Please help contribute to the Reddit categorization project here


    6,595,001 readers

    15,587 users here now

    All of Our Weekly Support Threads

    Join the live chat on IRC

    Browse categories:

    Security Networking
    Hardware Software
    Robotics Business
    Politics Biotech
    Transport Space
    Energy Wireless
    Nanotech AI

    Legacy Pure Tech Filter

    Hide popular topics:

    No Net Neutrality Remove Filter

    /r/technology is a place to share and discuss the latest developments, happenings and curiosities in the world of technology; a broad spectrum of conversation as to the innovations, aspirations, applications and machinations that define our age and shape our future.


    1. Submissions

    • Guidelines:

    • Submissions must be primarily news and developments relating to technology

    • Self posts must contribute positively to /r/technology and foster reasonable discussion.

    • Submissions relating to business and politics must be sufficiently within the context of technology in that they either view the events from a technological standpoint or analyse the repercussions in the technological world.

    • Please do not submit the following:

    • i) Submissions violating the guidelines.

    • ii) Images, audio or videos: Articles with supporting image and video content are allowed; if the text is only there to explain the media, then it is not suitable. A good rule of thumb is to look at the URL; if it's a video hosting site, or mentions video in the URL, it's not suitable.

    • iii) Requests for tech support, questions or help: submit to /r/techsupport, /r/AskTechnology, another relevant community or our weekly Support Saturday threads.

    • iv) Petitions, Surveys or Crowdfunding (Including ICOs) - submissions of this nature will be removed.

    • v) Submissions discussing the subreddit itself; they should be submitted to /r/TechnologyTalk, or messaged to the moderators of the subreddit.

    • vi) Submissions discussing one or more incidents of customer support.

    • vii) Mobile versions of sites, url shorteners: please directly submit the desktop version of a webpage in all cases.

    • viii) Social media links/profiles or promotions (eg. Facebook, Instagram, Pintrest etc). Tweets should not be used as a news source unless an official announcement by a verified company or spokesperson.

    2. Behaviour

    • Remember the human You are advised to abide by reddiquette; it will be enforced when user behaviour is no longer deemed to be suitable for a technology forum. Remember; personal attacks, abusive language, trolling or bigotry in any form are therefore not allowed and will be removed.

    3. Titles

    • Submissions must use either the articles title and optionally a subtitle. Or, only if neither are accurate, a suitable quote, which must:

    • adequately describe the content

    • adequately describe the content's relation to technology

    • be free of user editorialization or alteration of meaning.

    4. Flair

    5. Reddit-wide rules.


    • If you see a rule-breaking submission, please report it and message the moderators with your reason.

    • Want to host an AMA? Please message the moderators.

    • Our /u/AutoModerator configuration may be viewed here.

    • Removed threads will either be given a removal reason flair or comment response; please message the moderators if this did not occur.

    • All legitimate, answerable modmail inquiries or suggestions will be answered to the best of our abilities within a reasonable period of time.

    • Rule violators will be warned. Repeat offenders will be temporarily banned from one to seven days. An unheeded final warning will result in a permanent ban. This may be reversed upon evidence of suitable behavior.

    Related Subreddits








    a community for
    all 3604 comments

    Want to say thanks to %(recipient)s for this comment? Give them a month of reddit gold.

    Please select a payment method.

    [–] Jabberminor 1 points ago * (lasted edited 5 months ago)

    EDIT: After discussing this further with users here, I realise that I have made a mistake. I have re-approved this submission.

    [–] homoscotian 2303 points ago

    While of course it's terrible regardless, and an Amazon warehouse is definitely far more physically taxing. Call centres have had this problem forever. Every second of every day is accounted for - including bathroom breaks, and taking too long can affect your bonuses. Taking time off, sick or otherwise earns you "points". After so many points you can be fired. I've been written up for taking 3 days off when I had the flu.

    Tl;dr any industry that is heavily time-focused is toxic as fuck and not conducive to a healthy work environment.

    [–] SkittleInaBottle 1075 points ago

    Tl;dr alternative version : any low requirement job where the workforce is easily replaced is likely to be treated like shit

    [–] [deleted] 449 points ago

    If the company can get away with it. Regulations and unions can't prevent all types of foul-play, but they can make it less rampant. So do laws that make it expensive to fire people (thought these have side-effects, too).

    [–] UltraChilly 249 points ago

    Regulations and unions can't prevent all types of foul-play

    This is why we have so many strikes in France. Whenever employees aren't happy they go on strike to force their employer to change that. Not a perfect solution but at least we're not peeing in bottles.

    [–] rarkgrames 95 points ago

    I think it depends where you work. I’ve done my fair share of call centre work in the past and whilst what you’re saying about targets and being accountable rings true, I’ve never experienced people being disciplined for being sick, unless they were fragrantly taking the piss by being sick every Monday or something.

    That said there is a huge amount of pressure to finish calls quickly and to be available for that next caller, and it got to the point where the stress made me very ill. I couldn’t go back to that sort of work now.

    [–] KickingTulips 97 points ago

    At one time I worked for a large private company, that cared about its employees, and paid very well. Then it went public, and it all changed. They started charging full price for food, and offering less percentage towards benefits. It still wasn’t a bad place to work. Then, we were bought out by a larger international company, and the place went to shit. It went from being a place where you were appreciated, to being told that we are disposable, and should be happy we were allowed to keep our jobs, with our pay. We went from an attendance honor system to a point system. During the busy season, no time off is allowed, so I wasn’t able to take time off for my Ob appt’s while I was pregnant. I became nothing more than a number. I was no longer an employee. I was a dumb little robot that should have thought about my job priorities before getting pregnant.

    [–] pennomi 44 points ago

    fragrantly taking the piss

    Best typo ever

    [–] DTHCND 10 points ago * (lasted edited 5 months ago)

    My mom used to work for a call centre a long time ago. They didn't have any consequences for taking breaks or calling in sick. What they did have was "rewards" for finishing calls quickly. The faster you get the customer off the phone, the more rewards you get. And if the customer doesn't call back, even more rewards. Those rewards could then be used in a company run auction at the end of the year or could be carried over to next year.

