What's the company culture at Amazon.com?

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Every business has it's own style. What is the office environment and culture like at Amazon.com?

Are people dressed in business casual, jeans and t-shirts, or full-on suits? Do folks get together for Friday happy hours and friendly get-togethers?

What is a typical day in the life of an employee at Amazon.com?

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steve6161 in Tacoma, Washington

89 months ago

I'm interested in a tech writer position in Amazon's Web Services group. Do you know what that group is like?

Thanks.

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Pam Bruce in Phoenix, Arizona

84 months ago

Amazon.com fulfillment center has the most inhumane working conditions I have ever experienced in my life. Long hours, low wages. We walk 4 minutes to be able to sit down for 7 minutes to turn around and walk 4 minutes back to our work location. That means we work 5 and a half hours with a 7 minute break. There is no air circulating in what was described as "air-conditioned" when we took the job. The managers don't care about anything but bodies performing manual labor. Period! Oh, and bodies that don't get hurt because they don't want law suits. Not because they care about human beings, they just don't want law suits. The people I work with want jobs but they don't want to be treated like animals. Amazon.com treats people like animals.

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Pent-up in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

34 months ago

[QUOTE]Amazon.com treats people like animals.

Indeed. As a stower, I know what you mean. People have been written up for making a mistake while doing a NEW job they were JUST trained for, while the training was only 30 minutes. Some got NO training. All that's cared about is rate rate rate rate rate. Not quality. They say quality, but it's unrealistic at the rate they want from us. It's hard, as a stower, to get that rate when there is either no bin space, or having to take EVERY kart to a problem solver, or you need to walk all the way to smalls/mediums to stow a mixed tote. Forget trying to mention those problems, or mentioning that you were doing a special task or doing a problem solve kart, because management doesn't take it into real account. One manager says you can/have to do one thing. Another says otherwise, and no matter which one you listen to, you'll get in trouble by the other one. There's no real communication.

And as far as I know, there are no sick days. You have to use personal time, but in order to get a whole day off of personal time, you need to schedule it a day ahead. Who can schedule when they will be sick a day in advance? All you can do then is go to work and try to make it till lunch, so you can get 1/2 day personal, but sickness kills your rate, and they don't care. Still gotta make rate.

I got written up for having an 85% rate. That is GOOD. They TOLD me that a while ago. I got written up because, despite being 85%, I was in the bottom 10% of the shift. So what? The others did better, but I still hit my mark. I could do better, but I was told 85% was good. If I got a 200%, and the rest all got 201% or more, I'd get written up for being in the bottom 10%. When I inquired about why the others' rates being better made mine worthy of a write up, I was told "It's a dog eat dog world here", when they like to keep telling us about "teamwork". What teamwork is there in that? BS!

/necessary rant before I blow it at work

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Sarah in Allentown, Pennsylvania

23 months ago

I had a very similiar experience that Pent-up had. When I was working for Amazon Fulfillment Center two years ago I also had got written up. But the really strange thing about my case is that I remember I had to admit i was going too fast the first day of working in the receiving department. This was not my first day in the warehouse, because it takes a week or more of training before they put you on the line (receiving department)but it was my first day on the line. What happens is i have heard many people on different internet sites and some people working at amazon warehouse saying that they have got written up for going to slow or having a slightly slow rate. I was going mad fast and people kept looking at me weird like what the heck am i doing. Now i know that no one in their right mind would go that fast on their first day on the line unless they had some experience with this line of work which of course i have had no experience. Now what is very unusual is i did not get written up for making mistakes or errors. But i actually got written up for going to slow. There are two analyses, one that tells you how you your rate and the other is given to you if you are making errors. Well, i find it interesting is how i should have probably gotten something that says i was making too many errors, But instead i got something that says i was going to slow. My point is that you can tell their actions are very predictable in the receiving department. im not talking about unloading stuff off the trucks, im referring to the job where you stand there for like 10 hours and place stuff in tote and scan items and use the computer or machine. if one was to work at the receiving station, and just try to as fast as they humanly possibly could for the first time they are on the line, they will suprisingly see notice two things. Surprising how the people dont get written up for making errors Surprising how people get written up for going to slow when they go so fast and make errors.

