1. It’s Monday, August 17, 2015.
2. You can’t slip much past Fabulous Donny Trump. He’s wise to those diabolical immigrants, the ones taking those jobs real Americans want like mowing lawns and frying burgers. Then, after they’ve committed their evil deeds, they produce children — and thanks to the Constitution, those kids are automatically U.S. citizens.
It’s time, if you follow Fabulous Donny’s logic, to protect the Constitution from the Constitution by ending that automatic birthright crap and sending the whole lot back to wherever they came from.
What a jackass!
2. Jeff Bezos says he would never work for the company described in a much-talked-about New York Times story this weekend. Of course, that company is Amazon, the company he created.
But Bezos says the article — in which more than 100 past and present employees described pretty draconian working conditions — doesn’t really reflect the atmosphere at Amazon.
Bezos’ response might have had more credence if he had answered Times reporters’ questions as they working on the piece. What he and his lieutenants at Amazon didn’t anticipate was how godawful they and the company comes off in the story reported by Jodi Kantor and David Streitfeld.
At lot of the people who read it are just going to be revolted by what the employees of Amazon go through, and there will be a turn-off factor among people who shop at what’s now the world’s largest retailer. And there will be talented people who see what the price is for working at Amazon and decide, the hell with that.
4. When I was attended religious instruction classes as a child, I was told that Adam and Eve’s sin is the reason we all have to work, since people were cast out of paradise.
But I can’t imagine a benevolent higher being thinks sacrificing family and health for the glory of a corporate entity isn’t a far more heinous sin that biting the wrong apple.
I had one question going through my mind as I read the Times’ Amazon story: Why would anyone work there? There are three good reasons to have a job. One is to make money and provide for yourself and those who depend on you. The second is to do something that benefits the world in some way. And the third is to share the experience with good people – to make friends out of colleagues and possibly, if you’ve been as lucky as I’ve been, get to spend a lifetime sharing a laugh.
Amazon meets the first criterion by paying you – although in some cases, you’re getting paid in stock whose value could zero out. But you would also get paid by every other job you could do, and you wouldn’t be required to answer e-mails at midnight or miss a kid’s trombone performance.
The second criterion is whether or not what you do benefits the world. Getting someone an Elsa doll 23 minutes after they don’t see it at the Toys ‘R’ Us in Times Square doesn’t quite measure up to teaching learning-disabled kids, or serving meals to the elderly at a nursing home, or fighting a two-alarm blaze, or any number of other jobs that actually make people’s lives better.
And then there’s the third criterion. If you read this on a regular basis, you know that I left CNNMoney almost a year ago in a voluntary buyout. And what I miss most is not the job itself — which surprises me, because I always liked the idea of telling people something they needed to know. What I miss the most is the people I worked with. It is part of the fulfillment of a job to have colleagues who share your experiences, inside and outside the workplace.
I can’t imagine Amazon is like that. With the competition, the constant culling of those who aren’t meeting whatever freaking standard someone is setting, the in-house criticism that sounds like a Communist Party meeting during China’s Cultural Revolution, the idea that I would trust anybody I worked with is ludicrous.
There are people who aren’t bothered by the Amazon atmosphere described in the Times. I would imagine they’re in their 20s and 30s, and willing to do whatever it takes to advance their careers. If the career is their satisfaction in life, their purpose in living, then I wish them the best.
But I think life is more than that. It includes such concepts as love and health, and the joy that comes in a child’s discovery or watching a baseball game with friends.
I don’t envy Amazonians. Not one bit.