The very first response is "eally like? cause your workers are liars?"
There we go, now the entire conversation is everything or nothing, you're either with them or against them. Then it's off into personal attacks and arguments about followers and etc.
Nobody is talking to each other in any of that. They're just posting for everyone else to see.
The medium is the message and twitter is dumb, and it makes everyone on it dumb.
well if you're dealing with a corporate entity the size of amazon and their weird bot/shill twitter army that's pretty much the only sane response.
Do you seriously think if you chat nicely with these PR people they're going to hook you up with someone who matters and amazon is going to have a nice chat about their anti-union practises with you over a cup of tea? Makes about as much sense as telling hong kongers to be friendly to the people's liberation army
Calling on workers to fight amazon is the only reasonable thing to do and if these combatative tweets bring attention to their PR campaigns than that's a plus
You aren't only talking to that account - you are having a public conversation in front of millions of people.
...and if the discussion goes something like:
Company A: "We believe in xyz."
Twitter B: "You are an <insert insult>."
...then what benefit have you delivered to the other millions of people reading? All you are doing is stroking the ego of those who agree, and fueling outrage for those that don't. No ones position is evolving.
Instead, you should recognize that the audience of your comment is the millions of silent readers whose combined opinions/votes/dollars have an actual impact. To them, a logical, well reasoned, and UN-emotional argument is persuasive, and far more likely to help you achieve your goal.
I'm not so sure. Know your audience. On hackernews I agree. But there are forums where nobody reads or understands your well reasoned arguments..
What does anyone gain by spending time exchanging "biting sarcasm" (as per a sibling comment) on an online platform?
Are there issues that we need to resolve with debate? If so, will those issues be resolved by slagging off each other on the internets? If not, is it any point doing exactly that, instead of trying (very hard) to have a level-headed, thoughtful conversation?
(And I do mean _trying_ very very hard because the internets has made little snotty know-it-alls of many of us and that just sucks).
I like both twitter and hacker news, for expressing myself in different ways. Each have their place. One place isn't better than the other. Humans are diverse and so are their needs.
This is shockingly naive. Look at the world around you. Read history.
But that's not what happened. "really like? cause your workers are liars?" is not an insult, it's pointing out that your workers contradict you.
Biting sarcasm is also not bad.
You want to be remembered by your readers and logical, well reasoned arguments dont hold up that well in that regard.
I'm not convinced that's a thing. I see a lot of twitter styled activism and I'm not sure what the impact is outside of maybe some anecdotal events.
Sure, a tweet chain like this isn't going to change the world, but it's better than nothing or to pretend you can have a genuine discussion with Seth "fc ambassador" your friendly neighbourhood employee who is literally reading talking points off a page
I mean just genuinely look at these accounts, there's a guy who looks like 20 and claims to have grandchildren, then there's someone switching gender mid-conversation, it's like something out of a Kafka novel. In East Germany people used to refer to the increasingly bizarre existing social order as Realsozialismus, I think we've entered Realkapitalismus.
I'm still not sure that there really is much of a change with twitter style activism.
I suspect everyone who is inclined to belive a thing already are in their own protected circles (to use a google+ term ) and they're not changing much. The bots are the only crossover I suspect.
Personally when I am on Twitter, I unfollow a lot of the higher activity activist types (even the folks I know), because honestly even when I agree i don't care to see folks yell at each other.
I suspect "there's nothing else I can do" is still a net 0 in the end as far as change goes, well other than the aggravation of a twitter spat.
I had a sneaking suspicion that Amazon's product quality overall was in the toilet due to low qualify manufacturing and co-mingling genuine products with knockoffs in the warehouses, but I didn't really have anything to back me up other than products that I was unsatisfied with. Then HN threads and comments started mentioning the same thing. That stuff has been spreading like wildfire.
I'd argue that voices in unison on Twitter would have a farther reach that a niche community like HN. I know people in my circles have been even more skeptical of products sold on Amazon for these very reasons.
I think this is totally overblown. Reddit thinks they did it. Twitter thinks they did it. Politicians think they did it. News organizations think they did it. People in the streets think they did it.
Sure everyone contributes, but except for some limited circumstances, I'm going to give the least credit to those of us on the couch and put the most credit at the feet of the investigative reporters and researchers who provide more than mob shame and anecdotes.
I don't see anything bot-like about the responses, I mean check this one out:
> Actually, we aren’t robots! We just love the Amazon website.