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Brian in Seattle, Washington

18 months ago

Let me speak on behalf of the technical workers here in Seattle. I am a WDE2 (Web Development Engineer 2) at Amazon and the team I am on are treated well in regards to time off, benefits and respect. The dress code is casual with most choosing to go business casual or Thinkgeek t-shirts, shorts and sandals. Amazon even gives/loans out free umbrellas when it rains (which it does a lot in Seattle). That said, you don't just walk into this job - you are either a college prodigy or have a long and successful career behind you when you get here. The campuses are very nice, the cafeteria is stellar (but not free), the equipment is great (I have 3 great big monitors, a Linux server of my own, and a laptop) and yes, you can bring your dog to work. The pay is good but not as great as you could get at MS and many of us go back and forth. The culture is very much a performance-based affair and it's well known that most people don't last at Amazon for more than 6 months either from burnout or they under-perform and get fired. You are expected to take your laptop home and do a little work from home if necessary and maybe do a couple hours on your weekend. Also, many of us take turns on call. I even took my work laptop to Puerto Vallarta on vacation recently, much to the chagrin of my fiance. The politics are typical corporate politics but unless you're in management, you get shielded from most of that. Some of this might sound harsh but the fact is that most of us love what we do - we're always creating new and awesome things, get to see our work in the wild and feed of of each others enthusiasm and energy. The technical side of Amazon is not for everyone but if you're passionate and good at what you do, have had some measure of success and are a alpha-type personality, you'll do fine. In fact, there is quite a bit of attention put on hiring to make sure you fit all these criteria because, like I said, Amazon is definitely not for everyone.

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sumanreddy in Hyderabad, India

18 months ago

I love working in Amazon as technical support...........

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Truth in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

17 months ago

Working at Amazon in the warehouses or often referred to as Fulfillment Centers and working in an office or having some type of leadership position or role is like night and day. If i said it wrong please forgive me. I dont know what to call it but someone who is in charge of someone or more than one person. There are a number of things you could be at amazon but majority of people are not this. If you are a line leader, ISS auditor, PA, Senior, work in ICQR or ICRQ(forgive me if i said that wrong way), Manager, Supervisor, Teamlead, Trainer, or something like that you have a much better chance of being treated like a human being. Hours tend to be steadier than temps. Yes, i know, some of these people may not have steady hours but it is much better than just working in departments doing physical labor as a picker, receiver, sorter, packer, etc. Please dont tell me how alot of people also do physical labor sometimes. This is not the same as someone who is sweating 9/1/2 hours a day doing physical labor.

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Rosewolf in Chico, California

16 months ago

I have just completed training at Amazon in Fernley, Nevada. The training was minimal, the pressure to keep ones rates up is great. I was shocked to see how fast people must walk between assignments !
I will find employment elsewhere ASAP !!!!

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Rosewolf in Loyalton, California

16 months ago

I want to amend my last comment: I trained and am now working my first week as a "picker" at the warehouse in Fernley, Nevada. I echo the comments of other posters. I wonder if we shouldn't try to organize the workers or perhaps start a campaign to educate Amazon customers towards refusing to buy from Amazon until they improve their labor practices ???

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mcgrrl in Murfreesboro, Tennessee

15 months ago

I have worked at the new Amazon FC in TN since Sept. 2012. I have been a problem solver since my second day, and since Jan. 2013 I have been a backup ISS rep. When a tier 3 opening came up in our ISS dept. I applied. I was told by HR that I did not qualify because they have a point matrix that they use to rate people's resumes and to determine who will get to interview. I was enraged. After all, I had been doing the job for 5 months. Now it has come to light that I had worked so much in an indirect path function, I did not have enough rates for HR to evaluate me. I cannot fathom why rate is so important. When all was said and done, a person from another department who had no ISS experience got the job and I was expected to assist in training her! Several others in similar positions to mine have been denied interviews for the same reason-no rates. SO now my manager is rotating us around into rated functions so that when the seasonal positions come up, we should be able to get them. The whole rate thing sucks.

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That One Girl in Hermitage, Tennessee

15 months ago

I have been working at one of the new FC's in TN since October 2012. (I started at the older FC but moved to my actual FC in March 2013 when the facility was ready for us.) I would have to say that the actual Amazon company culture varies from FC to FC and it will vary depending upon who you speak to/whoever has the most influence upon your day to day activities. Our FC management is (for the most part) VERY Customer centric and VERY customer obsessed. Some of our associates are also obsessed with fulfilling the promise to the customer.

Amazon is NOT a bad place to work. I enjoy my job immensely. My facility is a non-sort facility which means we handle larger items and there are MANY pieces of PIT equipment in operation at all times. (PIT = forklifts of varying kinds) The first facility I worked in was a sortable facility. I didn't enjoy it as much because I had physical limitations that prevented me from being able to consistently hit rate.