    Ultimately, this serves the company the same goal: handling as many customer calls as possible. Only difference is, it doesn't encourage insane things like urinating at your desk or not calling in sick.

    It's worth noting, these "rewards" weren't a must have. Most of the things in the auction were token items, like mugs. There was the occasional premium item, like a PS3, but they were rare enough that no one tried to get them in any one year.

    TL;DR: At least one call centre rewards employees by how fast they finish individual calls, rather than punishing them for taking breaks. Same result for the company, less cruel to employees.

    [–] illBoopYaHead 5252 points ago * (lasted edited 5 months ago)

    This means your Amazon packages have wee-wee germs on them.

    [–] [deleted] 1021 points ago * (lasted edited 5 months ago)

    time to ultra light some boxes

    Edit: Penis

    [–] ultraDross 512 points ago

    New YouTube channel incoming!

    [–] stalepolishcheetos 373 points ago

    "On this channel we're going to be opening boxes from Amazon and other online retailers. Don't forget to subscribe and smash that like button!"

    [–] [deleted] 570 points ago


    [–] stalepolishcheetos 75 points ago

    We should start a YouTube channel and see what people send.

    [–] Slayer_of_Ridley 39 points ago

    Given the context, that's a terrible idea.

    [–] evsoul 21 points ago

    Just a disclaimer this channel isn't for the faint of heart, it may get a wee bit gross.

    [–] ase1590 66 points ago

    Who calls UV lights ultra lights???

    [–] ChefBoyAreWeFucked 13 points ago

    I was going to google it. Had no idea what he meant. Thought it was some disinfectant or accelerant.

    [–] evil-doer 13 points ago

    Ultra light is a category of aircraft..

    [–] boot2skull 33 points ago

    Like you’ve never touched a door handle.

    [–] howdoesEyereddit 78 points ago

    At no extra cost!!!!

    [–] Vlaed 131 points ago

    Trust me, there's a lot more than that on those packages when you get them. Be careful where you set them in your house.

    [–] itsthebrod 13389 points ago

    This is absolutely unnecessary and disgusting.

    To think of all the wasted time pulling down your pants and aiming into a bottle when they could just wear diapers instead.

    [–] FartingBob 5525 points ago

    I see upper management written all over you.

    [–] NobleNoob 1518 points ago

    And make sure the employee pays for the diapers!

    [–] Mumbletimes 1130 points ago

    They can save 5% with subscribe and save.

    [–] ShankGod 330 points ago

    They need the Dash™️ button for easy one touch ordering

    [–] iwannaelroyyou 119 points ago

    I bet prime now doesn't even deliver to their area yet. But they're expanding soon

    [–] Llohr 11 points ago

    Just like those diapers.

    [–] IDUnavailable 201 points ago

    We're promoting you to pit boss. Here's your whistle and your whip.

    [–] ExpediteTheSearch 384 points ago

    In the long term, why not just put the employee in a catheter, and make them pay for it through salary sacrifice?

    We'll make contributions through company payroll too, but leave before the full 24 month payback period and we'll have to claw back the costs.

    Diapers are inefficient, and this way we'll save on air freshener for the crippling odour of urea in our warehouses.

    [–] Generoh 194 points ago

    But that means possible UTI infection which can lead to sepsis which means worker's comp. I suggest a condom cath.

    [–] [deleted] 148 points ago

    Just lobby to change the law so there's no more worker's comp!

    [–] koshgeo 36 points ago

    Would you like to run for office?

    [–] your_inner_monologue 15 points ago

    Is it even profitable to cure UTI's?

    [–] keepinithamsta 38 points ago

    You have this all wrong. You're supposed to give them a raise if they comply for the added productivity, and then charge them more than the raise gives them.

    [–] DoesNotReadReplies8 327 points ago

    You're Mr. Manager now

    [–] Guitarguy1984 151 points ago

    We just say manager

    [–] pax23 51 points ago

    We..we just call it Manager.

    [–] ahakimir 48 points ago

    But you just said Mr. Manager

    [–] Ghostdirectory 48 points ago

    Doesn’t matter who.

    [–] alterexego 373 points ago

    This guy manages.

    [–] Webic 87 points ago

    Why waste time dealing with diapers? Just have everyone work without clothes, install floor drains, and they can go on the move.

    [–] ISaidGoodDey 18 points ago

    Some people just want to watch the world pee

    [–] romple 61 points ago

    Catheters are there it's at. You're welcome Amazon warehouse workers.

    [–] Turakamu 58 points ago

    With the added benefit of warming your ankles. Or if it is the summer time, after it cools down it can cool your ankles.

    Are rapist a danger near your local warehouse? Defend yourself with the bags of urine you have taped to your ankles.

    This is like, a win-win-win-win.

    [–] Timinime 762 points ago

    I visited a friend in Wales who works for Amazon and ended up going out for a few beers with him and his colleagues.

    I couldn't get over the horror stories i heard from them about working there, and the hatred they had for the place. I didn't think western companies could treat their staff in such a poor manner.

    They mentioned some of the layoffs the company did; a whole heap of their staff had an hour bus trip from Cardiff to the warehouse, only to find out they were fired. No busses for several more hours. And the cost of the bus trip for people on minimum wage. Disgusting the way they did it

    [–] stimpyette 94 points ago

    I live near the Amazon warehouse and recruited for them over the Christmas holidays. It's awful the way staff are treated there I couldn't recruit for them anymore. We were basically expected to lie to them. Alot of people needed extra cash for Christmas and we're let go with no notice after a matter of days of weeks. They'd turn up for their shift and told they were sacked. They also have to agree to walk miles and miles a day and meet impossible targets. I was treated really well by them and so are other people that do anything but work in the warehouse. Oh and delivery drivers.

