Amazon is a notoriously difficult place to work.
The New York Times’
The article in The Times describes a “bruising workplace” where employees are asked to harshly critique their peers, and those suffering personal crises are often pushed out of their positions.
Many of these posts were written anonymously, so take them with a grain of salt, but we’ve only included sentiments that seemed to be a reoccuring theme or that we have heard from our own sources.
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through hispersonal investment company Bezos Expeditions.
Want gourmet lunches and weekly massages? Amazon isn't the place for you.
'One aspect of Amazon culture that turns many people off is the constant emphasis on frugality,' Eric Aderhold, former software engineer, writes on Quora. 'Amazon doesn't tend to buy lunches for its employees, offer outstanding fully-paid health coverage, match charitable contributions, invest in top-of-the-line workstations for developers to use, or other expensive things that other top employers are known to do. This focus on frugality has helped keep prices low, which in turn has allowed Amazon to grow to the impressive size it is today. The downside is that it's hard for any company to hire and retain top employees when other companies are willing to offer a bunch of attractive fringe benefits in addition to being competitive salary-wise.'
There are some perks, however, like an on-campus farmers market and a dog-friendly workplace.
Here one employee writes: 'Jeff Bezos micromanages Amazon. You'll be working toward your commitments for a sprint when all of the sudden your manager flies in and says you have to drop everything and work on something else. Why? Because Jeff just sent an email to your VP about what your priorties are, and they're not the same as the ones that he sent in an email last week.'
A 'Performance Improvement Plan,' or 'PIP, is a three-month track that Amazon uses for employees it thinks are underperforming. Though PIP is ostensibly an opportunity to get an employee back on track, past accounts of PIPs make it seem as if the program is essentially a way to get workers to resign.
'In Amazon, PIP is being used as a tool to fire employees. That is, once you are into a PIP you can be sure that you would be made to quit within a maximum of 3 months,' a former employee told Gawker in September 2014. 'But the point to be noted here is, there will not be any coaching or training to the employee during this period. They will have to work just normally like others but each and every movement of them would be monitored.'