I'm Still Uncomfortable With Amazon
A couple of years ago, I wrote about Amazon and my discomfort with a number of the practices that the company employed. After writing the post, I was on a kick in which I was shunning Amazon and avoiding being a consumer of their services. That lasted for about a year, and then my convictions started to wear thin. I started watching shows on Prime. I started ordering things like supplements from Amazon when I realized how expensive and inconvenient it was to buy them from multiple vendors. I began to buy home improvement items from Amazon when I couldn’t find them at any of the big box retailers around me.
I've become complacent about my shopping. My mentality has basically become, "if you can't beat them, join them." Last weekend, though, I talked with a friend at church who reminded me of why I put effort into avoiding Amazon in the first place. My friend is a mailman who hates Amazon — and rightfully so. He's one of those unfortunates to be directly and materially impacted by the practices of the company. Because of Amazon, he and his colleagues have to work Sundays. Because of Amazon, people work 9-10 days in a row. Because of Amazon, pay is variable based on a number of intrusive tracking mechanisms. The Postal Service has had to race to catch up with Amazon and their ever-advancing, inhuman efficiency, trampling on their employees in the process.
It's a sad thing to have to acknowledge, but convenience comes with a cost. In the case of Amazon, it's a very human cost. Whether it's in the warehouse, in the delivery trucks, or even in the corporate offices, Amazon treats its employees with a callous indifference that borders on cruelty. As they march towards more automation, they treat their workers like automatons, capable of the same relentless repetition as robots. Increasingly, though, it's not just their employees who are affected, but the employees of competitors and those who have to work within the framework that Amazon has constructed.
Before you make your next purchase from the internet retail behemoth, think about the downstream impact. That process may just convince you to take your business elsewhere.