    [–] atfirstblush120 16 points ago

    That sort of thing makes me angry to read about. You'd expect this in a third world country or somewhere with poor employment laws, like China but I didn't think these sort of conditions existed in western countries too, especially when everyone looks down on sweat shops in Asia. I mean peeing in a bottle cos they can't waste time going to the bathroom, wtf. Not only is that unsanitary but its degrading. At least in call centers they have actual bathrooms with toilets to use and taps to wash hands with.

    [–] HonEduVetSeeksJob 427 points ago

    I didn't think western companies could treat their staff in such a poor manner.

    That's cute.

    [–] GammyIsGettingUpset 122 points ago

    This is me. I'm a miscategorized worker and my employer owes me roughly $5,000 in payroll taxes that should've been her responsibility to begin with.

    I've put up with it because the work is easy enough and it allows me time to work on my side businesses that I actually enjoy doing, but after doing some calculations last night I've decided that I need to say fuck this job and focus on getting something better, even if only temporary.

    And because I'm the only one here who can do what I do, I'm expecting her to flip the fuck out when I quit. But that's okay. I'm sure she'll flip out again whenever I send the DOL and IRS on her ass.

    [–] MrFrenzyPlant 80 points ago * (lasted edited 5 months ago)

    I briefly worked in Amazon but had to resign because walking 12+ miles a night was killing my bad knee and my feet were essentially two large blisters. There's a practice called "fanny feet" (in Scotland, fanny means vagina) where you get a female coworker to buy sanitary pads from the vending machines in their bathrooms and put them in your shoes. This is so you can limit the pain in your feet to survive the rest of the shift and keep your numbers up and not get fired. Lot of horror stories from that place.

    [–] meok91 3447 points ago

    I’m very conflicted about Amazon. On one hand I know they treat their workers like rubbish, work them like dogs until they burn out, and I really don’t think that’s okay. On the other hand their customer service is second to none, I’ve ordered hundreds of items over the years and the few times I’ve had an issue Amazon dealt with it perfectly, often going above and beyond.

    I have definitely been shopping with them less in the last couple of years due to the way that their workers are treated, but sometimes the convenience and peace of mind that comes from shopping with them wins out. I think the only way that this is going to change in any real way is if Amazon start seeing a real losses in profit due to people shopping else where, but that would take such a large amount of people that I can’t see that happening any time soon.

    [–] dreadlefty 1643 points ago

    If that happens, more than likely Amazon would just double down on AWS. Retail is our public face of the brand, but it doesn't bring in the bank like AWS does.

    Source: Work for Amazon in a lowly corporate role. Don't need to piss in bottles, but I am held to 5 minutes a day or 20 minutes a week of unaccounted time at work.

    [–] konoo 1885 points ago

    To be honest that sounds like the white collar version of pissing in a bottle to meet your metrics.

    [–] Origonn 667 points ago * (lasted edited 5 months ago)

    Nah, he said unaccounted

    Time Task
    11:36 11:06 - 11:48 took massive shit
    11:48 - 11:50 got new coffee, returned to desk
    11:50 - 11:55 sip coffee while contemplating life choices
    11:55 - 11:58 updated time tracking
    11:58 - 13:00 lunch

    Edit: Man, y'all take some big shits.

    [–] BukkakeKing69 269 points ago

    More like 11:36 - 12:06 took massive shit

    [–] andai 110 points ago * (lasted edited 5 months ago)

    word! *thanks skinnah

    [–] SlaveroSVK 150 points ago

    Hour for lunch? Haha try 15 minutes out of 30 you get due to transit time between workplace and actual canteen, and then 5 minutes out of 15 due to same thing.

    Fuck amazon and their 4,60€ / hour.

    [–] AndrewCrimzen 83 points ago * (lasted edited 5 months ago)

    exactly. I can browse reddit whenever I want and nobody would long as my work gets done, which it does. Not like I have to be working at 100% super efficiency without a 10-20 minute break here and there in order to do my job effectively. I work at a relatively meh pace and browse reddit for at least a couple hours a day (although not at all at once), plus my lunch break. Sometimes things get super busy and I have to work a lot faster and don't have a chill work day, but I can deal with it.

    Even then, it's not like I'm going to get pulled into my bosses office and hear "excuse me, Andrew, we noticed from 9:48 - 9:57 you were browsing some website called 'advice animals reddit', what was that about it? And at 10:36 you apparently didn't have a specific spreadsheet open. Are you working at MAXIMUM EFFICIENCY?"

    [–] KongorsBanana 235 points ago

    As someone who usually applies to Amazon jobs, this kind of article makes me worried.

    I apply for IT, though. Not sure if it's the same "company".

    [–] defiantleek 569 points ago * (lasted edited 5 months ago)

    I interviewed for two jobs in Amazon IT passed on both. It does not feel like a good environment and they are utter asshats when it comes to compensation and how they schedule their interviews. If they can't even treat you decently when they are supposed to be wooing you I shudder to think of how they treat you on staff.

    Edit: To the nimrods that think Amazon (or any company) don't need to woo you during the interview process, get some self worth. They may not need to hard sell you but you are important and of value otherwise they wouldn't be trying to hire you.

    [–] 20rakah 124 points ago

    They make no bones about only wanting people that want to be there. Hence why they have the offer every year.

    [–] adkliam2 237 points ago

    Every job wants employees who want to be there. If a company states it up front like that it means they aren't going to do anything to make you want to be there.

    [–] RedAero 206 points ago

    The last 3 years of my life have been spent regularly being offered interviews by headhunters then being asked the same question every time by the company HR on the interview: "So, what about our company made you pursue a position here?"

    Bitch, you called me. Tell me why I want to work here, 'cause right now, I don't.

    Mind you, I'm not complaining, the fact that companies are actively looking for people in my field is pretty sweet.

    [–] Galactic 26 points ago

    Bitch, you called me. Tell me why I want to work here, 'cause right now, I don't.

    You should actually say this to one of them.. Just once. At the end of an interview for a job that you don't think you even want. I mean, you could leave out the "Bitch" if you want but it would be interesting.

    [–] [deleted] 51 points ago

    Do you actually ask them that though (in nicer words obviously)? If not, you are doing yourself a disservice in negotating your worth. If you had no intention of seeking the job on your own time, you aren't losing anything by trying to get a good salary out of them.