*RATE* Yes. Rate is EXTREMELY important and productivity is a HUGE deal to Amazon management. It is important because of several reasons. (1) Not everyone is honest and they have to have some way to track what we are doing other than just saying "Hey, go get these items." and trusting us to do it because of the less honest people. There also must be a benchmark or you'd have 70% of the workforce lollygagging around. (2) Think about what we do. We fulfill customer orders. Amazon has made a promise to these people that these items will arrive at their home on X day in great condition. The job that you and I signed on for involves honoring that promise. Amazon does not just have one customer. we have millions of customers. This is why our FC's send out in excess of 10k items a day to our customers. We want those customers to order again. So providing an amazing customer experience is crucial to that. (I speak here as both a warehouse associate and a customer.

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That One Girl in Hermitage, Tennessee

15 months ago

I got cut off ;)

Area managers DO have the ability to make exceptions for you where rate is concerned. I don't know how much wiggle room they have but I have known people who had extremely low rate due to multiple issues and their manager just made an exception for them. It is important to communicate with your area manager if you are experiencing roadblocks. (if they are not receptive, go to the Ops Manager or your FC GM. Amazon has an open door policy.)

No company is perfect and no person is perfect. I had NO success in attempting to obtain leniency at the old FC due to issues. My current experience with my current managers is fantastic. I can say honestly that I LOVE My job. That's not to say that there isn't a lot of bad/wrong because there is. I see it and it's ugly. But the unique thing about Amazon is that they are willing to examine the ugly and work on it to fix the problem.
To the girl at BNA3: I'm so sorry to hear that this happened to you. BNA2 has 2 ISS Field Rep positions open. Did you apply? Supposedly they were closing on 7-4 but they are still posted...

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Scared in West Columbia, South Carolina

15 months ago

I have an interview in a few days to work at the FC in Cayce, SC. It's almost a brand new facility, maybe been there a year. Has anyone worked there/are you able to tell me how bad it will be? I also have tattoos on my arms, is that against company policy? From how it sounds, I might die of heat stroke if they make me wear long sleeves to cover up the tats. Also what is the company policy related to sexual orientation? Will I get fired for mentioning my boyfriend if that should come up?

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that one girl in Hermitage, Tennessee

15 months ago

Scared in West Columbia, South Carolina said: I have an interview in a few days to work at the FC in Cayce, SC. It's almost a brand new facility, maybe been there a year. Has anyone worked there/are you able to tell me how bad it will be? I also have tattoos on my arms, is that against company policy? From how it sounds, I might die of heat stroke if they make me wear long sleeves to cover up the tats. Also what is the company policy or delayed to sexual orientation? Will I get fired for mentioning my boyfriend if that should come up?

Hey! Amazon is very piercing and tat friendly. Many managers at my fc have tattoos. Full sleeves etc. you also have to remember that Amazon has our hq in Seattle. Very progressive city. Amazon also offers benefits to same sex partners. So you are good there. I obviously can't speak to your local managements culture but as a whole amazon is very lgbtq friendly. is based out of

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mcgrrl in Murfreesboro, Tennessee

15 months ago

Thank you That One Girl for the info. Unfortunately, I live so close to BNA3 that it does not make sense for me to travel to BNA2. Also unfortunately, my managers will not make allowances for me. There is blatant favoritism, where I see the same people problem solve and never have to receive or prove a rate. I am very disgusted with the management-the area managers are all 22-26 years old with no managerial experience. The work is not steady, and many days they offer VTO and VOT at the same time. It's a crazy culture. I love the actual ISS work, but not sure how much longer I can stand this company.

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No in Turlock, California

7 months ago

One thing is for sure, I make more hauling tomatoes or grapes in three months than an Amazon employee makes in 1 year.Typical big corporation mentality. Days are stressful and mentally exhausting. I'll be jumping ship pretty soon, the Patterson FC can go eat $hit and die.

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No in Turlock, California

7 months ago

I don't work directly for Amazon but I tell you, the place is bad news. . . My position has left me a mental train wreck! All the inbound/outbound morons do is nag, nag, nag! LEAVE ME ALONE! Then amcare tried to take it up with me, they had better watch it.

My position is unique in the sense there only three of us qualified to perform a certain task yet only one of us are on the premises at any given time while the other two are an hour away.

Tick me off and I can see to it that operations are halted by me simply walking out. F AMAZON!

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This is NOT a joke!!! in Fernley, Nevada

2 months ago

Let it be known to all of the hard working associates at the Amazon site in Fernley,Nv that have been worried and wondering if they will still have a job to come into day by day. Alot of upper management started leaving months ago.Managers are told to just tell associates that they have not signed the contract yet when they are confronted with worries of not having a job.They pretend that nothing is going on because they will have jobs to transfer to. Besides they dont care if thousands of homes will be lost,people will be starving and Fernley will be in poverty. I say these things to all of the readers that are working at RNO1 in Fernley to find a job now because Amazon lost the building already. I dont know how we are going to survive.We have a house payment and children like many of you do.We live paycheck to paycheck from Amazon.

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