The holidays are a busy time of year for Amazon.To keep up with the high consumer demand, the company hires armies of temporary workers to gift wrap, pack, and ship orders in warehouses around the country.
Speed is of the essence. To make sure their temporary workers stay on task, Amazon and the staffing companies it contracts instituted a list full of crazy rules that could get you fired.
We spoke to a source who works at one of Amazon’s shipping facilities about these guidelines.
At the warehouse this source works at, there’s a point system to monitor infractions against the rules. Earn six points and you’re out. Other infractions won’t necessarily earn you points, but your name and badge number will be logged and could be used to justify letting you go later.
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.
Don't show up late: This one isn't particularly crazy, but there are no excuses for being late. On the six-point system, showing up half an hour late earns you half a point. One hour or more gets you one point. If you don't show up at all, that's a whopping three points.
NOW WATCH: Tech Insider videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.