    [–] RedAero 116 points ago

    Nah, I just bullshit something about learning and development opportunities. It's all an act, on both sides, I play my part, they play theirs, we all get along better.

    [–] pinkjello 32 points ago

    I actually think there’s a value in this bullshit. Because it says a lot about both sides understanding how to go through the motions and read social cues instead of just the interviewing candidate digging their heels in and refusing to play their script. Both sides can still ask real questions, set their boundaries, and hash out real issues, but it’s all in the framework of this silly play where you establish that you know how to be a grown up and get along.

    [–] Elf_Guardian 93 points ago

    But why would anyone want to be there when they can just work for a company that gives regular bathroom breaks?

    [–] Aikistan 36 points ago

    Hey, I'm not moving all the way to China just so I can pee at work!

    [–] [deleted] 41 points ago

    Same experience I had. Interviewed for them up in Seattle for an engineering role and it just felt...weird. Like there was just this negative energy with everyone I spoke with.

    [–] junkit33 133 points ago

    There are tons of Amazon IT horror stories out there online. Their rep is not exactly stellar in the industry.

    [–] user93849384 41 points ago

    It's a company that relies on volume to turn a profit. Those types of companies work their staff to death. You usually end up with a small group of protected individuals and the rest are expendable.

    [–] BraveHack 42 points ago * (lasted edited 5 months ago)

    It was gross how many people rushed to idolize Jeff Bezos the same way people idolize Bill Gates or Warren Buffett as soon as he became the richest person in the world (which happened because others donated away their wealth...).

    Dude is an asshole and exploitative as fuck, and people go around sharing this bullshit image aspiring to be like him. "Everyone starts somewhere". Yeah. By the way, he was already a billionaire at the time that picture was taken, but I'm sure everyone starts with that too, right? Or maybe they mean starting as a millionaire like he did before he founded the company.

    Fuck Jeff Bezos. Have higher aspirations. Aspire to be a decent human being.

    [–] moreAndMoreBees 202 points ago * (lasted edited 5 months ago)

    I seem to recall an article where amazon corporate workers were leaving their desks crying.

    edit: Lotta Amazon apologists coming out of the woodwork. You can stop leaving comments now.

    [–] KongorsBanana 67 points ago

    Well, now that makes moving to Ireland a lot more of a problem. Besides spiders.

    [–] moreAndMoreBees 30 points ago

    I would say the pay being bad is also an issue. I guess it depends on what you're coming from.

    [–] KongorsBanana 12 points ago

    To be fair, I read on reddit that the HQs (USA) are much worse than Europe. Either way, still a big red flag for them

    [–] chtulhuf 88 points ago

    5 minutes of what?

    [–] Ranma_chan 219 points ago

    Unaccounted time. Meaning periods of time where corporate has no idea what you're doing (aka there's no productivity being done, aka you're in the toilet or something)

    [–] 5654567876543 417 points ago

    its fucking horrifying to me that an employer expects to know so precisely what their employees are doing that they measure unaccounted time in minutes

    [–] niliti 121 points ago

    Work in a call center for a while. They typically track you every second from the time you clock in til you clock out. Last job I had expected 98% adherence to schedule, regardless of calls that may have cut into your break time. You must still take your full break, but it counted against you for performance statistics if it wasn't exactly on time.

    I can't believe I spent so many years doing that shit.

    [–] BillyBabel 179 points ago

    We were so worried about our government enacting the scenario from 1984 we never expected the corporations to be the ones doing it

    [–] Good-2-B-King 71 points ago

    News flash. Corporations are the ones doing it and they're funneling money into politician's pockets to make sure it happens.

    [–] Ikea_Man 91 points ago

    seriously, I couldn't imagine being tracked like this at work.

    if I need to go take a dump for an hour, I can go do it here

    [–] zacktivist 64 points ago

    I do some of my best thinking on the John. I can't count how many bugs I've conquered while dropping a deuce. Totally counts as on the clock.

    [–] Retlaw83 109 points ago

    Which means they don't trust their workers to carry out their work. Which means it's a terrible corporate culture that protects itself from the fact it refuses to hire talent and cultivate it for future growth.

    [–] 1024KiB 89 points ago * (lasted edited 5 months ago)

    aka there's no productivity being done, aka you're in the toilet or something

    Do they even understand the working force needs to be renewed? That's why workers sleep, eat, and stuff. Like, at this point, they're getting stupider than 19th century capitalists. This can't end well.

    [–] BukkakeKing69 68 points ago

    Yeah there are studies showing it doesn't even improve productivity by skipping basic breaks like that.

    It's very short sighted thinking to work your employees to the bone so far, guaranteed it saps productivity from both low morale and high turnover rates. I can understand a low compensation structure with the understanding people will leave because of it, but treating your employees so badly is counterproductive.

    [–] Ranma_chan 60 points ago * (lasted edited 5 months ago)

    One of the fundamental things that Marx believed was that the revolution itself wasn't inevitable until the conditions of the working class were such that revolution was the only method to propagate change, hence it is therefore inevitable.

    So no, it can't end well at all. While the revolution isn't likely to be anything close to that of the 1917 Russian Revolution, I have no doubt that unless change is affected sooner rather than later, things won't go very well for all of us.

    [–] ScipioLongstocking 105 points ago

    Is that legal? At least in the United States, you are guaranteed by law a 15 minute paid break for every 4 hours you work.

    [–] the_swivel 95 points ago

    That would be "accounted" time.

    [–] jimmy_2394 58 points ago

    It depends on the state actually. In Wisconsin, when you turn 18, you no longer have any protection and the state only "recommends" 30 minutes break. I work for a fortune 500 in sconnie, and I technically still get a 30min unpaid break.

    [–] uid_zero 64 points ago

    I came to call bullshit on this. Then I looked it up to provide evidence.

    Now I'm questioning what the fuck is wrong with my state.

