Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Ruthless Corporate America

Commentary on The New York Times article:
"Inside Amazon: Wrestling Big Ideas in a Bruising Workplace"


The oddest statement about the New York Times article is the subtitle: "The company is conducting an experiment in how far it can push white-collar workers to get them to achieve its ever-expanding ambitions."

Push workers to do what? Quit? Jump off a cliff? Become ill or to an untimely demise? 


This one line, if true, says a great deal about CEO Jeff Bezos (listed as the 5th richest human on the planet). This leads one to assume that there's never enough money for Jeff, or shall we call him Gordon Gekko?

The article, "Inside Amazon: Wrestling Big Ideas in a Bruising Workplace," is more about upper level management and those who received "signing bonuses." One paragraph states:


"Amazon retains new workers in part by requiring them to repay a part of their signing bonus if they leave within a year, and a portion of their hefty relocation fees if they leave within two years."


Some of the people that leave Amazon are going to Facebook, Netflix, Google, and other Fortune 500 companies. Amazon refers to this exodus as, "Purposeful Darwinism."

The current and former employees who were interviewed for the article have allowed themselves to get caught up in the dog-eat-dog world of Corporate America.

Doing so, you've sold your soul for a profit. Certainly, we all need to work to survive, but trading one's spirit for earnings and aggrandizement is never part of the equation and is ego-driven.


Conducting oneself in this manner is what allows people to be heartless and ruthless toward one another. It's all about profit, production, and very little else. Obviously, the decision-makers at Amazon adhere to the maxim, "if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen."

What's clear in the article is that you have a company that places little value on its employees. These people are expendable and the bottom-line is all that matters. This is typical with most major corporations. Amazon simply appears to be a bit more zealous with their hiring and firing. 

It's also clear that the company consistently practices age discrimination: 20-year-olds supplanting 30-year-olds; 30-year-olds pushing out those in their early 40's; if you're over 45, you're not going to be hired. If you're currently working for Amazon, in your 40's, you're constantly looking over your shoulders.

There is no doubt that the incivility displayed in the Amazon workplace needs to be addressed. Mutual respect doesn't only apply in personal, off-the-job encounters, it is applicable in the work environment as well.  

Amazon could very well be on it's way to becoming the first trillion-dollar retailer, but at what cost? Based on his actions, Bezos could care less about the atmosphere, aura, and collective temperament of his company. But the one thing that an immature soul does not take into account is that karma crosses incarnations. The 34.7 billion dollar IT mogul could very easily be the $3.47 pauper in another existence. It's how the universe teaches us, by experience.