That's a perfectly normal human thing to say to another human who also likes human things such as carbohydrates and oxygen.
Once you detach, you realize quickly that much of Twitter represents a tiny minority of loud, self-righteous people. When "Twitter explodes" in righteous indignation, I feel like the best move would simply be to ignore it and wait for everyone to move on.
I imagine hundreds of thousands of users could go bonkers about something and it not matter at all. Also 1k users get upset and in the larger world that issue really matters.
I have to work really hard at pruning what I follow on twitter in a constant effort to keep things "on topic" in regard to why I followed some things.
I really think this is by design at Twitter. The confusing way that the conversations are structured, and intentionally limited to allow any possibility for nuance of any kind, just maximizes outrage.
Essentislly twitter wants you to go to the service and get angry. That keeps you addicted and coming back to see how the argument has progressed. It’s like a much more addicting/toxic version of cable news.
After that, nearly every single aspect of Twitter was actually invented by its users including @ replies, and mechanisms for "threading." All that Twitter has done is ride that user behavior by slightly conforming to it through actions like UI trying to follow threads via text relationships, or eventually adding actual reply metadata to tweets.
And the increase in messages size? That came with a huge backlash from many of its users.
To imply that Twitter has somehow cleverly engineered the dumpster fire that burns everlasting there is giving them FAR, FAR more credit than they deserve.
Both could be "by design".
The numbers have fucked up the way people think and behave.
Could it have be put differently? Probably, but another rule of good discourse is to play the argument not the man (or the presentation), so you again seem to be making the parents point.
HN is pretty strict about low quality content and such, that's not "proving a point" it's just a question of local traditions.
Personal I've little regard for "you're proving my point by down-voting me" kind of arguments, it's always almost self serving and either a question of that user's ignorance about the local forum's policies or they just don't care.
So it isn't about "you're proving my point by down-voting me"
The differences between HN's system, and twitters is pretty obvious IMO.
Just at the most obvious twitter limits the amount of text. I doubt the average HN post would even fit on twitter. That's a pretty significant difference just to start.
>So it isn't about "you're proving my point by down-voting me"
I don't know what you mean by that.
I was fully explaining my point of view, because I don't think it boils down to that.
I would argue that HN's voting system tends to encourage shorter comments. I personally find it annoying to write a well reasoned 10 point essay and get downvotes and no feedback, is there one particular point you're disagreeing with or what? So I would argue that long comments survive despite the voting system.
Could you suggest other differences in medium that you think make the difference? Moderation?
I was commenting on twitter as a medium.
The tweet from Amazon she was replying to said "come see what our warehouses are really like" - strongly implying that the workers who complained are dishonest - not misinformed, they work there. So, dishonest.
So her response was perfectly reasonable imo.
Examining and critizicing communication mediums is an important and valuable thing to do, especially with respect to the internet. Do you truly believe that sound-bite length tweets that focus more on trying "burn" the opposing side instead of making cogent points are the best way of having rational discussions? If not, then what the OP mentioned is important - the format of Twitter just _doesn't_ lend itself to good discussions as much as it does to fanning flames and coming up with good quips. It promotes the worst parts of discourse, and viewing everything that comes out of it through that lens isn't an attempt to feel superior - it's a _necessary_ thing to keep in mind. In order to fully appreciate a message, you have to fully understand its medium. And Twitter is a shitty medium.
Think about that for a second. The fact that they feel that is notable to call out, saying they "actually" have that... implies that they believe it is normal to not have an open door policy, and not be allowed to talk to their managers about problems.
I have worked warehouse jobs at a couple points in my life, and it was always OK to talk to your manager. It wasn't a perk, it was just how things were.
To me, it sounds like an echo of standard anti-union propaganda: e.g. "I don't need a union, because I can work out any problems I have directly with my manager!"
IIRC, this Wal-mart video has a line like that: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cle_OuOpBZc.
If the supervisor you have an "open door" to communicate with has zero flexibility in what they can do to help you then you might as well converse with one of the stock-picking robots.
Unions have sued their own members for speaking with managers about grievances.
My first point of contact is always my team lead. If they ask me to do something unsafe, for example, I just say so. If it's not resolved there, I'd go to my job steward. The job steward exists to be the on-site worker advocate. I've spoken to my job steward about an issue maybe once ever.