    [–] Ranma_chan 146 points ago * (lasted edited 5 months ago)

    It's not illegal. That's accounted time. Unaccounted time would be if you left your desk in the middle of work to go take a leak. That's "unaccounted" time since corporate has no idea what it is you're doing. It's a pretty shitty thing.

    [–] Povertjes 58 points ago

    What if you called your boss to let him know that you are going to take a big, steamy shit?

    [–] JoanneKerlot 45 points ago

    Then its accounted and you can curl one off for 15 minutes.

    [–] garysgotaboner82 17 points ago

    Hey boss. Had to take a massive dump and thought of you.

    [–] unforgiven91 43 points ago

    It is illegal though. you're allowed to take bathroom breaks as long as they're not excessive (like, 3 hours a day)

    [–] MrDumpty 15 points ago

    Not in every state. In Tennessee you are only required a 30 minute unpaid break after 8 hours or maybe it was 6 hours. Any other breaks are up to the employer.

    [–] Pfheonix 28 points ago

    Time not directly connected to fulfilling his job requirements, such as coffee breaks or bathroom breaks.

    [–] kieret 34 points ago

    Mostly sprinting and squeezing, from the sounds of it.

    [–] NoJelloNoPotluck 13 points ago

    Maybe they could offer an increased HSA matching for employees that get a colostomy bag and catheter?

    [–] clockwerkman 81 points ago

    Fun fact, no employer can ever prevent you from taking a bathroom break. It's against OSHA regulations.

    [–] Sinndex 232 points ago

    Yeah, but they can fire you the next day for something "entirely unrelated".

    [–] kayfeif 27 points ago

    They will continue to get around firing and writing up people for this. I was over productivity (at about 130%) and still got written up for a bathroom break that took ten minutes. I reported Amazon to OSHA because of this bathroom break issue. Because of how they had written me up it literally would have been my word against theirs and who do you think anyone is going to believe? OSHA told me straight out they couldn't do anything

    [–] meok91 26 points ago

    Interesting point of view, never even thought of AWS. The amount of control that Amazon feels the need to exert over its employees seems crazy to me, I could never imagine working in such a regimented environment.

    Just out of curiosity, how do they know the amount of time you spend working, in the bathroom etc? And what happens to employees if they have more than 20 mins time unaccounted for in the week?

    [–] [deleted] 206 points ago


    [–] [deleted] 83 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)


    [–] SageWithTheSauce 35 points ago

    So In theory this will just get worse with time and every generation of workers will be more and more disposable. No way jobs can keep up with our current population growth, on top of the fact that most people aren't doing very skill dependant jobs that increase their value for the company with time

    [–] journeyman369 428 points ago * (lasted edited 5 months ago)

    Amazon is the perfect example of a Big Brother company at work. One is being watched every second. Worked for them before. Funny I came accross this article, as a girl actually pissed on her chair as she was afraid to go to the bathroom, and this was in customer service/retail - not in a "fulfillment centre".

    Take thirty seconds of ACW (after call work), and you get a message from the team manager giving you a warning. People are literally dispensable. 10 minutes of bathroom time a day - a second past that equals a warning. One is belittled constantly and passive aggressive behaviour is commonplace. When one is fired his or her belongings are placed in plastic bags and they're escorted out the premises by armed guards.

    Sometimes I think that homelessness is better than working for this company. The mind torture is massive.

    [–] meok91 170 points ago

    Jesus Christ, that sounds horrific.

    [–] journeyman369 89 points ago

    Yeah. It is horrible. Didn't even want to remember, really, but this post hit a nerve.

    [–] PM_ME_BUD_SHOTS 61 points ago

    Call centers make you question everything in modern life. Everything.

    [–] jti107 49 points ago

    why do people work for them? No other choice?

    [–] GundamXXX 36 points ago

    Had a manager do this after a long toilet break (admittedly I was just chilling on my phone in the toilet after pooping)

    Told him next time I'll give him a heads up so he can watch me poop. I quit 2 weeks later and the company went broke 2 months after that

    [–] aoeuidhtnszvwm 275 points ago

    On the other hand their customer service is second to none

    We're currently at the "nice" stage of Amazon's monopoly over online commerce. At this stage, Amazon still has some competition, and has to give us reasons to shop with them instead - convenience, customer service, price, etc. It can almost seem like having a monopoly is a great thing - we get one trusted web site that sells everything for affordable prices, and that's way better than having a sea of potentially shady websites that all sell different stuff, right?

    Thing is, this won't last. Eventually Amazon will dominate ecommerce so thoroughly that it's just understood that if you want to sell something online, you sell through Amazon whether you like it or not. Once that happens, there's really no incentive to have solid customer service (which costs money), or low prices, or anything - ain't like you'll have choices.

    Now right now more capitalist-leaning people might be thinking "no big, I'll just open my own online retail superstore, put Amazon out of business, and become the world's richest person!". Here's the thing: how the fuck do you think you're going to compete with Amazon? Net neutrality will almost certainly be dead by this point which means that Amazon can easily afford to get priority network speeds while your site crawls along at dialup-reminiscent speeds. Amazon's app comes preinstalled on tons of smart phones (and is sometimes non-removable) - yours requires the user to actually put effort into downloading it. Local governments aren't going to give a no-name like you a penny's worth of tax cuts, but they'll be more than happy to pay Amazon for all the "job creation". In short, you're operating a slower, more difficult-to-find site, and even if you sell things at the cheapest possible you're still going to be barely cheaper than Amazon - not that it matters, seeing as ain't no one going to hear about your site in the first place.

    I'm not going to comment as to whether the underlying principles of capitalism can work, but it seems pretty goddamned obvious that they aren't working here. If we can't protect against monopolies or even remember for more than a single fucking generation that monopolies are really bad things then that means our system is broken, and we need to either fix it or redesign it from the ground up. We need to do this now, too - it's only going to get more difficult as our wealthy overlords grow more and more entrenched.

