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Fast growth leads to growing pains in fulfillment network

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Former Employee - Pathways Operations Intern  in  Lexington, KY
Former Employee - Pathways Operations Intern in Lexington, KY

I worked at Amazon.com as an intern for less than a year

Pros

Smart people; fast-paced environment; strong performance; constant effort to improve operations
Everyone I met was energetic and eager to improve operations in the warehouse. They are quant hounds who know how to use data to make decisions so this is a great place to test your analytical skills.

Cons

Burn out in staff at fulfillment centers leads to chronic short-staffing and unhappy hourly workers; Christmas peak season is a crazy time and not for the faint of heart! Having grown at 30% CAGR for years, the strains are really felt on the ground in delivering to customers.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Improve your hiring practices to reduce staff stress

Recommends
Positive Outlook
Disapproves of CEO

3507 Other Employee Reviews for Amazon.com (View Most Recent)

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  1. 22 people found this helpful  

    Only work at Amazon, if you absolutely can't do better

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer  in  Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at Amazon.com full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Amazon is a well known, and well liked company -- they actually do care about customers -- and take customer trust and experience very seriously. Different groups and teams are reasonably decoupled, allowing a lot more independence.

    If you're the sort of person that likes to work on lots of different bits of software, and constantly jump from fire to fire, it's definitely a better fit than someone who prefers quality.

    Amazon also copes very well with the high-level of turn-over by making sure that exposing a lot of people to a lot of things -- to keep employees fungible.

    Cons

    Amazon makes no absolutely effort to attract high-quality people (in fact, they do quite the opposite with their self-claimed 'frugal' -- absolutely-under-no-circumstances-any-benefits policies).

    When Amazon tells you about 'Work Hard', what they mean is that they make work hard. Like all the stuff you're expecting: a powerful developer machine, or a second monitor, are things Amazon has a policy against (Although, as they will tell you -- you're allowed to buy and bring in your own stuff like RAM, SSDs and Extra-Monitors ... lucky you!).

    And what about Admin access on your developer laptop? LOL no, that would make life easy. To be approved for that, you need to be literally 4 levels up from the bottom! Root access on your Desktop? Nah, but they'll give you sudo, but you can't actually use your desktop for development -- you'll have to work through a VM. And to make sure you don't enjoy it, your development VM will be some ancient Red Hat image, with absolutely nothing newer than 5 years old (literally!). Just in case you ever want to google something, all the libraries/function/features made in the last half-decade won't work.

    The internal systems at Amazon are so painful, that I suspect that a large percentage of employees after a hard-days work, come home and put needles in their arms for fun. When stuff works, its slow and largely unusable, and a dozen times worse than any freeware you'll find on the internet. The source control, build systems and all other developer tools seem like it was developed by a retarded monkey after he drank too much that night. Apparently they're now working on an "internal github, that works on more SCS than just git -- and has an awesome advanced security model". I wonder why they don't try get their page-load times under 10 seconds first.

    Even things that you thought were solved 20 years ago, Amazon manages to break with their own special flavor of retardedness. Like the mailing lists. It's an accepted fact, that it's impossible to *reliably* filter a message to a folder, because the send is not from the mailing list -- there is no mailing list header, and no required subject prefix! Another great joy is, after sending a message to a mailing list, your inbox will lag for *literally* the next 5 minutes, as you get spammed by "Out of Office" replies. But no one excepts the Amazon workplace to be functional or enjoyable, so this is just the normal.

    And of course, then there's the bureaucracy. At first, you'll try fight it, and try do what's best for the company. But soon you'll realize, like half the company is nothing but paper-pushers -- and you can easily waste a month just trying to get approval for some trivial thing. In the end, you'll be a lot happier here if you treat it as a job, don't try fight it, don't try enjoy it, put in your hours and leave at the end of the day (hoping your pager doesn't wake you up in the middle of the night, over some stupid issue)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    So much for "attack the process, not the person".

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Support Staff  in  Fernley, NV
    Former Employee - Support Staff in Fernley, NV

    I worked at Amazon.com full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Competative pay
    Good benefits
    A few decent people still work there.

    Cons

    Shady operation- when something doesn't work, they don't look at the broken pieces, they blame the people rather than work with them to correct the problem.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't play the double jeopardy game (have a corrective discussion with the employee then turn around and write them up for the same issue that had already been discussed and corrected). Also, quit changing policies just because you're not getting the results you want. Give the current policies a chance to take hold and results to happen.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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