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Amazon Reviews

Updated July 23, 2017
14,524 reviews

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  1. Helpful (13)

    "good luck - you'll need it!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate Buyer in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Associate Buyer in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    can be exciting with authors and bands stopping by
    lots of room for lateral movement within company
    10% employee discount

    Cons

    very high turnover
    ZERO work/life balance
    24/7 blackberry attachment
    extremely poor managers (very ignorant of basic management skills)
    you are a number, which can be easily replaced (and are made aware of that)

    Advice to Management

    get a grip on the extreme turnover! A company your size should not have a 30% YOY turnover rate! Train your middle management better - All they are concerned about is getting Jeff Bezos's attention for promotion purposes.


  2. Helpful (8)

    "overworked, over-stressed, under-appreciated"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Editor in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Editor in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    smart people, new technologies, entreprenurial spirit

    Cons

    too much work, too little appreciation and recognition, unequal work-life balance, extreme favoritism (and I wasn't one of the favorites!), lots of brown-nosing required (not one of my talents!) management's truth is the ultimate truth--there is no overcoming it, overall the worst work experience of my life.

    Advice to Management

    get a grip on reality...people are telling you what they think you want to hear--not the real situation and how to solve the problem.

  3. Helpful (10)

    "If you want to be a number and work with the worst Senior Leadership Team then come work here."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Area Manager in New Castle, DE
    Current Employee - Area Manager in New Castle, DE
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    salary/stocks benefit package is attractive
    work with some real talent

    Cons

    Micro management to the extreme
    Worst Sr. Team
    Treat employees like a number and don't care about revolving door

    Advice to Management

    change culture by removing Sr. Team bringing in new Sr. team that really knows how to lead, motivate and retain talent


  4. Helpful (9)

    "Stepford Wives"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Human Resources Group in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Human Resources Group in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    free onsite events with free books and music giveaways. allows dogs at site and in your work space. decent cafeteria.

    Cons

    backstabbing people in HR, it was just awful. Rumors galore everywhere. It seemed like quality output was not the goal, rather looking busy was.

    Advice to Management

    Get training or a new job. management training if it existed did not seem to help because it appeared management was not held accountable.


  5. Helpful (10)

    "horrible experience (stay away from retail!)"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Buyer in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Buyer in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    free crap from vendors
    hush $/severence when they let you go.

    Cons

    no work/life balance
    24/7 blackberry - on call 365.
    management is completely incompetent
    HR is not there to help employees - only to keep management from getting sued. do not go to HR for any reason including anything legal, best way to get yourself fired.

    Advice to Management

    i would say get a grip on the turnover, but since people will still want to come work for you, you have no reason to change anything.


  6. Helpful (9)

    "Looking somewhere else"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Whitestown, IN
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Whitestown, IN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Stocks
    Benefits
    Learning new skills
    Overtime pay
    Safety focused

    Cons

    Senior leadership doesn't communicate with or respect their associates.
    HR doesn't help the people, just the company.
    Amazon only cares about their bottom line.
    No way to get promoted above tier 3 unless you have BA and there is no college reimbursement.
    Cap off pay.
    Management curses at each other and associates.
    The only punishment for harassment is a "write-up".

    Advice to Management

    Start appreciating your associates more. Just because they aren't managers, doesn't mean they aren't people with families who deserve the same respect you'd give anyone else. HR dept needs to be more focused on protecting the employees, not the company. Be more professional in the way you speak to people and don't tolerate hostility from ANYONE. There are lot of good workers looking for other jobs because they are dissatisfied with Amazon. I heard that Jeff Bezos once said that his greatest asset and his most disposable was his employees. I'm not sure if that quote is correct but I definitely see that attitude in the company.


  7. Helpful (15)

    "No work / life balance"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Marketing Manager in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Marketing Manager in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Looks good on your resume, the RSU's are nice if they vest in time (and Amazon's stock is high)--before you go mad from the insane hours you work (while being on salary), and that's about it.

    Cons

    1) No work/life balance
    2) No respect
    3) No advancement
    4) No guidance
    5) No real leadership from management
    6) No fun
    7) No employee retention
    8) No rewards for hard work

    Advice to Management

    Try to retain your employees, they're your best asset.

