Amazon Reviews in Portland, OR | Glassdoor

Amazon Portland Reviews

Updated September 19, 2017
12 reviews

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Portland, OR

2.8
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Amazon Chairman, President, and CEO Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos
5 Ratings

12 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (10)

    "Supplemental Income"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Prime Now Associate in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Prime Now Associate in Portland, OR
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Amazon part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Flexible Schedules - I worked on a set schedule for 3 months then switched to a pick-your-own schedule. This works great to pick up shifts around school or another job, but is terrible to rely on.

    The Work - It's very repetitive, with just enough variety to keep it from being soul crushing. The repetitiveness let's you become very good at these tasks quickly. I've never been so skilled at organizing shelves, fridges, and paper bags of stuff.

    Active Job - This depends on your FC of course, but there isn't a moment of downtime and there's always something to do. This keeps things from slowing down.

    Job Variety - You're gonna start with one of the worst jobs at the warehouse (stowing items into bins). If you put forward a little effort, you'll move to other jobs. These jobs might be more physical or planning oriented, and present a more engaging experience.

    Coworkers - Everyone is pretty friendly.

    Managers - This is a mixed bag. Some are super friendly, understanding, and savvy. Others are disaffected, uninterested, and rude.

    Cons

    VTO - Voluntary Time Off can strike a warehouse when they need to get their labor hours down. While they can't force you to take vto when you're a scheduled employee, there's tremendous pressure placed for you to take it.

    Advancement - None. There's good job variety within the associate level, but everyone is paid the same. That means the guy working half the speed as you makes the same pay, and that really is disheartening. You're also rarely considered for any job advancement, as the only way up is into management positions that require management experience.

    Things Change, A Lot - You're going to have to be comfortable with processes and procedures changing business wide (like a new scanner software) or day-by-day with management. I've seen managers chastise us in all-group meetings for putting empty carts in a location and recommend another location, and for a different manager to berate us for putting them in the recommended spot.

    Pay - You're not going to get rich here. You should expect this, but that doesn't change it from being a con.

    Coworkers - I mentioned that they're friendly, but some of them you will constantly question why they're there. Very slow or don't put any effort. Sure, you're paid badly, and you don't have much room to advance, but you're still working as a team. Don't make others pick up your slack.

    HR - What a cluster. I was given an official hire letter 2 months before I actually started working. We weren't given online access to vital job systems, any instructions on sick leave, who's role was what, none of it. All had to be figured out on your own. This could be attributed to not having an FC-specific HR person, but the unpreparedness of such a large company baffled me. Once we eventually did get an HR person at the FC, she was a recent graduate and spends much of her time chatting about non-work things with managers while eating donuts. The fact I know she's making enough money to live comfortably, while I have sweat running down my back while worrying about being evicted, is morale-breaking while at work.

    Drivers - The drivers Amazon uses aren't the brightest, but hey, they get the job done (sometimes. If they feel like it. Etc.).

    Advice to Management

    Figure out who your poor managers are and correct this. Fix HR. Incentivize employees to stick around. Encourage improvement and reward it. Give opportunity for advancement in pay, role, and responsibility.


  2. "Lies about hours, does not actually want to employ anyone"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sortation Associate in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Sortation Associate in Portland, OR
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Amazon part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    No interview to obtain job

    Cons

    Only 15 hours/week, not 28-32 as claimed

    Advice to Management

    Stop lying to employees, have some basic human decency. When people pass out or die of heat exhaustion then fix the problem.

  3. "The Hype Doesn't Match Up (Amazon Flex)"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Class A Truck Driver in Portland, OR
    Current Contractor - Class A Truck Driver in Portland, OR
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Amazon as a contractor (More than a year)

    Pros

    Amazon Flex offers you the chance to work independently at your own pace to complete package deliveries from their Prime service. You can use any personal vehicle you want so long as your vehicle provides cover to protect packages from the elements. (I personally use a small pickup truck with a canopy.) It's a good way to see parts of your home city that maybe you don't necessarily see. The Flex app, while wonky sometimes, is fairly user friendly. You get to tell them when you're available.

    Cons

    The reality of it though is that you're completely at the mercy of availability and whatever Amazon wants to pay you. Unlike a real private contractor, you can't negotiate your pay. There is no reimbursement for fuel costs or wear and tear on your vehicle. Insurance costs come out of your own pocket. Taxes at the end of the year will come back and bite you hard as you might end up owing Uncle Sam thousands if you do Flex regularly. Once you figure in the cost for fuel, insurance, taxes, and vehicle maintenance costs, you'll be lucky to make around minimum wage (depending on your state). By comparison, I was making around $16 an hour four years ago working for USPS. That number is probably around $18 an hour today, which is what Amazon is currently paying in my area. It's borderline criminal.

