Secret dating Leipzig
This was treated with derision on the union side, but at all Amazon’s centers, and especially those in the United States and the United Kingdom, the cult of the customer is a serious matter and provides the rationale for the extreme variant of scientific management whose purpose, as at Walmart, is to keep pushing up employee productivity while keeping hourly wages at or near poverty levels.As at Walmart, Amazon achieves this with a regime of workplace pressure, in which targets for the unpacking, movement, and repackaging of goods are relentlessly increased to levels where employees have to struggle to meet their targets and where older and less dextrous employees will begin to fail.There were six packing lines at Amazon’s Augsburg center, each with two conveyor belts feeding tables where the packers stood and did the packing.The first conveyor belt fed the table with goods stored in boxes, and the second carried the goods away in sealed packages ready for distribution by UPS, Fed Ex, and their German counterparts.” But alongside these digital controls there was a team of Taylor’s “functional foremen,” overseers in the full nineteenth-century sense of the term, watching the employees every second to ensure that there was no “time theft,” in the language of Walmart.He is French born, and he still speaks with the rather faded insouciance of Maurice Chevalier and “Gay Paree,” and he makes much of this in his lecture.But there was nothing gay (in the traditional sense) or insouciant about the Amazon workplace that Onetto described for UVA’s MBA candidates.At Amazon’s depot in Allentown, Pennsylvania (of which more later), Kate Salasky worked shifts of up to eleven hours a day, mostly spent walking the length and breadth of the warehouse.In March 2011 she received a warning message from her manager, saying that she had been found unproductive during several Whereas some Amazon employees are in constant motion across the floors of its enormous centers—the biggest, in Arizona, is the size of twenty-eight football fields—others work on assembly lines packing goods for shipping.
Onetto is a disconcerting figure, because once he starts talking, style and substance are in sharp contrast.
When I first did research on Walmart’s workplace practices in the early 2000s, I came away convinced that Walmart was the most egregiously ruthless corporation in America.
However, ten years later, there is a strong challenger for this dubious distinction—Amazon Corporation.
There is still more humbug in the air because Amazon treats a second significant grouping of men and women with whom it has dealings—its employees—with the very opposite of care and trust.
Amazon’s employees are almost completely absent from Onetto’s lecture, and they make their one major appearance when they too are wheeled in as devotees of the cult of the customer: “We make sure that every associate at Amazon is really a customercentric person, that cares about the customer.”But as so often in Amazon’s recent history, it has been in Germany that this humbug has been stripped away and the true role of the “cult of the customer” has become clear.