    Treat them with respect, give them the proper training, allow them to excel in what they're good at, and reward them for their hard work.

    GET RID OF "FORCED RANKING," IT DOESN'T WORK!!!

    TREAT YOUR EMPLOYEES AS WELL AS YOU TREAT YOUR CUSTOMERS!!!

    WORK/LIFE BALANCE!!!

  8. Helpful (19)

    "Churn and burn"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Technical Program Manager in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Technical Program Manager in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Its like a war zone. You have to learn very quickly in order to survive but the only catch is how long can you keep going like this? One year here is like two or three years in any other company.

    Cons

    Consider that 50% of the company leaves after two years.

    Advice to Management

    Stop treating your employees like sanitary pads that you just use and throw away. Stop rewarding the Machiavellian middle management that only manage upwards and have no clue as to what is really going on.


  9. Helpful (34)

    "If you decide to work here, ask in the interview what Top Grading is, and what its counterpart is."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manager in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Manager in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Lot's of bright people work here, and you will most likely be paid well. There are a lot of interesting problems to work on at a scale few companies can offer. Probably a very good, tough environment for a smart kid right out of school with no significant other or kids - or hobbies or any life outside of work.

    Cons

    Unfortunately, even though I was paid more than what my position usually commands (a red flag right there I should have noticed), it just wasn't worth it. There are a *lot* of reasons I'd recommend not working here; but the two that stand out are the culture and the hours. You will work a lot of hours in whatever dept. you're in, almost without exception. But the real overriding factor in everything that makes it such a horrible place to work - the one that all the other issues grow from - is its culture.

    Here's the long and short of it: front-line and middle managers here are really the 'bottom of the barrel' types. No self-respecting manager would try to manage any team in this environment (unless they didn't know anything about it when they were hired - ahem!), and that's because of one corporate-mandated policy that destroys any possibility of teamwork: Top Grading. Let me explain...

    Top Grading sounds like a good idea when you only look at the 'top' part. What that means is the top 10% of performers on each team get the bulk (or all) of the raises for that team that year. This happens every year (depending on your dept., anywhere from Feb.-May), and is something so pervasive in the company that you really do risk your job if you try to stand up against it (pretty much Bezos's idea - so if your chain answers up to a Sr. VP that answers to him, it's gonna happen).

    But why stand against it? Well, let's say you have a great team, and everyone's pulling their weight. The problem with this policy is, it also includes what some have called Bottom Grading - appropriately named, as it spells out the rest of the truth of the happily named Top Grading. The full truth is, you have to get rid of the bottom 10% of your team every year - period, end of story, no arguments. Basically, Amazon's 'high bar' with 'bar raisers' in interview loops comes down to little more than an inflexible ideology.

    So just try and make a team in that kind of environment! Even just trying to be part of one is horrific; after all, you could be next. It's either you or someone else on your team - probably a couple or more. And this includes managers and directors.

    I'm betting you can guess the result: a highly politicized environment, where everyone's going for the immediate win and doing their best to suck up to their boss at every moment, as once you're clued in, you realize your manager's or director's hands are tied. You walk on glass, and try not to *ever* cross them or give them a reason to put your name in the bottom 10%.

    So that's it, in a nutshell - ideology 'tinkled down' from above loses to allowing managers to manage their own teams independently. Which pretty much explains why no competent managers would stay there, and why I left. And also why their attrition rate is horrible - 10% must go, combined with no healthy team dynamics whatsoever. It's just a real disaster over there.

    Advice to Management

    Stand up to the policy of Top Grading, plain and simple. Let upper management - and especially Jeff Bezos and HR - know that you're the one who's best for judging your team's performance, as a group or as individuals. Get rid of that, and I guarantee you the attrition of smart talent will disappear almost overnight.


  10. Helpful (14)

    "Stay away from this place--toxic as hell"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Editor in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Editor in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Working with smart people, emergiing technologies, challenging work

    Cons

    Misguided management makes daily existence miserable, brown-nosing rewarded over actual work, liars profit from the spoken word more than the done deed.

    Advice to Management

    Watch and observe for an honest and truthful perception of the situation--most underlings are telling you what you want to hear,not what actually is happening. Wake up and quit listening to those who are stroking your ego. Most are using the ego-stroking as a substitute for real work.


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