Eastern Utah
EMAIL ME AT: mgypsy97 at aol dot com

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Shopping online

I read a magazine article last night that had such an impact on me I'm determined to alter my shopping habits. The article was written by a woman who worked briefly for a temp staffing agency that provides workers for a giant warehouse that assembles and ships orders placed online. I believe, though not absolutely sure, that Amazon has its own warehouse/shipping facilities, but they might also use other such companies especially for non-book purchases.

The rules for holding these jobs requires 12+ hour days, impossible to meet goals that require people to run on concrete floors to assemble merchandise in the time allowed by the management, multiple safety violations and equipment malfunction, and much more. For this, complaining could get a person fired, but there are many reasons to be fired. One man was fired because he took the day off that his wife gave birth to their child. He had to go through the whole application process again to be re-hired.

The article referred to workampers who take these jobs especially during the Christmas to supplement their retirement income. I remember a few years ago reading Rene's blog, a woman who worked for Amazon and wrote of unbelievably bad treatment during the weeks she was employed. There is also a blogging couple on my list of blogs I read who recently worked for Amazon, and while they weren't as explicit about the conditions as Rene was, the story came through for anyone who is aware of the working conditions.

I really prefer to buy local anyway, and to see and touch the merchandise to examine what I am buying, but now I am even more determined to avoid contributing to companies who profit at the expense of the workers so necessary to the success of the companies. We are appalled when we hear of inhuman conditions in the sweatshops of the third world; we disapprove of unsafe and unfair conditions in China, but we have just as bad in our midst, and I for one, am not going to support this. It just isn't worth violating my own sense of justice to save a few cents or even a few dollars.

The sun is out this morning and it looks like a beautiful day ahead. The weather channel reports of snow in my favorite part of the world, the VA/NC/KY/TN area. I almost wish I had the opportunity to enjoy some snow this winter but it probably won't happen. Maybe next year.


  1. We have friends who workamp at Amazon in KY every year at Christmas and they like it. They work long, hard hours but say the pay is great and that they are treated very well. They've done it for about 4 years now and are signed up to go back again this winter.

  2. I too have read the blogs of several full timers who have worked for Amazon for the Christmas Season. Some would never go back. Some will and say there are nice things about working there. I do suspect that working there full time, 12 hour days 5 days a week would be very different than working for 6 weeks and then leaving.

  3. No one is forced to sign on or stay at Amazon. Yes it is very hard work, and the hours are long, but if people are willing to do the jobs let them.
    For some, those six weeks make a difference between being able to make it or not. For some it meant being able to take a cruise this year.

  4. For no other reason than just wanting to support local small business, I try first to buy things near by. If I can't find it, I then go into the closest small town. Last resort, mail order.

  5. I've heard the horror stories too as well as some who have had good experiences... weird, innit?

    But I like to buy local also. I enjoy touching what I buy ;)

    But sometimes! online is the only way you can find a particular something or other...

  6. Here we have nowhere to shop, a walmart is 36 miles away,,so yes, i do online shopping and love it,,,brought to my door. And Amazon isn't the only online place,,,lol.

  7. I shop locally whenever I can. I don't like having my credit card on-line although I have one with only $ 500.00 limit that I have used for something I just cannot get locally but never at large companies.

  8. Sorry you based your opinion on just a couple of people. I know a number of fellow bloggers who have worked for Amazon for several years. They said the work was taxing because you are on your feet for quite a few hours (to get the Christmas presents out) but they all said they were very well treated by Amazon. Online shopping is the only resource some have because it is difficult for them to get out or because they don't have the time to go from store to store. I'm glad we have options.

  9. Everyone seems to be working harder for less these days and not shown much appreciation. With the job market, they feel they have you, so it is tough. Having a sedentary job, I might like to be up on my feet, running around a little bit, only part time though. Workamp sounds kind of appealing if you RV and need some extra cash to supplement retirement. It has been a very mild winter with very little snow. Do not miss it one bit.