    I mentioned this in my "Pros" section, but the app does have its problems. It can't currently recognize your directional bearing, which means it will give you directions that are sub-optimal. Sometimes you'll get a group of deliveries in a close area that could've been suggested to bring together on foot, but the app isn't intelligent enough to let you know that. This results in alot of wasted time and energy. Packages aren't really optimized well in regards of where you load as opposed to where you deliver. I'll often have to climb into the bed of my truck to get a package that got loaded into the back, which wastes time and energy. Ideally, it should go "last in, first out" in terms of your deliveries. If you're trying to do multiple blocks in a day or optimizing your profits, speed matters. I really wish I had a contractor's canopy on my truck, the kind that has opening doors on all sides.

    Getting delivery blocks can be like pulling your own teeth too. While I can usually manage getting a few blocks a week, it's often because I've become completely OCD about checking the app for available blocks. They do offer you a reserved block once a week, but usually you'll only get a few hours to accept or you lose it. If you aren't logged into the app constantly (which it will log you out for inactivity), you will miss any notifications for available blocks.

    Pets (particularly dogs) are an occupational hazard.

    Advice to Management

    The Amazon Flex app needs more development. Pay should be somewhere around $25-30 an hour in order to keep pace with the pay rate from competitors like the Postal Service or UPS.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Hard work and metric based"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Customer Service Associate in Portland, OR
    Former Employee - Customer Service Associate in Portland, OR
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Benefits are very nice. Flexibility is earned. Shift swapping sint so hard considering how many work here.

    Cons

    Metrics and professionalism is all your upper management cares about. If you plan on slacking it can be tricky to stay on this job.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Decent Job"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Fulfillment Associate in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Fulfillment Associate in Portland, OR
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Amazon part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Opportunity for extra hours, generally positive work environment, very little stress and a straightforward and simple job.

    Cons

    Surprisingly disorganized for such a successful company. It took 5 weeks for me to get a card with access to the building and to clock in and out. The application process also took an insane amount of time. It was almost 3 months between my initial application and my first day.


  6. Helpful (5)

    "AWS: Workaholics"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Development Manager in Portland, OR
    Former Employee - Software Development Manager in Portland, OR
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Amazon full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Growing business, interesting problems to solve

    Cons

    Work/Life balance is terrible.
    Emails from Senior management at 1AM and on the weekend.
    They think they own you.
    Restrictive rules that basically rule out working on open source projects.


  7. Helpful (3)

    "Amazon Flex - Prime Now / Hot Wheels / Amazon Fresh Delivery Driver"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Current Employee - Delivery Driver in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Delivery Driver in Portland, OR

    I have been working at Amazon (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Love the work and the pay is great (although drivers need to remember: as a contractor, there are no benefits, and you'll be paying for your own car/gas/maintenance *and* your own Social Security taxes at the end of the year.) Fellow drivers are friendly, helpful, collegial - all around great people. And customers are usually pretty excited to see you - the bounty of positive reinforcement in a definite mood lifter. =)

    Cons

    Scheduling is *horrible*, especially if you're hoping to get 30+ hours per week. Complaints about the paltry allocation of hours is universal among the dozens of contract drivers they already employ here in Portland. And yet, inexplicably, they keep bringing on more and more drivers, and they just put several more ads up on Craigslist Portland.

    Regardless of merit, performance, and availability, anticipate, at best, to get two eight hour shifts pre-assigned per week. I've made myself available to be scheduled any hour, any day, but the result is the same (and I've had some weeks where I only got two hours assigned.) I often manage to pick up an additional 2-4 hours each week by logging into the app repeatedly to see if more work blocks have been opened up (a practice we drivers have dubbed "fishing.") But it's largely a matter of luck. Newly opened blocks go FAST - there are usually dozens of people all rushing to try to snap them up. I've been on since roll-out in January, my performance is great, and I pull down a *lot* of tips (so customers are happy with me), but still ... I'm lucky if I get 16 hours scheduled each week.

    Advice to Management

    Closely examine your scheduling algorithm to ensure that it's serving your long-term goals. Ensure that you're making the best use of your existing contractor pool before bringing on more contractors. Watching the company continue expanding its contractor pool while those of us who've been here a while are all scrambling for scarce hours is demoralizing and hurts contractor loyalty. I and others are looking elsewhere for full-time work, which will impact our availability to drive for Prime Now. I have an interview tomorrow with a company that's a direct competitor with Hot Wheels - there seem to be a few of them springing up.