I can't imagine how not having an advocate would ever be beneficial for me. It's simply an alternate path of escalation for issues which doesn't end at management saying "shut up and do the job".
The simple answer to not wanting to get sued for speaking with your manager is to have your union not write a #@&!*ing contract that allows workers to get sued for speaking with their managers. (Duh?) I'm sure that clause has existed somewhere, and I'm sure they had a reason for it, but my experience is that 99.99% of the time it's just like any other job, but with better pay and working conditions. If your manager is reasonable and listens to your grievances, then the day-to-day is literally no different than non-represented work.
Sounds like pure FUD to me.
When someone did an end-run around the agreed-upon way of handling conflict, and thought they'd go leverage their personal friendship with the manager to get what they want? Yeah, I could how that might happen, that's one of things unions often try to prevent.
Or is it "Hi Boss we come from the same village / clan /race how about you put me on that sweet work detail/shift".
I have (in the UK) personally overheard a guy working at a well known company say this - Also Fords at Dagenham had a scandal where white workers monopolised the better jobs.
This is something that should be rather simple to understand in the HN/Startup crowd. Considering that anyone can buy shares or start their own business, my point stands that this is the most non-exclusive club possible.
I think you're falling into a set pattern of argument rather than looking at what's under examination and considering it on merit.
> This is something that should be rather simple to understand in the HN/Startup crowd. Considering that anyone can buy shares or start their own business, my point stands that this is the most non-exclusive club possible.
Please look back over the previous posts in the thread and consider the points that have already been raised.
You're talking to basically a huge crowd of well-paid individuals who can and do frequently swap between employment and self-employment, including employing others.
The people who these talking points might hit better with are people who don't have the capital, or access to such capital, to be able to do such things.
Oh, I'm used to Internet discussions with folks of a certain mindset (I here carefully avoid a convenient, self-selected label that I suspect applies in this case, as its introduction is rarely helpful). They're incredibly common online and usually very eager to engage. Years and years of experience, here. I usually avoid it these days because it's almost always fruitless for all concerned, but felt like giving it a go this time.
> You're talking to basically a huge crowd of well-paid individuals who can and do frequently swap between employment and self-employment, including employing others.
Fussell's class-confused middle by socialized attitude, maybe, coupled with the income and means of his upper-middle and so especially off-kilter. "I'm a doctor, I make good money, I run my own practice, therefore the capitalist class is both what I'm part of and easy to join, so it's a silly and not very useful term". That sort of thing.
This is why generalizations on audiences are pointless. Don't assume people are incapable of understanding an argument or empathizing with a perspective just because of their current place in life.
Ability to buy large quantities of shares is not "non-exclusive." Not everyone has money.
Also why does it have to be "large quantities"? Buy 1 share and you're a part owner. Many large companies have stock plans. It's not rare and if you're an employee then by definition you "have money" from working.
Because the distinction is whether one's primary activity is using capital to gain income, versus working for pay. "Ah but a worker may own some shares!" isn't important. It's tough to nail down color names at transition points, too, but you add a tiny bit of white to some very red paint and no-one's gonna start calling it pink. It's still red.
[EDIT] at the heart of the misunderstanding, here, is a false syllogism, I think. "Pink paint is red mixed with white, you mixed some white in this red, therefore it is now pink"; "The capitalist class own capital, this worker owns some capital, therefore this worker is part of the capitalist class"; "The capitalist class owns capital, this guy owns and operates a hot dog stand, a hotdog stand is capital, therefore this guy is part of the capitalist class". It's quite similar to another that's often seen: "Mugging is taking something by threat of force, governments ultimately back taxation with the threat of force, therefore taxation is the same as mugging" or variations that end up at at some form of "taxation is the same thing as theft, so your thinking is inconsistent if you don't transfer all your bad feelings about theft to taxation, as well".
And no taxes are not theft, they are a contract in exchange for citizenship and sovereignty of the nation. Evading taxes is theft, by you from the government.
You keep ignoring important parts of what's commonly considered the defining properties of the capitalist class, to make the idea seem less useful and much more slippery than it is. Or maybe taking that one sentence from WP as the entirety of the definition, period (though, again, ignoring important parts of that, even). I'm not sure you're going to find what you need to understand the concept, if you're interested, in an HN discussion.
