Imagine working for a company that former employees have described as being a place “where overachievers go to feel bad about themselves” and where it feel like “you’ve got the CEO of the company in bed with you at 3 a.m. breathing down your neck,” apparently that’s what working for Amazon is like. In a long but incredibly interesting article, the New York Times has taken a look at what it’s like to work at Amazon and has found that, more often than not, employees see it as a kind of almost-hell.
On Monday mornings, fresh recruits line up for an orientation intended to catapult them into Amazon’s singular way of working. They are told to forget the “poor habits” they learned at previous jobs, one employee recalled. When they “hit the wall” from the unrelenting pace, there is only one solution: “Climb the wall,” others reported. To be the best Amazonians they can be, they should be guided by the leadership principles, 14 rules inscribed on handy laminated cards. When quizzed days later, those with perfect scores earn a virtual award proclaiming, “I’m Peculiar” — the company’s proud phrase for overturning workplace conventions. Jeff Bezos of Amazon has rented Bishop’s Lodge Ranch Resort and Spa in Santa Fe for Campfire, a literary gathering, this year.A Writerly Chill at Jeff Bezos’ CampfireSEPT. 20, 2014 At Amazon, workers are encouraged to tear apart one another’s ideas in meetings, toil long and late (emails arrive past midnight, followed by text messages asking why they were not answered), and held to standards that the company boasts are “unreasonably high.” The internal phone directory instructs colleagues on how to send secret feedback to one another’s bosses. Employees say it is frequently used to sabotage others.