Amazon Grinds Up Employees’ Bones With Sustainable Business Model From Hell

Hell's Sustainable Business Model

Walk into any Amazon meeting, and you are likely to find body parts strewn about the room. The corporation’s employees are rewarded for tearing apart their coworkers’ ideas and self-confidence.

Bo Olson, formerly in books marketing, worked for Amazon for less than two years. He and other employees saw ruthless sights:

“You walk out of a conference room and you’ll see a grown man covering his face. Nearly every person I worked with, I saw cry at their desk.”

The fish always stinks from the head down. Company founder, Jeff Bezos, is the fifth richest man in the world. Amazon recently beat out Walmart as the most valuable company in the U.S. The New York Times tells this anecdote about Bezos:

“He wanted his grandmother to stop smoking, he recalled in a 2010 graduation speech at Princeton. He didn’t beg or appeal to sentiment. He just did the math, calculating that every puff cost her a few minutes. ‘You’ve taken nine years off your life!’ he told her. She burst into tears.”

He was 10 years old. What kind of person brings his grandmother to tears and brags about it? The Marquis de Sade comes to mind.

Amazon is a tough business run by a tough guy, an experiment-in-the-making of how far workers can be pushed. It brings to mind the nine circles of hell in the famous painting, Dante’s Inferno.

The new Amazon complex in Seattle will hold 50,000 company winners aka employees. The corporation runs people through a series of graters, culling out the losers in an annual ritual that makes Navy Seal boot camp look like a bed of roses.

One former Amazon HR director calls it, “purposeful Darwinism”:

“Some workers who suffered from cancer, miscarriages and other personal crises said they had been evaluated unfairly or edged out rather than given time to recover.”

You know when you have to sign a long confidentiality agreement, that things are going to go downhill; but who could be expected to roll off of a cliff just to earn a living?

Stress and blood-thirsty competitiveness are the wheels beneath this behemoth organization. John Rossman, former Amazon executive and author of the book, The Amazon Way said:

“A lot of people who work there feel this tension: It’s the greatest place I hate to work.”

After squeezing the life out of its employees, Amazon tosses the bodies on a heap and hires others from the unending line of applicants.

Good to know. I will never buy any Amazon product again.


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About Gloria Christie

Gloria Christie founded Gloria Christie Reports, a common sense column about liberal politics. She wrote for, the Kansas City Star, Where High Technology Meets Politics for London’s IDG-Connect Blog and The Best Times. Her total readership is over 5 million. Christie has an MS in radio-TV-film and an MPA in business/government relations. She was a systemic problems consulting expert for Fortune 100/500 businesses here and off-shore. Christie invented and implemented the first computerized patient chart. She also worked on Howard Dean’s, John Kerry’s, and Barak Obama’s presidential campaigns. She is particularly interested in liberal politics, high-tech, complex systems, and change. Like her Facebook page, visit her website, and follow her on Twitter.Click here to buy Gloria Christie a vodka martini.


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