If anyone can join then it's not exclusive. In fact it's entirely welcoming. The economy not only supports it but relies on it, demands it even, and the very people you may claim are the most powerful today includes members who have started with nothing and were far outside that 'class'. The boundary is completely porous and ever-shifting so as to be non-existent outside of a political discussion. There are no chains binding you.
So what is the use of such a definition other than a "us-vs-them" distraction? When the "them" is open to anyone? It seems like the side which is dividing and conquering is not the capitalists.
OK. I wrote a really long response attempting to get through, but frankly, at this point, you should write a paper and submit to some journals, because this whole line of reasoning would be a significant finding if it stands up to scrutiny.
Brevity is a key signal of clarity and cohesiveness. If it takes a journal paper to even attempt a discussion then this entire concept (under your interpretation) is suspect.
They're not muddying the definition. You're ignoring part of the definition.
Everyone has been consistent about what the definition is, and you have consistently pretended that part of the definition isn't there.
Are you calling it "muddy", then, because socioeconomic mobility exists? America's socioeconomic mobility is among the lowest of developed nations and getting worse since the 80s, but regardless, in order to even study such a thing requires defining it. Its definition is not muddy, it's widely accepted and studied.
I am genuinely happy for you that you were able to achieve it. I am incredibly grateful my parents were able to achieve it. But such achievements don't mean it's not still a problem.
And yes, I agree that it's a useless definition. I've never seen it used outside of esoteric political debates.
Esoteric? It's a central concept for understanding how capitalist societies are structured. The central concept, even. It's not math, it's language, exceptions or hard-to-pin-down boundary regions don't wholly invalidate or render useless an idea.
That might be fair. I wouldn't consider a term well understood by anyone with much exposure to the social sciences (any of them, just about, will run you into it, sooner rather than later, probably) or a more-than-tiny exposure to economics (if we're feeling generous and separate that from the social sciences) or just about any higher liberal arts education, to be esoteric, but I can see that falling within one's tolerances for the term, depending. Probably well North of half the population would be lost by it, or take something other than the intended meaning, that's true.
I feel like the point could easily be made without mentioning the "capitalist class", which seems to weaken the argument. But I don't know if the particular word choice terminology has no value? Should a point be inflammatory for those who oppose it? For some people putting it like that, using the ideas of class conflict conflict has value, but it seems to further divide the conversation. Is it more important to tell it like you think it is, or to try and make a point that the most people will agree with? I don't know what the solution is.
That's how I read it as I'm not sure capitalist class makes a whole lot of sense to me in the context, and I'm sure the commies used exactly the same tactics anyway.
It should therefore be reasonable for an Amazon warehouse employee to point out the counter-case for their experience, without you ascribing negatives to Amazon itself based on this.
The majority of the team answers the survey questions dishonestly, so as to avoid rolling shit. The others feel it's their only way of expressing discontent short of leaving.
What exactly happens to the supervisor, and what exactly does he do to all of you?
What do you think could be done to make this situation better?
I wonder if something different, maybe more serious needs to happen to the supervisor for getting a low rating? Or I guess the issue is, he gets to retaliate for a whole quarter and your opportunity to ding him further won't be until 3 months later. Maybe there needs to be an avenue for immediately reporting this kind of retaliation, with clear consequences for him? If the higher-ups don't have the kind of trust it would take to create such an avenue, I dunno what can be done. I guess that's what unions are supposed to be for, but the situation already sounds so broken. I guess if a union already existed and was trusted, it could serve as such an avenue of last-resort.
He doesn't really punish/retaliate so much as make us have a team meeting where we discuss the survey, and then we have to come up with solutions. The surveys are supposed to be anonymous, but who really knows. So the meetings end up with people being vague and non-committal since it's hard to directly criticize your supervisor face to face sometimes.
And each supervisor is compared to their peers, and the organization is also rated. So if people don't feel happy about the workplace 100%, mgmt feels like it's the supervisors fault, not upper mgmt. Just a bad situation all around.
This reminds me of that.
My experience being in a union tells me it is.
In some cases, it may be confrontational, but that's pretty unusual in my personal experience.
But unions literally are (within the law) whatever their members decide they will be, so if you expect that of your potential union, it just means you expect it of your coworkers.
Some bad unions: all unions are awful and the solution is to not have unions.
Unions are not benevolent. They are bureaucratic organizations that want to grow in power and resources just like a corporation. Their interests just happen to be orthogonal to corporate interests which can be beneficial for employees.