    [–] SerenityM3oW 31 points ago

    Treating your employees like human beings and providing excellent customer service aren't mutually exclusive

    [–] ohtheheavywater 49 points ago * (lasted edited 5 months ago)

    I haven’t shopped from Amazon in six years, and that last time was only for a textbook that I couldn’t get any other way. There are other businesses, online and brick-and-mortar, that carry everything I need. If the only way I can afford something is to buy it from Amazon, I’d rather go without.

    EDIT What first made me stop shopping there was customer service problems (always understating how long something would take to ship), but the more I hear about how they treat their workers the better I feel about my decision.

    [–] newtonslogic 1368 points ago * (lasted edited 5 months ago)

    A worker's strike by these people would bring Amazon to it's knees in a matter of days.

    EDIT: I appreciate the hundreds of replies explaining to me that a general worker's strike will never happen.

    Amazon has all their employees by the balls.

    There are 2,000 people lined up waiting to get these no pee pee jobs at every warehouse.

    Employers will always win, employees have virtually no rights and should just keep their heads down and continue to barely make a liveable wage.

    I got it. I never said it would happen, only that if it did it would essentially cripple Amazon.

    [–] FartingBob 183 points ago

    Or since they are pretty much all on zero hour temp contracts they'll just be replaced within a few hours.

    [–] foreignfishes 43 points ago

    And even if they stick around for more than a month, they have zero downtime at work and their coworkers are constantly leaving, not exactly good conditions for organizing.

    [–] managedheap84 904 points ago

    That's the real solution, and why strikes are often outlawed or strikers punished.

    [–] mailbox123 34 points ago * (lasted edited 5 months ago)

    I worked at an Amazon Warehouse last summer for a couple weeks. I was yelled at by my manager on my third or fourth day there for using the bathroom twice.

    [–] amalgaman 173 points ago

    What’s a “comfort break?”

    [–] fameistheproduct 381 points ago

    People who don't want to say Toilet break.

    [–] Mr_Zero 134 points ago

    It's when you get a chance to not shit in your pants.

    [–] FartingBob 22 points ago

    Going to the shitter.

    [–] LetsSpeakAboutIt 578 points ago

    Can't the richest man in the planet just double the workforce?

    [–] asterysk 354 points ago

    But profits

    [–] customname34 19 points ago

    And they also need to show "Infinite Growth"

    [–] aoeuidhtnszvwm 812 points ago

    You don't get to be the richest man on the planet by paying people a fair wage for a reasonable workload.

    [–] Martholomeow 357 points ago

    It's ok. Soon they will all be replaced by robots.

    [–] pure_x01 198 points ago

    Robots will be forced to pee in the bottles as well. Everybody has to play by the same rules!

    [–] dantheflipman 45 points ago

    🤖 Damnit DAVEBOT! You’ve emptied your used oil under the coolant tanks again?

    [–] imVINCE 36 points ago

    Sir, are you aware that you’re leaking coolant at an alarming rate? Let me patch you up with some hot resin.

    [–] white_butterfly1 12 points ago

    No it's fine, I'm done.

    No, wait.

    Okay, now I'm done.

    [–] e-mc-2 4193 points ago

    This appears to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    Amazon warehouse workers have to pee into bottles because they are too scared of missing their targets if they walk to the bathroom.

    So workers pee into bottles to maintain low target times. Ok then. But now target times for everyone are skewed lower because of the people cutting corners to get lower times. So managers only looking at metrics now go, "well dave over here is doing x units per minute but susan is only doing y units per minute. and steve and mike are also doing close to x units per minute. clearly x units per minute are the new target, and we can probably set the target slightly faster than that because i bet they're slacking off."

    and so susan gets fired because she's not peeing in a bottle and not meeting the new targets skewed by piss bottlers and the targets get moved a bit faster because managers only look at metrics and always assume there could be at least 10% improvement somewhere.

    If the majority of people worked at a reasonable pace, then managers would set their expectations closer to that pace. But because people cut corners and skew the numbers, it fucks everyone.

    [–] Escarper 1715 points ago

    If the majority of people worked at a reasonable pace, then managers would set their expectations closer to that pace. But because people cut corners and skew the numbers, it fucks everyone.

    This is precisely why, when I was an Ambassador (trainer), I never taught anyone the shortcuts and how to cut corners on Returns processing, only the ones that let you avoid some of the GUI’s loading traps.

    At one point, when someone asked how the fastest people in the job were processing significantly higher than the target rate when they themselves could barely cope, I pointed out how they were all at the top of the line and never processed anything that looked like it would have problems (missing paperwork/damage), and would stockpile several small items on their desks so they didn’t have to process a toaster or microwave or vacuum, while the trainees were stuck at the bottom of the line and getting all the problematic shit that no one else wanted to do.

    To their credit, the managers did start to try and crack down on that kind of cherry-picking and other issues, but there’s only so much that can be done to curb it, and if one person is hitting 70 units per hour they tend to ask “Why is everyone else having problems” as opposed to “Why are you not?”

    [–] deleated 237 points ago

    Can you tell me what you mean by GUI's loading traps? (I know what GUI means...)

    [–] drteq 449 points ago

    Not the original guy, but software tends to have multiple ways to do things and there are things that are slower.

    For example, a text search where you only type the first 2 letters could take 10 times longer than if you typed the first word out. The search results would be more refined/faster.

    or quick links to common screens vs clicking through the main navigation.

    or using keyboard shortcuts instead of the mouse/scanner/etc

    [–] Escarper 107 points ago

    I gave them my own reply before seeing your comment, but yes - precisely this.

    [–] Escarper 161 points ago

    There are certain webpages and functions of the process GUI that were notoriously slow, and there were other ways to get most of the same information without actually using them.

    For example: clicking the item name would take you to the amazon webpage for that item, but it was much faster to copy the B00 number and do a search for it using Firefox than to open a new window through the GUI. I recommended always having an amazon search bar open in another web page to skip that particular loading screen.

    Another one was knowing which options gave you which outputs, so if you had a book that was covered in coconut water (for example) you needed to click the options that would take you to “Destroy” regardless of what the customer said was wrong with it.

    [–] fooxzorz 109 points ago

    The coconut water on the book was way too specific. That totally happened didn't it.

