For all of Amazon’s high technology, it still has a very old fashioned business supporting it. Thousands of employees around the world work in factories moving product around to make sure people get what they want when they order it online.
As with any factory, the working conditions can be less than ideal, as we just learned from a big expose by Allentown paper the Morning Call.
Amazon employees in Pennsylvania were forced to work as temperatures went well over 100 degrees. They were allowed to take some time to recover, but employees worried they were being marked for catching their breath.
Amazon’s has a point system to keep track of infractions. If an employee gets six points, they’re out of a job. We spoke to a source who works at one of Amazon’s shipping facilities about these guidelines.
The rules for employees at Amazon warehouses are strict and at times random. We’ve assembled some of them here.
No wearing lipstick: Amazon doesn't want you using any products on the warehouse floor that could be sold from the site. Our source was told lipstick was banned, but lip gloss was fine.
No chewing gum: This one is a bit complicated. If you show up to work chewing a piece of gum, you're allowed to keep it all day. Just don't bring in your own gum. That's a big no-no.
You can only drink water: And all water must be stored in clear bottles so floor supervisors can tell what the liquid is. Lemonade, soda, or anything else with colour is not allowed.
Don't use too much tape: Gift wrapped packages are inspected by floor supervisors. Employees are trained how to wrap using the correct amount of tape and wrapping paper. If you consistently wrap incorrectly, that could count against you.
Don't work too slow: Our source says employee work flow is tracked by scanners that prompt each person when to move on to the next order. If you don't work fast enough, it can be tracked back to you. Our source says this causes a lot of frustration among workers.
Don't be sick: Our source says an employee was let go because supervisors said she had chronic bronchitis and didn't disclose the condition at the time of hire. The source and other coworkers suspect this was an excuse because the employee was working too slow.
You have exactly 7 minutes of buffer for clocking in and out: Employees clock-in and clock-out times are tracked down to the minute. You're given a seven-minute window after your shift ends to clock out. Do so even a minute later and it will be noted.
Don't talk too much: Floor supervisors monitor social habits too. Our source says if you're caught talking too much, you will be separated from your neighbour. If the problem persists, you could get written up.
Don't wear a watch: This is another rule designed to prevent theft. Since Amazon also sells them, employees must remove their watches before entering work.
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