I suppose you could describe many groups of people as corporations by another name so I'm not sure how far that gets us, and I tend to treat groups of people large enough to have emergent behaviours as essentially amoral anyway.
Your market share comments are interesting. I remember Matt Levine making an observation about Uber's 'contractors', if they attempted to unionise could be guilty of price fixing, because they're supposed to be competitors. The corporation seems to be another step along where price fixing within the corporation is allowed, and the union goes a step further again by making monopolistic behaviour ok.
As a society that has decided that a corporation can decide how to organise itself and work together internally, but also a society that has decided that monopoly, or at least the abuse of that monopoly is wrong, these seem to be interesting exceptions.
Portland is also undergoing an tremendous unionization battle at a local burger chain (Burgerville); one or two of the shops have successfully unionized, while the rest are still fighting for their right to organize. That's because unions here are at the shop level, and there just couldn't be one burger union that dominated all burger-making.
Because unions gets more powerful than any company and can leverage said power against both workers and employers.
Lets take SAG-AFTRA as an example, a union many here at HN says the software industry should mimic. Their contracts with their workers states that the workers are not allowed to work at non-union shops, and their contracts with shops states that they are not allowed to work with non-union workers. This means that you as a worker has to join the union if your workplace unionize no matter if you feel it benefits you or not, and as long as the union control most workers any larger workplace will be forced to join or they will lack workers.
Why would workers not just stop being in the union, since it costs $3k to join and 2% of your salary to stay? Because the entire workforce at a union shop has to quit at once, at the same time the shop has to decide that they are not a union shop any longer. Do you think that will happen? No, of course not, weeding out a union in such a situation is way harder than starting the union in the first place. And even if they organize, the union could organize a picket in return to harass the shop and its worker into compliance.
Edit: Also PR and propaganda could easily make workers believe the union is good for them even if it isn't, kinda like how poor whites think that Republicans are on their side.
Or a majority has to elect new leadership in the union who will replace the problematic rules.
Or a majority (either of the whole membership or of workers in a defined subarea) need to vote to decertify (and optionally replace) the union.
Because of these, “everyone has to quit at once” is literally never an issue.
> Also PR and propaganda could easily make workers believe the union is good for them even if it isn't
Sure, but workers opposed to the existing union and employers and union parent organizations competing with the parent of the existing union (or wanting to become the parent of there is no current parent) are all able to deploy “PR and propaganda” (two different names for the same thing) against the established union, too.
"The Market" (or however you want to think about it) is not perfectly efficient - if it were, there would never have been any motivation to form unions because every employee's requirements would already be perfectly reflected in the companies they chose to work for. Rather, sluggish network effects and other non-invisible-hand structures dominate immediate results.
All power tends to concentrate. When it gets large enough, it attracts those who seek and hold power for their own ends rather than any benevolently stated goals. Your scenarios are straightforwardly mitigated by union leadership directly appeasing the leaders of such movements, the same way monopolist companies buy out possible competitors to keep a stranglehold - the creation rate of competition is itself limited.
I don't know too many specifics about SAG-AFTRA itself, but its hold over the entire industry is a good indicator that it is indeed too large. Its size implies politicking on the order of at least a city government. Conversely, that size may also be the minimum necessary to engage in collective bargaining across different production companies, and so any general top-down reform is a bit hazy. My only direct experience with this is seeing casual SAG actors having to do a bunch of extra paperwork to participate in a strictly non-profit hobby short film production. It seemed quite ridiculous and onerous, until I thought about the neighboring gradient of low-budget for-profit film production.
Also entertainment unions provide way more services eg training, chasing late payers for freelancers and running the "call first list" - this is the list of problem employers.
The structure of labor law makes it just as possible for workers with a particular employer or in a particular job class with an employer to decertify—and, if they wish, simultaneously replace—a union (or for a union local to dissociate from a parent organization) as it is to organize one in the first place, which doesn't prevent parent union organizations from getting large, but does limit the success of ones that, in doing so, fail to meet the needs of their members in particular workplaces.
The problem is not big business, or socialism, the problem is of mentality.
Sadly the US business mentality is centered around bullying and zero sum perception of the world.
violence begets violence.
Too bad this brain virus is catching on at other cultures. It'll end up with either a big blowout, or suppression of the masses.
One of them says:
> I don't get compensated per tweet. I get paid $15/hr whether I am answering tweets or out on the floor stowing. I do this 2 days a week and 2 days a week I stow.