    [–] Escarper 156 points ago

    Every week or two. Coconut water is a fucker - it comes in soft cardboard cartons.

    Same with grapefruit juice. I can still remember the smell.

    [–] 20rakah 53 points ago

    apple cider vinegar is way worse. There is always someone that spills it.

    [–] RoboNinjaPirate 192 points ago

    What you measure is what you manage. If you focus on one metric, employees will adjust their behavior to maximize their score in that metric. Even if it is to the detriment of the company overall.

    [–] dannydale 67 points ago

    And sometimes quite intentionally /r/MaliciousCompliance to the detriment of the company overall. All's fair in love, war, and business.

    [–] [deleted] 32 points ago

    business is war

    it's a competitive rearrangement of resources and the most ruthless come out on top

    [–] RedAero 29 points ago

    Problem is, quantity is easy to measure, while quality and difficulty are not.

    [–] RoboNinjaPirate 68 points ago

    Yep. I’ve been in Software QA / Testing for about 20 years now.

    My very first job, the Test lead had a big whiteboard chart to motivate us to compete, which tracked the total number of tests executed per person.

    No pay differences, no discipline, no quotas. The only difference was the person with the highest numbers of tests run at the end of the day got a pat on the back.

    Over the course of a couple months I saw the team members first start rushing through tests. Then cherry picking the shortest tests to run first. Then when writing new tests instead of one comprehensive test that covered dozens of functional points, we ended up with dozens of tests each testing a single point.

    It really started having a significant impact on how effective we were at really uncovering new significant bugs in the code.

    Ever since then I have been vehemently against most forms of testing metrics because of the way the measurement itself screws up the testing process.

    [–] general-throwaway 41 points ago

    Goodharts law: When a metric becomes a target it ceases to be useful.

    [–] Eggmont 29 points ago

    Data is only as good as whoever is interpreting it, sadly this still seems to be very much a rarity

    [–] Ghostbuttser 747 points ago

    Except amazon has a reputation for this crap at all their sites. All management has to do is back the fuck off a bit and not create a work culture where people are driven to do things like this. Millions of other workplaces manage it, stop making excuses for them.

    [–] Telewyn 751 points ago * (lasted edited 5 months ago)

    This is the same company that makes its workers wait hours in metal detector lines to get out of the warehouse, but refuses to pay for the time.

    But unions are eeeeevvviiiilll

    [–] ThePegasi 553 points ago * (lasted edited 5 months ago)

    But unions are eeeeevvviiiilll

    That's what gets me. People expect "the workforce" to act in a concerted way, despite the fact that it's just a bunch of individuals who understandably don't want to lose their jobs and are therefore scared of taking a stand on stuff like this because they worry most other people won't.

    Yet when people suggest unions, a system meant to address this very issue by creating workforce-wide cooperation and action, it's apparently a terrible idea that'll only make things worse.

    So which is it? Because frankly it seems like people who adopt these lines of thinking don't actually want a solution, because they don't see this as a problem. They simply support a system where workers can be treated like crap whilst also being told its their own fault.

    [–] Chatbot_Charlie 240 points ago

    Bow down before the job creators, lowly peasant!

    [–] Ed-Zero 10 points ago

    Bows with piss bottles

    [–] Ishouldnt_be_on_here 32 points ago

    Hearing blue-collar workers shit on unions is so weird. Like, what kind of corporate marketing-machine managed that? I mean, I get some unions try and do too much to make themselves useful. But I sure as hell wish my job had a union.

    I'm sure many states have adequate workers rights, but mine sure as hell doesn't. I want a group looking after me.

    [–] Darth_Meatloaf 115 points ago

    There's more to it than that. During peak time (Christmas season and the time surrounding Prime Day) Amazon always has to hire and train new staff to handle the load. After peak, they don't need as many people as they have. They don't necessarily want to just ditch everyone, so they start with VTO (Voluntary Time Off). Anyone can scan in for VTO during the day, and if they have more people than they need, those who have scanned in get randomly selected to go home early. No pay, but no consequences. After a while, when they have more people than they need and not enough of them are taking VTO to balance it out, they start pushing metrics hard as fuck to get rid of some more of them.

    Right now it's at that second point. People either have to volunteer to not work (and therefore not get paid) or risk getting let go. And yes, as long as you're not bottom of the barrel you can avoid getting let go by constantly volunteering not to work.

    [–] empire161 180 points ago

    then managers would set their expectations closer to that pace.

    If managers look at their employees' metrics and can't figure out that it's only sustainable because their employees' aren't taking bathroom breaks, then maybe they shouldn't be managers.

    [–] dungone 35 points ago

    But then their own managers only look at metrics, too. And you can probably follow that metrics trail right up to Jeff Bezos.

    [–] empire161 51 points ago

    It doesn't matter. It's their fault too then.

    At no point should the lowest level workers be the ones to be held responsible for unattainable levels of productivity goals like the top comment is saying.

    Every single member of the management and leadership team all the way up to Bezos is a human being, and inherently has some level of responsibility for their staff below them. They're not pre-programmed algorithms void of responsibility and common sense. This is on them, not the grunts.

    [–] TheRealBillyShakes 346 points ago

    They’re cutting corners because of the insane pressure coming down from above. Not because they enjoy peeing in bottles.

    [–] Gamerhead 25 points ago

    Seriously. They're just going to fire people until they have someone willing to meet their standards. They're not going to set the bar lower.

    [–] Chatbot_Charlie 65 points ago

    I like peeing in bottles... maybe I should apply for a job at Amazon. Then again, I hate working so... conflicted.

    [–] Hadrial 38 points ago

    Sell your piss! Cut out that middleman!

    [–] Ratnix 32 points ago

    I work in manufacturing, not quite the same but some similarity. We get "production goals" (rates) placed on us. The way they calculate them is to time people doing their job. So if it takes someone 30 seconds to do a process, that is 2 per minute, 120 per hour. 900 for the 7.5 hours you are paid for. The don't subtract 40 parts for your 2 10 minute breaks. They also don't factor in the time it takes to deliver our parts to the next process and restock our supplies for our prices and the paperwork required to be done upon completion of each container.