    Most of us love our work, but just can't support ourselves on the hours we're getting. The limited hours aren't as problematic for folks who are just looking to bring in a bit of money on the side, or have newer cars so they can drive for Uber or Lyft, as well (my car is too old for them.)

    Finally, provide a means for contractors to provide feedback about things other than just the functionailty of the app.

  8. Helpful (4)

    "Working for Amazon Web Services"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Operations Engineer in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Operations Engineer in Portland, OR
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Amazon full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Innovation and new Ideas are abundant. Expanding into new markets at a fast pace. They are one of the top cloud network providers in the industry.

    Cons

    Poor leadership from middle management, no consistency between them. Work schedules are not good for families. They knee jerk react when something goes wrong in any location and implement restrictions on employee's instead of being proactive from the management and communicate to employee's. They preach taking ownership in the work place, but have it set as an impossible place for an employee to share ideas. No accountability and consistency from inexperienced leadership. Work conditions do as your told and don't make waves.

    Advice to Management

    Stop Micro Managing work that your making billions off of. Its OK to be wrong as a manager and deal with your poor selections for management, but then take the opportunity to fix the problem not look away from it.


  9. "Prime NOW"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Warehouse Associate in Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Warehouse Associate in Portland, OR
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at Amazon part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Set schedule. Friendly management. Listens to associate's concerns/questions/etc. Free parking. The pay is decent considering the rest of the job market in Portland.

    Cons

    No room for advancement. Seems like much of the management were recruited and some did not have any warehouse experience. Military background is a definite trend for management roles. Does not offer full-time hours or benefits for associates. NO PTO. They give associates 10 hours of ATO (accrued time-off) for the year which, is neither paid or even worth staying at a company that long.

    Advice to Management

    Need to have more meetings for the management team so that everyone is on the same page.


  10. Helpful (21)

    "Fired while still in training for asking for an hour of personal time"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Customer Service Associate in Portland, OR
    Former Employee - Customer Service Associate in Portland, OR
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Amazon full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    It was great to be able to work from home
    They take good care of their customers
    Will be in business for a long time

    Cons

    (Sorry this is so long-- I left my job of five years to work at home for Amazon and was fired while still in training. I want to let prospective employees know how very little it takes to get fired though, and how you may not even know it's coming.

    --During interview and recruitment, I was told I would be on a 'chat' team to assist customers with technical issues via instant message. This was not true and I was assigned to a frontline phone support team-- a horrible assignment and definitely not one I would have left my former job for. I really doubt it was intentional but it certainly something they should have told me.

    --They called me back a few days after the interview and asked if I could start two days later (!). I could not since I had been with my employer for about five years and wanted to give them two weeks of notice that I was leaving-- only fair since we had a great working relationship and they depended on me for many things. We're still friends outside of work. The recruiter agreed (or said they did, anyway) and rescheduled me for training so that I could give notice and I thought everything was looking good, until training started.

    --A little over a week into training, a situation with family came up and I needed an hour of personal time-- I asked for the time and was told how to handle these requests. A couple of days later, I was contacted by my manager (which is pretty funny because didn't know I had one until then) and they wanted to talk about my attendance issues-- surprising since I didn't know I had done something wrong (I didn't say this, of course). About 10 minutes into this call, my manager brought in someone from HR as well. It was immediately clear to me that this was a well-versed routine and that they were trying to pressure me into quitting (which I wouldn't). With the HR person on the call, my manager went on the offensive and immediately asked me why I punched in precisely 20 minutes early every single day--- a really strange accusation since it's completely untrue-- I signed in and out exactly when I was supposed to and I still wonder where this question came from. Did my manager have the wrong person, or was it just an attempt to throw me off or provoke me? I'll probably never find out. We were told in the training that we had a window of approximately sixty seconds to punch in and out, which is really not enough time since we had to use an RSA token and PIN to sign into their VPN (a little device that gives you a code to sign into their network), then had to remotely connect to our desktops, then finally login into a time-keeping site and hit the 'punch clock' button. After that, you had 4 minutes left to sign into four different communication platforms (email, group chat, instant message, and their knowledge bank.

    I can only imagine how many of the other trainees had similar experiences or worse... A shame since I was a huge fan of Amazon before I went through all this.

    Advice to Management

    Be more transparent about what criteria your employees are being judged on-- every other company I've worked with has been clear: "Do this. Don't do this." This is really important if you want your employees to succeed. Really doesn't make sense to me since Jeff Bezos is so data-driven and objective in judgment (it seems like to me, anyway).


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