While I think it's weird that Amazon is doing this, I also doubt that the warehouse jobs are bad jobs. I've done manual labor for less than $15/hr and I'd much rather have a job like that than, say, a job in a restaurant.
I also think it's ironic that the instigator here claims to care about "the working class":
> really like? cause your workers are liars? you’re not going to convince the working class that everything is fine by telling us where to avert our eyes, we already know what it’s really like. why don’t you really treat your workers better, you can afford it
She's talking to working class people and when they disagree with her, she accuses them of literally not being human.
If people want to advocate for the working class, they need to step outside of the simplistic fiction that "evil corporations are ruining people's lives by employing them and not treating them well". The truth is much more complicated and jobs don't grow on trees.
I agree that these folks are probably real people, but you must have missed the last several month's worth of very public information about the conditions in their warehouses.
In my younger days, I used to work unloading boxes at FedEx for minimum wage. It was hard, back breaking work, and you better believe at holiday time it was crazy hectic and no time off. So I can imagine what it's like at one of these facilities, it's got to be hard as hell.
I'm sure all of us want these people to have the best conditions possible. The concerning thing to me is the tone of conversations like this in the 'Age of outrage'. It's a lot of virtue signaling, and then attacking of anyone who says anything to the contrary. "Oh you're not outraged about this like I am? Well you're an Amazon shill & hate the workers!"
Isn't the bigger issue, why is it these folks don't have better opportunities available to them? They are working these hard, back breaking jobs likely because it is better than anything else they can find in their area.
I know people personally that work in distribution centres and they find it a perfectly fine job. It'd hard work, yes, but you see complaints like "boiling hot in summer and freezing in winter", and it's like.. yeah.. Which loading bay isn't like that?
It's not evidence. This isn't a peer-reviewed paper, this is an internet chat board. I'm also troubled that although my anecdotal isn't allowed, a comedy show video is 'evidence'.
I'm also not denying that Amazon treat their employers badly. What I'm saying is why the agenda towards Amazon in particular. Many people work in awful jobs but the media just ignores these.
Worst of all, when people who work for Amazon dare to say "it's not all bad", people like you tell them that they're wrong. When I was younger I worked some pretty awful jobs, but often it's people who have never worked jobs like this that think they know best.
Also, it's not really that funny :p
And now I see in your other response in this topic you express anecdotal evidence as well. It's simply a poor way to counterpoint something. It really is.
Obviously if folks have bad working conditions, I want them them to improve. But how are 'anecdotes' from people I personally know who work in Amazon FC's any different than 'testimonials' from people on TV. I know at least 2 people who work or have worked in these FC's and they never complained. They worked hard & collected their paychecks.
That doesn't mean this is everyone's experience, I'm sure many have been treated poorly. But it goes both ways, we can't assume because some were treated poorly that it is all FC workers experience.
I have never worked for Amazon, but I have worked for FedEx unloading trailers by hand. It was back breaking work. The things I hear these workers saying remind me of that job. We were expected to throw boxes nonstop until it was finished, and our boxes per minute thru-put was closely monitored & expected to be kept above a certain level.
That type of work is not for everyone, and the 6 months I worked there, I watched countless people try and fail at the job. It was too hard and they quit within days. So, I can imagine what the amazon workers go through.
I don't wish poor working conditions on these people, but I also imagine that some of this is getting blown out of proportion.
I don't care if you watch it or not, but if you're going to comment on it and discredit it, it makes you look silly to do so without watching it.
>Obviously if folks have bad working conditions, I want them them to improve. But how are 'anecdotes' from people I personally know who work in Amazon FC's any different than 'testimonials' from people on TV. I know at least 2 people who work or have worked in these FC's and they never complained. They worked hard & collected their paychecks.
You're acting like the people that you know that never complained somehow cancel out the people complaining. That's not how it works.
>That doesn't mean this is everyone's experience, I'm sure many have been treated poorly. But it goes both ways, we can't assume because some were treated poorly that that is all FC workers experience.
It doesn't go both ways. The fact that you think highlighting some of them are being treated well is troubling. That should be the default. That shouldn't be commendable on Amazon's part.
>I have never worked for Amazon, but I have worked for FedEx unloading trailers by hand. It was back breaking work. The things I hear these workers saying remind me of that job. We were expected to throw boxes nonstop until it was finished, and our boxes per minute thru-put was closely monitored & expected to be kept above a certain level.
