Online Shopping

I feel like I am buying blood diamonds online.

And considering, how much I have seen through the fallacy of the usual gimmicks of the insensitive pseudo-entrepreneurs, I write this record below to share how this propaganda of speed, efficiency, competitive pricing and digital revolution is making us an accomplice in something more criminal than just some closed shop or lost employment. Until at least, the digital revolution also finds a way into our legal framework and it is updated to account for the changing contours of employment practices.

  1. Jeff, 29 years old, worked at an Amazon warehousing facility in USA.
  2. The usual shift of a warehouse employee of any online shopping chain means you are  “typically expected to pull 100 items or more per hour, … expect to walk more than 12 miles over the course of a shift.”
  3. Jeff died on the job, while performing the usual work as stated in point # 2 above.
  4. Cause of death uncertain between “cardiac disrhythmia” and “hypertrophic cardiomyopathy”. But it sure was the unbalanced work-life at the warehouse.
  5. Supervisors at Amazon would advise staff to drink plenty of water to prevent heat exhaustion, cardiac issues etc. But this is unrealistic as more water means more need to go to pee, which means more breaks which means the worker is short of her “hour rate”…which means no chance of promotion to permanent if you are a temp and more chance of  getting laid off if you are a permanent staff.
  6. On top of that he worked with a Temp agency which means less pay and benefits than a usual Amazon employee.

And, the report details more on the astounding number of emergency health calls made per  month from the warehouse facility.

And if it can happen at Amazon, it is very much possible it is happening at other online shopping stores’ warehouses which are determined to provide you your goods overnight if we are paying another 10 or 20 bucks for it.

In other words, what I buy cheap and fast from the convenience of my home is only gross profiteering by an abstract online name (much like the country in Africa which I only know by its name and don’t plan to go visiting in the near future).

Moral of story: someone out there is stretching, bending, squatting, pulling, pushing…very hard to “get you that awesome product within 24 hours”… so lets keep a lid on that physical goods consumerism…because each one of us makes a difference when they cut their share of the blood burnt in the name of convenience, productivity, efficiency and mindless progress of the few. Well at least, till they bring robots to warehouses. But then we need a plan to create a different system of work and play for our unemployed temps.

Full story and source at: Life and Death of an Amazon warehouse temp

#RIP Jeff

Categories: #education, future


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