My Brush With Amazon

So Mario, I pride myself on being an honest, sincere and responsible person, so I think I owe you a better explanation of why I decided to pass on Elite. My understanding of you is that you are an entrepreneur, one of the very valuable people who build new companies and larger economic value in society. Entrepreneurs can be motivated essentially by money, or if they are really great, by the pride of being social improvers. I don’t know what’s your bottom line but I will speak to you in this email as if you’re the latter type of person, someone who looks beyond just getting ahead financially and tries to make your world a better place. 


It seems to me that Amazon, like every other corporation, is a company that puts the bottom-line above the value of the human being. While they are in a great position to set the new standard of a more humane workplace and so contribute to a happier and healthier society, they are apparently taking the age old route of exploiting the worker for everything he or she can give, all for the god of “profits.” Now, to a certain extent, this focus on the “bottom line” is good for society, because it results in greater efficiency and innovation. But it is also bad for society in that it makes human life more brutal and cruel than it has to be. 


As an entrepreneur direct service provider of Amazon, you are in a sort of deal with the devil. I’m sure you are aware, if you are an alert person, that Amazon is known to observe carefully the people who do business with them, in order to steal the trade secrets of their most successful “partners.” So if Elite happens to outcompete the rest of the service providers, you shouldn’t be surprised if Amazon decides to open a delivery operation that directly mimics your best practices and eventually puts you out of business. My point here is that in Amazon’s eyes, you are as much someone to be exploited as your lowest employees. 


Considering all this, I wanted to offer some suggestions about how you view and run Elite, if you respect a newly resigning lowest level employee enough to hear. I happen to believe that fostering a more humane workplace, without neglecting efficiency and productivity, is a more winning scenario than running the company just like Amazon. This can be done by learning about and encouraging a culture of “servant leadership” among your team. Put it in everyone’s head that the way they get ahead is by serving the needs of their teammates in a real giving way, not as a show, and find ways to personally sacrifice for the team in order to drive home your sincerity. This new culture would foster such a close knit team that you will certainly outcompete all the other dsps. And what’s more, if Amazon tries to steal your success, it will ultimately be transformed into a better company overall. Not to mention that servant leadership is such a rare and valuable talent that Amazon would seek your overall, executive leadership in such a new expansion of culture. 


To conclude, I left Elite mainly because I feel that Amazon is too focused on productivity over people and that this trickles down to its dsps who are trying to compete among one another in the larger Hunger Games environment of Amazon. I see the fallout of this culture in a sort of besieged mentality of my co-workers, from those trying to get ahead of the pack by playing workplace politics, to those who are just coasting and attempting to look valuable by pointing the finger at others, to those who are just trying to survive on a supposed good $15.00 per hour in an ever more financially desperate America. I leave because I have little confidence that a servant leadership initiative might ever be adopted here, but to be fair, I am sending this deeper feedback to you in case you are great enough to try.

 

While I might have stuck around longer and attempted to influence the dsp team in this spirit, I did not feel that the excessive quota sought from me as a worker was personally sensible, considering my family needs for me to earn the most towards their needs while working the least in order to be with them. And especially considering that I received a better paying job offer from another company for the same work (with probably more reasonable demands).


I’d be willing to talk with you further as a potential social changer (not employee) if you can possibly appreciate where I’m coming from. Otherwise, godspeed in your personal endeavors…


Roger Farinha 

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