Sounds like FedEx has some labor issues to me. Do you think treating people like they're robots is a good thing? Both Amazon and FedEx seem to do so.
>I don't wish poor working conditions on these people, but I also imagine that some of this is getting blown out of proportion.
Where is your evidence that would lend credence to this getting blown out of proportion?
I'd guess that Rafael didn't log out of the app (or the nana forgot to do that).
In this case, compare the thread to a normal conversation. A normal conversation consists of a long chain of alternating messages by two people, comparing and contrasting their two different points of view. This "conversation" consists of a long chain of the original poster expressing their point of view and then a different "FC Ambassador" replying each time, all expressing the same contrasting point of view.
Compare that conversation to the first 1 minute of this clip: https://youtu.be/ZsBz_Q62hHk?t=10
It's just a literal observation, not an insult.
(Technically that's Unity from Rick & Morty; I couldn't find a clip of the original Borg from Star Trek doing this.)
I think many of the people who find fault with rulesobeyer don’t use Twitter. The ambassadors are comoletely robotic in the way they use Twitter - they don’t come across as people, they come across as corporate accounts. Even developer advocates aren’t this robotic.
I feel like I’m looking at stepford wives here and everyone in the comments here are apart of the farce
Which leads me to think they are not actually PR professionals (they would actually not talk in such a robotic way), but really low level employees that are paid extra to talk good on social media, and are repeating from some officially sanctioned book of “what you should and shouldn’t say”
they don’t sound like Borg, they sound like McDonald’s cashiers, just doing their assignments
> Sure some dont like it here, but they may just dont like to work.
Ignoring the grammar..
How stupid or naive do you have to be to a) believe that and b) repeat it.
A not so subtle attempt at saying anyone who has a problem here is actually themselves the problem.
Out of touch does not imply it's an inaccurate statement, though. In 2015 55 % of the US voting block thought there was a need for the same or more emphasis on coal in power generation.
Who came up with this idea. Having normal people act as PR, replying to everything is a TERRIBLE idea, especially for a huge company. It makes your brand look way worse, especially when they happily engage in twitter fights.
They sound like real people who aren't PR execs because that's what they are. They're just hired by [3rd Party Marketing Firm] cuz they're stay at home moms or making use of Mechanical Turk for cash on the side.
Having worked for a far lower minimum wage at 10 hours a day, I can understand Amazon employees plight. I also know two people working at the fulfillment centers and they were and are insanely grateful for the job(s).
It was the first time in their lives they had real, solid employment and took advantage of trainings, saved, etc. After seeing this and living my own experiences, honestly $15 / hour is probably overpaying for their labor. They are happy to have the job over paying them.
I think really only the employees should have a voice here. I don't think people from the outside really understand the situation. Unless you've lived that kind of life, it's difficult to relate. Same for the ultra-rich, I have no ability to empathize or comprehend their lives, living in the rat-race.
Also there is something else very fishy about the accounts, check this out. What do you think about this?
> I think really only the employees should have a voice here.
Then let's give them a soap box free from the threat of repercussion and hear what they have to say. Maybe from an union representative?
I don't know if conditions were as hard as working in an Amazon FC, but it was definitely hard work. We needed the money and appreciated the opportunity to earn a living.
If the media had decided that we were some kind of downtrodden worker class cause and had descended upon us to ask these kinds of antagonizing questions our answers would have been very much the same. I'm sure we would have answered back with our employers talking points when ridiculed for the type of work we were doing. People in tech do this all the time when they explain why they work at some tech company "changing the world".
This whole thing is in very poor taste. This public Amazon FC bashing feels very much like virtue signaling and I find it disgusting.
I worked a similar job when I was out of college at FedEx. I unloaded trailers by hand, usually just 2 of us. We were expected to go nonstop until it was done, and our boxes per minute thru-put was closely monitored. It was hard, back breaking work & it paid minimum wage. I did it at the time because I didn't have many other opportunities. I imagine this is one of the best jobs available to these people, for one reason or another, otherwise they wouldn't voluntarily work there. Should this be the larger issue we are discussing?
I did find the whole exchange very gross. Some girl who thinks she knows everything about what it's like working at Amazon from reading a few news articles. She was very rude and mean to those people. Kind of ironic she's 'fighting' to improve those peoples working conditions, meanwhile (while they are working) she's actively directing nasty comments and leading others to do the same.
