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Amazon: Look from within

The purpose of this article is to satisfy the curiosity of people who are interested in the inner life of the Internet giant Amazon, as well as to warn the owners of online shops from all sorts of pitfalls.


1. Job placement

I got the job in the Amazon by accident, I was looking for extra income, driving near their Fulfillment Center, then I decided to stop by and drop my resume. At the reception I was told by a secretary that they need people in the returns department and in half-hour they will begin interviewing candidates, and also, they need two more people. Well, I waited for a chance that I did not to miss.

There were about 20 candidates, the main purpose of the briefing is screening of complete idiots. It took 20 minutes to solve a variety of tasks, such as what icon is used to open the Internet, there were several questions related to mathematics, and the rest were just the logic puzzles. After that we took a lecture about the labor safety and environmental issues. This entire process took me about an hour, and I got the job, though it was not that what I wanted, but better this than nothing, especially, on the eve of my wedding.


2. Workplace

A warehouse is really huge. It takes five minutes to walk from the front door to my workstation, although it is not on the far side. At the entrance stands a metal detector, if someone does not pass it, that person will be searched by a security guard, and for a political correctness men are searched by male guards and women by female guards. The situation reminds me the searches at the airport. It should be noted that the guards do random checks of the personal lockers for stolen goods. This approach irritates me a lot.

Every two hours is a break for 15 minutes (subtract 10 minutes only to get to the exit and back). Delay, even for one second is followed by a reprimand, and three delays causes termination of the employment.

In order to get to the workstation you need to follow between the drawn lines, so-called walking paths. A step to the left, step to the right you will be shot :). According to the management, these measures are taken for the safety of employees, but I think they are to exclude cases where the employees sue for injuries. Here is a normal practice.

A hall is divided into five main areas:

1. Books and media
2. Shoes
3. Hardware, furniture, sporting goods
4. Electronics
5. Valuables (expensive books, cell phones, watches). This entry is restricted.

In general, the entire area occupies about 10,000 square feet with shelves and all sorts of junk.

3. Colleagues

Returns department – what a place! Apparently, the management believes that hired people who are willing to work for a minimum wage will solve all the problems. According to my observations, the set of housewives and Polish immigrants has created even more serious problems. Okay, people return the books. But how about the rest? There were cases when the client sent back the cheap Sony stuff, instead of Techniques equipment that was purchased. Damn, they should at least compare with the picture ... No, nobody cares. Careless attitude of the management very quickly turns into an inappropriate attitude to work among the staff. This situation, I saw not only in the Amazon.

4. Work

I was lucky. I was among the so-called advanced workers, and I have been testing very complex electronics. Televisions, monitors, stereos ... the list is long. I have gotten equipment for the testing that the housewives could not cope with. My responsibilities were such as unpacking the goods, checking and marking all the defects, making the reports, and repacking. On the basis of my reports were automatically generated prices and the products were resold as used goods, these products could be found on Amazon under the search word “warehouse deals”. I liked this work, but it was absolutely useless, I will try to explain why. First of all, the price of returned goods does not drop so much. Secondly, it is simply impossible to keep track of all the defects, flaws, or breakdowns, and you have to sell a pig in a poke.
Yes, it's the only job where you can play x-box using 50 inches plasma screen. But my heart bleeds to throw brand new iPods, just because they may contain personal information about a client, or be tied to iTunes. In general, I had to deal with forced vandalism. Oh, by the way, the returned software is destroyed for sure, so that if a client copied the serial number, consider it as a purchase.


This work completely discouraged my desire to work for a large company, however, it has given invaluable experience. I am the person for whom it is important wisely to use the resources of the planet and the people, and I think that the companies like this throw the lion's share of resources in the trash. Honestly, I have no idea how they manage to make a profit, although they make it on the sale of books and the movies.
Killer 20 march 2012, 14:00
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