by Chris McGinty
In Part One, I alluded to the notion that I probably wouldn’t put up with the treatment that Amazon has been accused of in recent times. I admit that it may be from living in the Fort Worth/Dallas area for most of my life, but I’ve never had a problem finding a job. I feel like the discussion would go something like this:
AMAZON BOSS: Chris, we were checking your tracking data and it looks like you stopped four times during your shift yesterday to use the bathroom.
ME: Yeah, that sounds about right.
AMAZON BOSS: Well, we consider that to be goofing off and theft of the generous wage we’re paying you.
ME: Cool. If you’re going to fire me, you have about 60 seconds to do it before I get in the van and work my shift.
“If I were Jeff Bezos, I’d have made this my HQ, too.” by justinbaeder is licensed under CC BY 2.0
When it comes to bad jobs, knowing the location of the door isn’t just about fire drill preparedness.
And that would be it. They would either fire me or I would continue to drive for them and stop as frequently as my body needed to. The threats would either stop, I would simply start ignoring them, or I would get passive-aggressive to amuse myself.
AMAZON BOSS: Um Chris, I know I’ve already discussed this with you, but stopping four times to use the bathroom is unacceptable.
ME: Not if I need to use the bathroom. Then it’s perfectly acceptable.
AMAZON BOSS: We pay you better than most companies would and we offer competitive benefits. We feel that it’s not too much to ask for you not to take four bathroom breaks during your shift.
ME: Cool. I’ll take five bathroom breaks today then. And if you bring it up again, I move up to six bathroom breaks. Or you can fire me now. You have about 60 seconds.
“bathroom break!” by Greg Walters is licensed under CC BY 2.0
“The New Amazon Forest ain’t gonna grow itself.” – Jeff Bezos. But not that Jeff Bezos. And probably not any Jeff Bezos. In fact, I’m not sure anyone ever said that, so I shouldn’t have put it in quotes.
When I was a teenager, and to some extent in my 20s, I would get upset about losing a job. You put a little bit of your self worth into doing a job and being accepted by your boss. You don’t want your spouse, or anyone else who is relying on you, to feel scared about whether or not you’ll be able to pay the bills. After being fired a few times though, I came to the realization that I always had a different job within a week if I wanted one.
Again, this may be from living in an area where the “Now Hiring” signs never come down, but I have no reason to ever stay at a job where the boss, the culture, or the corporation is abusive. I don’t know about Amazon, but at the many pizza places that I’ve worked at, they generally were short staffed and had little leverage with their employees. I’m guessing that it wouldn’t even take unionization to fix the problems at Amazon. It would just take enough people telling them to go fuck themselves.
“Burger King Now Hiring Sign” by JeepersMedia is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Well, this may be a step too far. I ain’t gettin’ no job at Burger King. Sorry, I shouldn’t talk ill of the dead.
EMPOWERED AMAZON EMPLOYEE: Yeah, I will certainly get some boxes onto the conveyor belt, but I’ll do it after I relieve my bladder. You have until I return from the bathroom to decide if you’re going to fire me or not. See you soon.
I suspect that if you work for Amazon at the moment that it’s not the only job you’ve ever had. You survived changing jobs before. Lower your cost of living to $15,000 a year no matter what job you have. You’ll never have to worry about losing a job again, because you can always make $15,000 a year. I know it may be scary to do so, but we, the members of the working class, need to take our power back at some point. Clearly, appealing to Amazon isn’t going to do it. Clearly, appealing to the government isn’t going to do it. So let someone else put up with the shit.
Chris McGinty is a blogger who has only worked one hour for a wage in the last two weeks. He wouldn’t have even worked that hour if his friend hadn’t called him to talk on the phone for a bit. He just figured if he was going to be on the phone he could take some food to people. He’s been feeling in the mood to get out and do some driving, so he’ll probably get some hours in this weekend. It’s almost like these shit jobs are similar to a drug habit that doesn’t quite have you addicted. I can quit at anytime.