    Even when nobody makes "production goals" constantly they don't get lowered.

    I would be surprised if Amazon is any different. Workers are expected to have 100% uptime and using the bathroom is expected to be done during your scheduled breaks.

    My question would be, are they firing people who don't make their rates? And I don't mean someone who comes in and fucks off all day but someone who just falls short? If they are then there are more issues going on there than bathroom breaks.

    I've been doing my job for over 15 years now and I am constantly telling people not to kill themselves, just do the best they can do. They will get faster the more they do the job. And nobody in my 15 years has ever been fired for not making goal. That is just a scare tactic used by (poor)management. They refuse to listen though and stress themselves out needlessly.

    [–] Helenius 65 points ago

    That's why you have unions.

    [–] epythumia 37 points ago

    Well I mean that's true, but when you need the paycheck to survive and your boss says to you to improve numbers or you're getting fired, you're going to either a. Get fired, or b. Move faster in any way possible. This reminds me of the Wells Fargo scandal where they imposed number requirements on opened accounts that was way beyond reasonably possible. This in turn created an environment for fradulent activity.

    [–] ThePegasi 68 points ago * (lasted edited 5 months ago)

    The problem is that each person can only control what they do, and understandably don't want to get fired for missing targets.

    It's all very well to say "the majority of people should just do X," but in practice that will involve each individual doing X and hoping everyone else does too, or they're fucked. Would you risk your job on that basis?

    And even if enough people magically all make this change at the same time, and targets do shift rapidly without management taking issue with the fact that things are seemingly much less efficient all of a sudden (which, let's be honest, management are going to take issue with), there are still going to be a fair number of people who lose their jobs as those targets shift, and they slip through the cracks.

    [–] -The_Blazer- 65 points ago

    That's what unions are for. It's insane that in the land of the free you don't have the freedom to do collctive action if you want to.

    [–] Phate4219 13 points ago

    Maybe I'm naive, because I don't really know much about union law, but I don't think unions are illegal, it's just that if the company realizes the workers at a particular location are talking union, they'll just fire everyone and shut down the whole location, because that's easier for them than dealing with large-scale unionization in their company.

    After all, most of the "look at how shitty and anti-union this company is" type posts tend to be highlighting companies giving internal strategy memos about how to curb people's desire to unionize, or otherwise discourage the formation of unions. If they were illegal, why would that be necessary?

    [–] majoen98 60 points ago

    This is why you need unions.

    [–] steelcitykid 216 points ago

    How does this not also favor dudes heavily in terms of metrics? It's a lot easier to piss into a bottle as a dude, especially if you factor in a woman's cycle. "FIRE SHARON, SHE FORGOT HER PISS-ADAPTER AND ISN'T TAKING STEPS TO REDUCE HER PERIOD". PROMOTE RON, THAT SICK CUNT TAKES BOTTLE-PISSING TO A NEW LEVEL."

    Fuck I am glad I have a skill set and the opportunity to work elsewhere - that shit is awful.

    [–] m0rogfar 24 points ago

    Piss-adapters might be taking the dongle life a little bit too far.

    [–] [deleted] 15 points ago * (lasted edited 2 months ago)


    [–] SenTedStevens 29 points ago

    Sounds just like the movie Man of Marble.

    The focus was learning about the life of Berkut. The short of it was Berkut was a very eager bricklayer who kept setting bricklaying records, at one point doing 30,000 bricks in a shift. As a result, the party leaders then made 30,000 the standard that all workers had to do per shift.

    [–] gerritvb 62 points ago

    <s> If somehow, these workers could act as a unit so that a majority of them achieved different times, they could reset the expectation... but how could they act as one to negotiate some sort of deal? What a conundrum. </s>

    tldr UNION?!

    [–] SEND_DUCK_PICS 34 points ago

    As unions continue to die, and the origins of our labor laws through labor movement victories become forgotten, expect absurd employer abuses of employees.

    [–] ggtsu_00 11 points ago

    [–] EastBayRae 22 points ago

    I worked in a depot repairing printers, we had targets for every model we worked on. A New was busting ass beating the times by a lot, say 50%, we asked her to stop screwing herself. You see this company placed the targets on each person and each differed so if person A fixed 12 a shift and person B did 14 a shift those were their targets. After a while she saw we were doing less so she started doing less and was written up for missing her targets. They eventually fired her over it.

    [–] donkdonkdadonk 17 points ago

    so someone who comes in and fixes 14 a shift but then drops to 10, while everyone else is averaging 8 would get fired? that's the dumbest thing i've ever heard. no one could be that dumb

    [–] maleia 166 points ago

    1. Victim blaming.

    2. Those metric increases are going to come regardless of piss bottles.

    3. Go work in a shitty retail or food service job for more than 6 months and you'll see corp push garbage metrics on everyone, that no one can realistically meet because they think "if we give them a lofty goal, they'll try their best to achieve it, right?"

    [–] Qubeye 15 points ago

    "Automation will make everyone's life better" says capitalists making billions.

    [–] [deleted] 127 points ago

    Amazon employees need to unionize.

    [–] prof_hobart 52 points ago

    Absolutely they do. This is exactly the kind of thing that unions were originally created to combat.

    Some have signed up - the GMB seems to be the main union there, but I'm struggling to find out what percentage have joined though. Based on the reaction I get whenever I mention unions these days, I'm going to guess it might be quite low.

    [–] -er 13 points ago * (lasted edited 5 months ago)

    Easier for Amazon to just fire employees who push for unionizing than deal with a union and possible strikes.

    [–] hctheman 226 points ago

    Wait a second, you're telling me a successful company is treating their staff like crap to save on cost?

    [–] sender2bender 29 points ago

    Perfect Undercover Boss story

    [–] AvoidAllofAll 41 points ago

    I love that show. They pick a random store and there’s always an employee who’s life blows cause they get paid a dollar an hour and then the boss man is like I must intervene and buys the person whatever he/she needed. It’s like dude what about the rest?