Day 163 – Is Anybody Surprised?
Seriously is anybody remotely surprised by the recent NY Times article about what it’s like, for many, to work at Amazon dot com? Or by the outright hilarious response by Jeff Bezos that the article “doesn’t describe the Amazon I work for.”
Consider the arena where Amazon competes! Remember Amazon recently bested Walmart as the most valuable retailer. The only difference between Walmart and Amazon is tech workers won’t work for what Walmart pays store employees. Yet. So naturally Amazon has to wring the most productivity possible from their growing herd. Honestly, is anybody surprised by this?
Here’s my bigger issue, neatly summed up: “A customer was able to get an Elsa doll that they could not find in all of New York City, and they had it delivered to their house in 23 minutes,” said Ms. Landry, who was authorized by the company to speak, still sounding exhilarated months later about providing ‘Frozen’ dolls in record time.”
There, in one sentence, is everything wrong with our consumer culture fueling this idiotic retail race-to-the-bottom. No, I’m not kidding. Begin with the low-hanging fruit: the amount of energy expended in both calories and diesel fuel getting the stupid doll to the consumer. The amount of energy and other resources expended to produce, ship and warehouse the stupid doll prior to it being dispatched. You can go backwards or forwards! Continue back to the amount of resources expended prior to producing this doll or go forward and take into account the resources expended to the inevitable point where it ends up in a Pennsylvania landfill. Multiply this one delivery event by the increasing number of people who want their stuff now, now, now!
Does anybody think this lunacy is sustainable for any of the parties involved?