We all know it feels bad when people give negative comments on social media. How does she think those folks will feel when they go home after a full day of negativity directed at them from strangers on the internet?
Amazon FCs pay minimum wage, and even if some people truly appreciate the money, it's not because it's great, but because it's the best thing available. Which is an absolute shame of social support.
(And to reply regarding the media picking a working class hero as an interview subject: I still remember vividly the summer jobs I did fifteen years ago (detasseling corn). At the time I thought how great the money is. I remember how fortunate we felt to earn more than other farm workers, and that what we did was obviously the hardest work, hence the highest wage. Never mind it was paid under the table.)
(Similarly, "anyone condemning this comment or defending @rulesObeyer must just be @rulesObeyer in disguise, no matter the evidence to the contrary.")
Talking to a real human this way is not reasonable. Nor is it an argument.
>how much are you compensated per tweet like this
This is like the question "Have you stopped beating your wife?" When the assumption of malintent/guilt is there from the start, you're setting yourself up for a very unreasonable conversation.
>so they’re paying you to tweet that you like your job, which is tweeting about liking your job...lol yes!! you are paid to say that you like your job. it’s your job!
This is very likely false, and she is actively ignoring people who are saying it is false.
I have to agree with GP. While I found the ambassador tweets to be, well, weird, her tweets are the ones that stood out to me as very unreasonable. She does not seem at all interested in anything that contradicts her world view.
Which is not the allegation being made.
The part about saying they like their job is true. The guidelines for them is everything has to be positive.
>This is very likely false, and she is actively ignoring people who are saying it is false.
She's technically correct in the same way that it's technically correct to say that if I take a restroom break while on the clock that I'm getting paid to use the restroom.
If, during the course of doing my job, someone asks me if I like doing my job and I say, "yes", it would technically be correct to say that I was paid for saying that I like my job (since I'm being paid for doing all the things that I do while on the clock it's also technically correct to say that I was paid for tying my shoes or talking to a coworker about some movie if I did those things during a shift). That does not necessarily mean that one of my job duties is telling people how much I like my job.
Even if @rulesObeyer is also a paid shill, all they're doing is drawing attention to the obvious.
Yes, if the situation was different, than my judgement of it would be different. This is not a novel observation.
The context matters - you cannot decouple this interaction from the economic and social structures it arose from.
Does she have an agenda? Yes clearly. She isn't hiding it. She has a long history of laying it right out in the open.
Does Amazon have an agenda too? Yes and they are ham-handedly trying to pretend they don't.
And yes, the Amazon people talk like politicians. There are actually many people that think politician-talking inspires confidence.
I don’t actually believe that’s what’s happening but it’d be tough to prove one way or the other, if you’re dealing with a sufficiently motivated actor. One of many good reasons not to take social media seriously.
Yes, all of that "evidence" from paid "Amazon FC ambassadors".
Side note: it feels like Twitter specifically has done immeasurable damage to the discourse. Why does the communication have to be presented so confusingly? To an outsider it seems like it’s to create maximum outrage/confusion/dopamine response. That’s much scarier to me than a customer service team.
E.g. I'm fairly sure Slavoj Žižek isn't working in an Amazon warehouse.
Then again - we're all in this gig economy thing, so maybe anything is possible.
Not saying this is he himself, but obviously not an Amazon employee at least.
Can't people stop linking to Twitter? Not everyone uses twitter, and to non-users, their website sucks.
You are not required to read every post on HN, and you can see on the front page which ones go to sites you don't like.
Yes? For non-users, it's only marginally less bad than a Facebook page that requires a login, and people mostly don't go aronud sharing links to Facebook threads.
This link provides some context.
Diana Wilde @rulesObeyer
16h16 hours ago Replying to @AmazonFCRafael
are you a robot, did they make a bunch of ai to lie for them instead of helping real workers
So still diving into the middle of a conversation.
> Come take a free tour at an Amazon fulfillment center and see what our warehouses are really like. Check out the locations and reserve your spot online. #AmazonFCTours
Then Diane replies to that and the back-and-forth with Amazon employees begins.
I refuse to believe HN users are this genuinely ignorant about such a basic website. It's really nowhere near as hard to read as anyone here makes it out to be.
Do you also complain when you get directly linked to a particular line of code in github or a readme?
You sound a lot like @rulesObeyer.