did I actually said the words “You’re Fired”. I admit, for that single instance it felt good saying “You’re Fired”.  It raised the moral of employees,  it  showed them I was aware of what was happening in our work place.

        Every time I let someone go, it was in a “face to face” meeting, away from other employees. This kind of meeting is occurring less these days, often the chore and warnings are delegated. HR has many responsibilities.

        Amazon has taken firing an employee to a level that’s dehumanizing. In an online article by The Verve  (and reported elsewhere) AI is now discharging employees for Amazon. Wow, I got fired by a software program! I am so happy it wasn’t personal.

        I am not a fan of Amazon and I do not intentionally purchase from them. They run what is essentially a “sweat shop” in their distribution centers, this is well documented. That isn’t the only reason I have no love-fest for Amazon though. I don’t object to an owner/manager terminating an employee for cause, but that the responsibility should be done in person, not by a machine.

        Call me old school and you would be correct, calling me impersonal would not. I know we live in a “new age” and perhaps what I object to the most is … nothing’s personal.

        Yes, I know about the days of “Pink Slips”, those slips however unpleasant, were propagated by a human.


        6 users thanked author for this post.
      • #1186740 Reply

        I agree with you, also wearing the hats of boss and owner. Letting people go has definitely been the worst thing I’ve had to do—thankfully only a handful of times. I too did it in person, and totally disagree with doing it otherwise.

        It’s like relationships ending, which have also always been face-to-face—however difficult that was. Both events are just too personal—in the sense of seriously affecting a person—to delegate to another person or algorithm.

        I don’t agree re Amazon. I’ve bought from them for 20 years, and they’ve been a significant help to my business and many thousands of other small businesses. I admire Bezos’ long-term thinking, which is such a rarity in capitalist markets, and I’ve enjoyed the fruits of his obsession with customer service—while suffering for it on the supplier side.

        Amazon … run what is essentially a “sweat shop” in their distribution centers, this is well documented.

        Yes, I’ve read quite a few articles in credible sources about this. What I’ve never seen is a comparison between Amazon’s distribution centers and those of other large companies. If you have anything on that, I’d love to get a picture on if and how much Amazon is worse than business in general.

        Amazon has so many enemies—eg almost all brick n mortar retailers—that I always regard criticism of them as suspect, especially when not supported by comparison with its peers.

        Alienware Aurora R6; Win10 Home x64 1803; Office 365 x32
        i7-7700; GeForce GTX 1060; 16GB DDR4 2400; 1TB SSD, 256GB SSD, 4TB HD

      • #1208765 Reply
        AskWoody MVP

        I̶ ̶a̶m̶ ̶n̶o̶t̶ ̶a̶ ̶f̶a̶n̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶A̶m̶a̶z̶o̶n̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶I̶ ̶d̶o̶ ̶n̶o̶t̶ ̶i̶n̶t̶e̶n̶t̶i̶o̶n̶a̶l̶l̶y̶ ̶p̶u̶r̶c̶h̶a̶s̶e̶ ̶f̶r̶o̶m̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶m̶.̶ ̶T̶h̶e̶y̶ ̶r̶u̶n̶ ̶w̶h̶a̶t̶ ̶i̶s̶ ̶e̶s̶s̶e̶n̶t̶i̶a̶l̶l̶y̶ ̶a̶ ̶“̶s̶w̶e̶a̶t̶ ̶s̶h̶o̶p̶”̶ ̶i̶n̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶i̶r̶ ̶d̶i̶s̶t̶r̶i̶b̶u̶t̶i̶o̶n̶ ̶c̶e̶n̶t̶e̶r̶s̶,̶ ̶t̶h̶i̶s̶ ̶i̶s̶ ̶w̶e̶l̶l̶ ̶d̶o̶c̶u̶m̶e̶n̶t̶e̶d̶.̶ ̶T̶h̶a̶t̶ ̶i̶s̶n̶’̶t̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶o̶n̶l̶y̶ ̶r̶e̶a̶s̶o̶n̶ ̶I̶ ̶h̶a̶v̶e̶ ̶n̶o̶ ̶l̶o̶v̶e̶-̶f̶e̶s̶t̶ ̶f̶o̶r̶ ̶A̶m̶a̶z̶o̶n̶ ̶t̶h̶o̶u̶g̶h̶.̶

        Lets remove the above words from my post. They distract from it’s point. Call my state of mind while typing them a cognitive dissonance.

        Comparing Amazon’s practices to another retailer, online or brick and mortar, isn’t in my circle.
        I don’t hide my dislike of Amazon, then again, I don’t carry a boycott sign either.
        No one I know works for or with Amazon, past or present.

        Using AI to fire an employee redefines people as a disposable item. I think we can agree on that.

        4 users thanked author for this post.
      • #1627890 Reply
        AskWoody Plus

        The key word is taking “humanity” out of the equation.   I recall the lawsuit where a bunch of pregnant women were let go (PC word for fired) due to what they perceive as being pregnant.  Haven’t kept up with the story so don’t know what the outcome was from the lawsuit.  Regardless, the firing appears to be quite base if you ask me.   That said, I do continue to use Amazon for some things.  Only complaint I now has to do with the ever increasing membership fees.  lol

        I have no real knowledge of how this company treats their employees so who am I to judge.  Was, of course, bothered by the pregnant ladies layoff story, though.   🙂

        • #1635607 Reply

          bothered by the pregnant ladies layoff story

          Yeah, I remember that—there have been such lawsuits by 6-7 women against Amazon this decade if I recall correctly. Again, it looks like Amazon’s enemies feeding the media, and the media of course running with a juicy story.

          I say that because I don’t recall seeing any stories about pregnant lawsuits against other companies. Very suspicious, considering there are ~3,500 such cases per year in the US according to the EEOC.

          With 650,000 employees, I’ve no doubt there are some real j**** in supervisory & management positions—I’ve seen same in much smaller companies. Also no doubt that there have been loads of mistreatment & discrimination incidents in all big-medium companies.

          My old notes say ~10% of women of childbearing age get pregnant each year in US [with 6% resulting in a birth]. I don’t know how many of Amazon’s 650K workers are in that bracket, but it should be a safe way-under guess that at least 10,000 of them get pregnant. Thankfully there doesn’t seem to be a story about 99.9% of them.

          Alienware Aurora R6; Win10 Home x64 1803; Office 365 x32
          i7-7700; GeForce GTX 1060; 16GB DDR4 2400; 1TB SSD, 256GB SSD, 4TB HD

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